El Clasico 2013: Real Madrid v Barcelona Live!

By IndepthAfrica
In Cote d'Ivoire
Jan 30th, 2013

_65600931_65600930El Clasico 2013: Real Madrid 1 v 1 Barcelona

The shares were spoiled in a pulsating Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu, as a thumping late header from Raphael Varane earned Real Madrid a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona.

The Catalan side looked to have put one foot in the final as they led late on after Cesc Fabregas had put them 1-0 up with a well-taken goal shortly after the break, only for Madrid’s young defender Varane to secure the home team a draw in the 81st minute.

Madrid were without five first-team players for their fourth Clasico of the season, as Iker Casillas and Pepe missed out because of injury, while the likes of Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria were all absent through suspension. Barcelona, meanwhile, named a full-strength starting line-up.

For all their missing men it was los Blancos that made the brighter start of the two sides. Within a minute of kick-off Ronaldo was charging at the heart of the Barcelona defence, and his driving run towards goal was only stopped by a cynical challenge from Gerard Pique. The Portuguese attacker took the set piece himself and proceeded to force Pinto into making a fine diving stop.

In the 12th minute a moment of mastery from Andres Iniesta created a chance for the overlapping Jordi Alba, but the Barcelona left-back could only volley wide of Diego Lopez’s goal after bursting through the Madrid defence and connecting with Iniesta’s effortless chipped pass.

Moments after being booked for a mistimed challenge on Cesc Fabregas, Ricardo Carvalho bundled into Iniesta 25 yards from goal, and from the resulting free kick Xavi came within inches of giving Barcelona the lead, as his devilish curling effort rattled the crossbar with Lopez beaten.

Carvalho then nearly supplied an assist for Barcelona when his tame back-pass allowed Messi to steal the ball and tee up Xavi inside the Madrid box. The Barcelona midfielder arrowed a shot towards the bottom left corner but Madrid’s young centre-back Varane was there on the line to brilliantly hack Xavi’s goal-bound strike away from danger.

On the half hour mark, Karim Benzema nearly scored for the home side when he found space in behind the Barcelona back-line to meet Jose Callejon’s superb pass and send a volley crashing into the side-netting from a tight angle.

Somehow, a frantic opening first half ended 0-0 despite an avalanche of chances being created by two teams putting clear emphasis on attack rather than defence.

Madrid mimicked their strong start to the first half after the break and fashioned a chance after just 40 seconds of the second period – Benzema hammering a shot over 18 yards from goal.

Despite their pressure Madrid found themselves a goal behind in the 50th minute when Fabregas clinically side-footed the ball past Lopez after being played in by Messi. Just a single touch was needed by Messi to both dispossess Xabi Alonso and play a weighted through ball into the path of Fabregas, with the former Arsenal captain producing a cool finish to give the Catalan side a 1-0 lead.

Then, if not for a sumptuously timed challenge from Varane, Fabregas could well have given Barcelona a two-goal lead. The Frenchman’s tackle on his opponent brought Jose Mourinho to his feet, and prompted the coach to make an immediate change with his team on the back foot – introducing Luka Modric for Callejon.

Ronaldo then missed a glorious opportunity to head Madrid level from close range, but he could not test Pinto after connecting with Essien’s teasing cross from the right.

Pique, perhaps not to be outshone by Varane up the other end, then produced an equally brilliant tackle on Ronaldo as the Portugal international shaped to send a shot goalwards inside the Barcelona penalty area.

With Barcelona seemingly set to hold out for the win, up popped Varane in the 81st minute to rise highest and send an emphatic header past Pinto from Mesut Ozil’s free kick to make it 1-1 and set up an enticing second leg at Camp Nou on February 26. Goal.com

90 +2

Wonderful challenge from Puyol!!! The ball breaks to Ozil on the left and the German lashes an attempt at goal but the Barca captain blocks the strike with a superb tackle!

90 +1

A succession of Madrid corner kicks has Barcelona under real pressure here. They have kept solid in the final minutes though, not long to hold out!


yellow_card Xabi Alonso
Breathless end to the match. Barcelona look as if they have settled for the draw and it is Madrid who are piling forward in search of the winning goal. Surely not?!
Xabi Alonso gets in amongst the yellow cards. The Madrid man couldn’t resist a swipe at Messi when the Argentine was bursting through the middle. Deserved booking.
A lot of people would be looking at Diego Lopez possibly making a mistake tonight, but he has performed excellently in goal and dealt with everything that was thrown at him.


