Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 2: Draw Fair Result In The End
As soon as Angel di Maria had a shot whistle over the bar in the 6th minute, the pace was set for a frantic El Clasico, played at breakneck speed in front of a bloodthirsty crowd.
Barcelona adopted a more conserved passing game, whilst Real Madrid looked to test the makeshift back four, including Adriano at centre back, with a long ball game. Chances soon arrived and in the 19th minute, Sergio Ramos put a free header narrowly wide from a corner. Four minutes later, the derby sparked to life.
After a bit of passing around the Barcelona box, Benzema received the ball with his back to goal. He turned neatly and laid off Ronaldo. He found a yard of space and with his left foot drilled an unstoppable shot past Valdes. It was poor positioning by the ‘keeper but Real had the foothold they needed, in the 23rd minute. And when an off-balanced Benzema lost his marker, (Mascherano), only for his shot to crash against the post, the league leaders were well and truly under the cosh. They needed some kind of foothold of their own.
Up steps the magician that is Lionel Messi. On the half hour mark Pedro fizzed in a ball that Pepe dealt with poorly, and the Argentinian international nipped in ahead of Casillas to poke home. The stadium roared, and Vilanova knew his team now had the upper hand. Whoever scored the next goal would probably win it.
Barcelona now were the ones pressing forwards and had Busquets elected to shoot rather than try to play Iniesta in, they could have held a lead going into the break. It was not to be, however, and no doubt Mourinho was relieved when the half time whistle went.
Straight away after the second half began, Real Madrid had a decent claim for a penalty after Ozil was upended by Mascherano in the box. However, nothing was given, much to Ozil’s dismay. Real had the better of the opening exchanges, and the Catalan side’s final ball was disappointingly poor.
On 60 minutes, Alonso gave away a pointless foul of the edge of the D. Once again the sensational word class footballer Lionel Messi was there to curve in a fantastic free kick, it went up over the (tall) Real wall, then dropped down, superbly. Casillas had no chance. It was Madrid’s turn to chase the game.
And chase it they did. 60 seconds after completely missing an overhead kick, and 5 minutes after going behind, Ronaldo is put through. Ozil plays a cute reverse pass, Adriano is all out of position and as soon as he strikes it, it’s apparent that Valdes has no chance, the ball sweeping past Valdes into his bottom left corner. The teams just could not be separated.
The match petered out somewhat after that, both teams had to settle for a point. Montoya did hit the bar with a rasping drive right at the death, but a draw was fair for both teams.
Teams: Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alba, Mascherano, Adriano, Alves (Montoya 28); Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets; Fabregas (Sanchez 78), Messi, Pedro
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Marcelo, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Ozil (Kaka 82), Ronaldo; Benzema (Higuain 65)
Bookings: Pepe (78)