The whole football fraternity has been waiting for this epic encounter. The famous ‘El Classico’ has kicked off. In the build up to this encounter a great war of words is being initiated between supporters of both teams i.e. Real Madrid and Barcelona. Even though this match is between the two most successful teams in Spain, many see it as a battle between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Stay tuned as foetbal247 brings you expert analysis and live updates of this epic clash.
The last time these two teams met was in August, when a fight broke out on the field at the end of the game when Madrid defender Marcelo got a red card for hacking at Barca midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
And we’re off!
00:21 – Wow. Mesut Ozil fires a shot that banks off Barca’s Sergio Busquets, then Madrid forward Karim Benzema knocks it into the Barca net past Victor Valdes. 1-0 Madrid, and Valdes is in understandable disbelief.
21s – Benzema’s goal is only the second-fastest in LigaBBVA this season, after Michu vs Real Madrid (15s).
4 – Barcelona is right in the hole from the get-go, they seem to have a solid hold over possession but they never seem to get too far out of their own side.
6 – Messi breaks through Madrid’s defenses and shoots the ball just wide. The chance comes off an error by Madrid defender Sergio Ramos. NEVER slip when you see Messi coming.
8 – Alexis Sanchez just misses a header at the Madrid net.
10 – Karim Benzema narrowly misses scoring his second goal of the game at the right corner of the Barca net.
11 – Messi knocked down, sits on the pitch, waiting for a call.
12 – Real Madrid seem to be getting the better chances in this game, although Messi did have a good chance earlier. Real Madrid right now seems the team that wants this more… and that’s understandable, given they were blown out in last year’s Clasico series.
13 – Madrid’s di Maria goes down as Barca defender Gerard Pique dekes around him. Being attended to, looks like he twisted his right leg.
16 – Worth noting at this point that this is Barca defender Xavi Hernandez’s 600th game. A veteran who played a key role with Spain’s national team at the 2010 World Cup, along with Barca players Carles Puyol, David Villa and much of the rest of the Barcelona roster. Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas also played for Spain.
18 – Cristiano Ronaldo just rocks a shot towards Valdes and is stopped, in what was surely a heart attack-inducing moment for Barca, a team used to scoring first.
21 – Ramos commits a foul on Barca’s Alexis. Inieista gets in, passes to Fabresgas and he’s taken out right outside the goal box.
22 – Xavi Hernandez gets a free-kick but misses. Barca still waiting on its equalizer. Casillas stones him.
24 – Cristiano Ronaldo takes an immaculate pass from Benzema but shoots it wide, can’t quite put the game away yet.
25 – Xabi Alonso gets a yellow card after tripping up Messi.
26 – Alexis Sanchez gets a yellow card for downing di Maria. It’s always hard to tell how hurt these guys really are.
28 – Barcelona defender Dani Alves goes down after pushing back at Marcelo. For this guy in particular it’s difficult to know when he’s hurt. Has an international reputation for diving.
29 – GOAL! Alexis Sanchez takes a great pass from Messi. 1-1 tie game, Barca and Madrid.
30 – Ronaldo is limping around the Barca side of the pitch, after it looks like Pique knocked him down near the Barca net.
32 – At this point it’s clear that Barca has grabbed momentum in this game, after struggling to find it through the game’s first 20 minutes.
36-Barcelona free kick in a dangerous position down the left. Pepe brings down Alexis with a vicious challenge. The Portuguese lives up to his Clasico reputation.
39-Excellent tackle from Gerard Pique just outside the Barcelona box to dispossess Karim Benzema after a Frenchman attempted the step over to get into the penalty area.
44-There have been seven red cards in the last 11 Clasico matches, and Lionel Messi was dangerously close to adding to the tally there.
45-Half time in the Clasico. A compelling affair so far as Real Madrid take the lead after 22 second but Barcelona equalise on the half hour mark. You do not want to miss any of this! We will see you in 15 minutes for the second half!
49-Ronaldo just tests the nerve of Valdes with a dipping free kick from 25 yards but the Barca goalkeeper got his body behind the attempt and remained solid to clutch the ball.
51-Fantastic tackle in the Madrid box from Coentrao to dispossess Andres Iniesta as the Spanish maestro drove into the box.
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR BARCELONA!!! A freak goal from the Catalan side! Xavi attempts a speculative volley from 25 yards that bounces off Marcelo and agonizingly clips off the post and nestles in the corner! It may go down as a Xavi goal or as a Marcelo own goal.
59-Good interplay between Ronaldo and Kaka down the left wing. The Brazilian received the ball from his team-mate and went on a strong run down the flank and attempted to run past Pique into the box, but eventually found himself outnumbered and had to turn back.
61-Yellow Card Lassana Diarra
66-Goal Cesc Fàbregas
GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR BARCELONA!!! A fantastic team goal from the Catalan side! Messi goes on a powerful run down the right and slips a pass to Dani Alves who whips a brilliant cross to the back post for Fabregas, and the former Arsenal man scores a diving header to send his side 3-1 up!
72-But Alves wastes the move with a poor pass. Real escape.
74-Iniesta showigng some superb skill before the free-kick was awarded. Barca now comfortable and happy to take their time.
81-Madrid enjoying a period of possession outside the Barcelona box at the moment, Kaka to Higuain, Higuain to Ronaldo, but the visitors are remaining solid and rigid at the back for the time being.
83-David Villa, a player who has been the scourge of Real Madrid over the years, comes on to replace Alexis Sanchez in the Barcelona attack.
89-Barcelona keeping possession expertly at the moment. Madrid are desperate to regain the ball but the visitors are being so patient in their play that Jose Mourinho’s side are having to press the ball.
90-Barcelona have bossed the second half with their possession play. Madrid were excellent in the first period but the visitors have came out and showed their class and look to be deserving winners of the Clasico.
Full time in the Clasico! Barcelona gain a vital victory over arch rivals Real Madrid with a 3-1 victory which sends them level on 37 points in La Liga.
8 – Pep Guardiola has won eight games against Madrid as a manager, his joint-most against any side (level with Athletic).
8- José Mourinho has lost eight times against Barcelona, three more than against any other opponent (Liverpool, five)
72 – Real Madrid lost a league match in which they were leading for the first time in 72 games since the last match of 08/09.
113 – Benzema’s goal means Real Madrid have equalled Barcelona’s 2010 record of the most goals scored in a calendar year in Primera.
This guest live update was written for Foetbal247 by George Ben Anim (@AnimKofi).