yellow_card Xabi Alonso
Brilliant save by Diego Lopez!!! Jordi Alba breaks through on goal and fires a half-volley towards the top corner but the Madrid ‘keeper tip the ball over with a strong right hand!
The Catalans may be fine with a draw. A 1-1 result is not a bad result to take back to Camp Nou, especially with that vital away goal in the bag.
substitution Substitution Out Cesc Fàbregas Substitution In Thiago Alcántara
Barcelona make their second change as Fabregas is replaced by Thiago Alcantara.
Just over five minutes remaining. The game is still incredibly open so we have plenty of time for a team to snatch the winner.
The Santiago Bernabeu faithful are urging their players forward to search for a winning goal. Now wouldn’t that be some turnaround?!
Don’t forget, Varane is making his Clasico debut this evening. I don’t think he’ll ever forget this one!


assist Mesut Özil
goal Goal Raphaël Varane
Superb challenge again from Varane!! Messi goes on trademark run through the middle and looks to burst into the penalty area but the 19-year-old snatches the ball back with yet another well-timed tackle. He has made some impression.
Messi finds the Real Madrid net but the ball is brought back for an offside. Alexis chipped a ball through the middle and the Argentine wonderfully lobbed Diego Lopez, but the Argentine was correctly flagged offside.
The Chilean has not found his best form in recent months for Barcelona. What a match this would be to catalyse your season.


substitution Substitution Out Pedro Substitution In Alexis Sánchez
Both sides surrendering possession fairly cheaply at the moment. Fair play to both teams, they have kept the tempo of their pressing at a high level so far. But how long can that last?
Obviously we still have the second leg to go, but Los Blancos really don’t want to be taking a deficit to a match at Camp Nou.
Now the tension has really cranked up. Those two Barcelona chances have gave Real Madrid a kick up the backside and they realise now that they will need to grab a goal before the 90 minutes is out.


yellow_card Daniel Alves
The game is end-to-end stuff now. There are definitely more goals in this!
Fabregas should score!!! Alves is in acres of space down the right and reverses a pass inside the box for the former Arsenal man, who lifts a shot over the crossbar from 12 yards out! It should be 2-0 Barca!


There has been tremendous commitment from both sides so far. It has not really been a fiery affair, but the determination is certainly there.


Pedro is making his 200th appearance for Barcelona tonight. Quiet a quiet game from him tonight, but he is always capable of popping up with a goal.
No pain no gain. Pique is down injured after clearing the ball away. He just took a sore one on the knee form Ronaldo after the tackle, but there was nothing malicious in it. He’ll be okay.
Brilliant challenge from Pique!! Ozil turns a superb cross to the back post from the right-hand side and Ronaldo, again, looks poised to smash home, but the Barca defender twists his body to pull the ball away from goal! Superb defending!


Arbeloa is lucky to be out of the referee’s book. He has put in a number of late challenges but so far has evaded a yellow card. The latest victim is Fabregas who stays down for a few moments.
substitution Substitution Out Karim Benzema Substitution In Gonzalo Higuaín
Second change of the match from Real Madrid. Karim Benzema is withdrawn for Gonzalo Higuain. That will be a like-for-like switch up top for the hosts.
Great save by Diego Lopez!! Alves picks up the ball just to the right of the box and drives a shot towards goal but the new Madrid goalkeeper stayed concentrated to beat the attempt away. Good block as the ball was moving all over the place.


Alves manages to keep the ball in down the right and floats a cross to the front post, but Carvalho is there to powerfully head the ball away. Better defending from the former Chelsea man.


Madrid growing in confidence now. I think we are in for a cracking last 30 minutes!
What a miss by Ronaldo!!! Essien curls a teasing cross to the back post and the Madrid captain looks certain to score, but heads wide from two yards!! Barcelona let off the hook!


What a miss by Ronaldo!!! Essien curls a teasing cross to the back post and the Madrid captain looks certain to score, but heads wide from two yards!! Barcelona let off the hook!


Jose Mourinho makes his first change of the match. Jose Callejon, who was at fault for Barcelona’s goal, comes off for Luka Modric.


substitution Substitution Out Callejón Substitution In Luka Modric
What a game Varane is having. In a game with Xavi, XabI Alonso, Iniesta and co. The the Frenchman was the only player in the first half not to give away the ball. Unbelievable stat.


substitution Substitution Out Callejón Substitution In Luka Modric
Fantastic challenge from Varane!! Fabregas is through on goal and bearing down on Diego Lopez but the Madrid defender shows incredible pace and determination to sprint back and claw the ball back with a slide challenge.


Madrid need to pick themselves up quickly. They don’t want to take an insurmountable deficit back to Camp Nou for the second leg.


