Jose Mourinho: Real Madrid lost El Clasico because they don't have a player like Ivan Rakitic

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - Copa del Rey Semi Final: Second Leg

Barcelona squeezed past Real Madrid on Saturday night in what's likely to be the final El Clasico of the season. 

Only one goal was needed to separate the two sides and it came from midfielder Ivan Rakitic, 26 minutes into the match. 

He was played in by a brilliant Sergi Roberto through ball and finished the move by deliciously clipping his effort over Thibaut Courtois from a tight angle.

Barca had enough quality to hold onto their lead at the Bernabeu and now sit 10 points clear at the top of La Liga and 12 points ahead of third-placed Real. 

Although it was a great result for Ernesto Valverde's title-chasing team, it was far from a classic game. 

Los Blancos were pretty poor throughout and Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen actually had a quiet night between the sticks.

Santiago Solari put his faith in Vinicius Junior from the start too, but the 18-year-old forward failed to spark anything special. 

He alone won't be criticised for Madrid's loss. Nor should the likes of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale or Luka Modric, who also featured. 

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In fact, according to Jose Mourinho, the reason Madrid lost wasn't down to the players on the field, but instead, it was due to the personnel that they're missing. 

Speaking after the game on beIN Sports, the former Blancos boss suggested that his old team suffered defeat because they don't have a player like Rakitic. 

"Madrid lost because they don't have a player like Ivan [Rakitic]. He's one of the most underrated players in the world," Mourinho said.

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"He's a fantastic player at every level. He does defensive work to complement Messi and runs miles."

As well as calling the Barca midfielder one of the most underrated players in the world, which is a pretty big statement, The Special One couldn't resist having a light-hearted pop at another world-class midfielder. 

"He needs to improve his Instagram and social media because in this moment this is very important and he's not very good on that but he's very good on the pitch!" Mourinho continued.

"I will never understand the hate he receives from Barca fans."

To be fair, it's very hard to disagree with Mourinho.

Rakitic is a vital part to Barca's side and without him, they might struggle to tick over. And after his Clasico-deciding goal, fans might start to show him the love he deserves.   

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