This was was the second act for El Clásico that season. They first met at the Camp Nou for the 1973-74 league campaign in October, which played out to a 0-0 draw. With Barcelona challenging for the title for the first time in over a decades and Real Madrid struggling, the home side were eager to stop their rivals at any cost.
For Cruyff, there was another layer to the intrigue surrounding the game. When Ajax sold him to Barcelona months before, Cruyff commented that he was grateful to have gone to Barcelona rather than Real Madrid, saying he would rather not be at a club with such close ties to Francisco Franco. Adding that in to the swirling cauldron of political and football animus meant Real Madrid and their fans— and their, uh, political patrons— were out for blood that night and weren’t going to accept anything less than total domination.
So of course the exact opposite happened.