The space is just starting to open for Barcelona. Essien and Arbeloa are defending much more narrowly and there is room being created on the wings as a result.


Madrid should not be too down heartened. With the firepower they have in attack, they are capable of scoring at any time in the match, or indeed the next leg.
The Catalans have the crucial away goal they were searching for. How vital will that prove to be?


goal Goal Cesc Fàbregas
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Madrid clear the ball out of the box but Messi nips in and tackles the ball into the path of Fabregas who runs through on goal and curls the ball into the bottom left corner! 1-0 Barcelona!
goal Goal Cesc Fàbregas
Barca are pressing very highly, which is a good tactic as Carvalho has not looked comfortable on the ball whatsoever.


Benzema balloons over the top! The Frenchman exchanges a lovely-one two with Ronaldo and receives the ball on the edge of the box, but he is leaning back and his attempt goes a few yards north of the crossbar.


We are back under way at Santiago Bernabeu!

Half time in Santiago Bernabeu. The Clasico is all square as we enter the break. Barcelona and Real Madrid have matched each other 50-50 do far with both sides exchanging decent opportunities inside the first 45 minutes. Alba and Benzema had the best chances to give their side the lead but neither was able to convert. Join us in 15 minutes for the second half! You don’t want to miss it!


One minute of added on time to be played.


Arbeloa is getting in amongst it again. This time his target is Iniesta, who was showing his sparkling feet inside the centre circle. Too rough from the Madrid man, however, and Barca get the free kick.
A goal before the break would really put the cat amongst the pigeons here. Neither side deserve to be a goal down really, and both will probably be relatively content going into half time at 0-0.
yellow_card Callejón
Xavi slides, as he so often does, a pass down the right to the onrushing Alves but the Brazilian’s deep cross evades everyone in the penalty area and Madrid manage to clear.
Third booking of the match goes to Jose Callejon. The Madrid man pulled the shirt of Alba down the left-hand side.
A light tiff breaks out as Xabi Alonso goes in slightly late on Dani Alves. Handbags ladies and gentleman!


Barca, once again, stifle the ascendancy of Real Madrid by patiently keeping possession at the back and deep in midfield.
The atmosphere has cranked up even more if it is possible! The Madrid faithful sense their players are on top at the moment and want them to go for a goal!
Great punch by Pinto. Madrid counterattack through Mesut Ozil down the middle and the ball finds its way to Arbeloa who lashes a strike at goal. The ball deflects up in the air and the Barca ‘keeper commandingly clears his area.


I have no idea how this match is 0-0. It is incredibly open and both sides have created chances. Surely it’s a matter of time before the deadlock is broken!
A small break in play at the moment as Pinto is down injured. It actually looked like it was Alves who caught his own goalkeeper. An eye-watering injury between the legs…


How have Madrid not scored?! Callejon drives a cross along the six yard box and there is a scramble inside the area! A fantastic challenge from Dani Alves snatches the ball from the feet of Ronaldo! Great defending!
The Santiago Bernabeu crowd erupts and demands a free kick for a foul on Mesut Ozil! Busquets came from behind and nipped the ball away from the German. No foul in there whatsoever.
Good interception from Arbeloa. Barca were starting to up the tempo of their passing in the final third but the former Liverpool man came in with a vital touch to steal the ball back for Madrid.


Messi steps up and whips the free kick towards the far corner but the ball goes a yard or two over the bar.
The Barca players are demanding a booking for Ronaldo. The Portuguese just clipped the heel of Dani Alves down the right when the Brazilian looked poised to cross into the box. No booking but a free kick to the Catalans.
Messi is looking for the free kick on the edge of the box after being bundled over by Essien. Looked a fair enough tackle. The referee waves play on.
Poor control from Callejon! Xabi Alonso slides a fantastic pass down the inside right channel for his team-mate, but a poor touch allows Pinto to come out and gratefully claim possession!
Better pressure from Madrid. The hosts are playing crosses and passes continually into the Barca penalty area but the visitors are remaining solid for the moment. Sustained period of possession for Mourinho’s men.


BENZEMA!!! So close! The Frenchman receives a ball over the top and lashes a left-footed volley towards the top corner but it goes a whisker by the post! Pinto was never getting there!
Barca continue their short passing in the middle of the park. There is just little bursts of chances at the moment. Who will strike first?
Not a great start to the match from Carvalho. The Portuguese has already received a yellow card and looks susceptible any time he is on the ball.


VARANE BLOCKS ON THE LINE!! Carvalho gives a horrendous back pass to Lopez and Messi intercepts. The Argentine slips the ball inside to Xavi who smashes a shot towards goal, but the Frenchman is there to clear! Great defending from Varane! Horrible from Carvalho!


Very good goalkeeping from Diego Lopez. Pedro looks to latch on to an incisive pass through the middle but the Madrid goalkeeper is decisive and comes out to claim.


Busquets takes a sore one. Jose Callejon goes in slightly two-footed and catches the midfielder on the ankle. That looked painful!
XAVI HITS THE BAR!!! The Barcelona captain pulls rank over Messi and curls a glorious free kick towards the top corner, but Madrid are saved by the woodwork! So unlucky!


Free kick to Barcelona in a useful position 20 yards from goal. It looks like Messi fancies this…
Just to high for Ronaldo!! Benzema gets to the byline and clips an excellent cross to the back post for his team-mate, but the Portuguese cannot stretch high enough to get a header on goal! Inches though, only inches.


The Catalan side are being very patient in their build-up play. No rush in any of their play at the back. They are just aiming to find that killer pass down the channels or through the middle.


yellow_card Ricardo Carvalho
Madrid’s first yellow card goes, unsurprisingly, to Ricardo Carvalho. The former Chelsea man body checked Cesc Fabregas just inside his own half. Barcelona take a quick free kick.


Barcelona looking to frustrate their opponents at the moment. They are putting together a lengthy run of passes in the Madrid half.
All 11 of Madrid’s players are behind the ball at the moment. They won’t mind that too much. After all, their most potent threat is the pace of their counterattacks.


Poor miss from Alba!! Messi drives down the middle and scoops a wonderful pass over the Real Madrid defence to the left-hand side. The former Valencia man meets the ball but horribly volleys wide! Best chance of the match so far!
We can finally take a breath as the tempo of the match slows down a bit. Madrid have retreated back into their own half and they are allowing Barca to have the ball for a small period.
Nothing comes from the set-piece and Barca clear. You get the feeling that the hosts will be looking to make the most out of any free kicks or corners they can gain against a backline who have been leaking goals recently.
Pinto has to be on his toes! Michael Essien gallops down the right and swings a cross into the box. The ball twists towards goal and the Barca ‘keeper has to tip over the bar. Real Madrid corner!
A very proud moment for Cristiano Ronaldo tonight. The Portuguese captains Los Blancos for the first time in a Clasico. Will he mark the occasion with a goal?
Barcelona have indeed started to dictate possession in and around the centre circle. Xavi, Busquets, and Fabregas just beginning to get a foothold on proceedings.
Barcelona are receiving thunderous boos from the home crowd any time they attempt to play the ball around. It really is a cracking atmosphere. Isn’t it always in the Clasico?
Clever from Alves. The Brazilian was clipped by Arbeloa and has went down clutching his foot. A good tactic to try and soften the atmosphere inside the Santiago Bernabeu.
Now Barcelona can attempt to get their foot on the ball. Madrid were on the ascendancy but a poor pass from Khedira handed possession back to the Catalan side.
Madrid have started with a brilliant attitude. They are looking to go for the jugular early doors here!
Great save by Pinto!! Ronaldo dips a wicked free kick towards goal and the Barcelona ‘keeper tips the ball away! Dani Alves just manages to get in front of Karim Benzema to clear the ball to safety!
The match has started at lightning pace! Free kick to Real Madrid on the edge of the box. Ronaldo ran at pace towards goal and was brought down by Gerard Pique. The Barca man receives a very early yellow card.


El Clasico 2013: Real Madrid v Barcelona Live!

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has a number of selection problems heading into Wednesday’s Clasico showdown against Barcelona.

Iker Casillas (broken hand) and Pepe (ankle) are out, meaning Antonio Adan and new signing Diego Lopez battle it out in goal, while Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria all serve suspensions.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to start despite hurting his ankle in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Getafe.

Gerard Pique returns from suspension for Barcelona, who have a fully-fit squad at their disposal.

Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas are all likely to be recalled to the starting XI after they were rested for the weekend victory over Osasuna.

Real Madrid are on a 31-match unbeaten run at the Santiago Bernabeu in all competitions (W26, D5). The Castilian side have won just one of their last eight home encounters against Barcelona (W1, D2, L5). Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) scored his 100th goal at the Bernabeu in the win over Getafe to take his overall tally for Real to 179 in 176 matches. Barcelona have won eight of their last nine away matches across all competitions. The Blaugrana ran out 4-3 aggregate winners in last season’s Copa del Rey semi-final against Blancos. Pedro is in line to make his 200th appearance for Barca.


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