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Played
March 2, 2013 10:00 AM EST
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu — Madrid
Referee:‬ Miguel Pérez‎
Attendance:‬ 83500‎
 
Top of the Match
Raphaël Varane
Raphaël Varane
Real Madrid CF
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid CF
Flop of the Match
Thiago Alcántara
Thiago Alcántara
FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona

Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona: Towering Ramos header leaves Catalans defeated again

Karim Benzema's early opener was cancelled out by Lionel Messi, but Sergio Ramos claimed the points for the home side with an 82nd minute winner

By Keeghann Sinanan

Real Madrid had the measure of Barcelona once again, claiming a 2-1 victory in Saturday's Liga Clasico at Santiago Bernabeu.

The match came just four days after Madrid's 3-1 Copa del Rey win over its great rival at Camp Nou, but the tone could not have been any more different, with both sides reluctant to over-exert themselves with Champions League fixtures on the horizon.

With Cristiano Ronaldo looking on from the bench, Los Blancos took an early lead after only six minutes when Karim Benzema turned home Alvaro Morata's cross at the far post.

But Barca would soon hit back through Lionel Messi, who finished off a Dani Alves feed to score in his 16th straight Liga game, and equal Alfredo Di Sefano's Clasico record of 18 goals.

The match seemed destined to finish in a draw, but eight minutes from the end, Sergio Ramos rose highest to head home Luka Modric's corner and clinch the points for Madrid - though the defender was lucky not to concede a late penalty after a blatant trip on Adriano.

Jose Mourinho's men now move to within a point of second placed Atletico Madrid, which could cut Barca's lead at the top of the table to single digits should it emerge victorious at Malaga on Sunday.

Xavi was replaced by Thiago in midfield after picking up a hamstring injury while Carles Puyol, perhaps inevitably after his error for Madrid’s second goal midweek, made way for Javier Mascherano in defense.

Mourinho only kept four players who started Tuesday’s match, with Kaka replacing the suspended Angel Di Maria, and Morata chosen in to lead the line in the absence of Ronaldo.

And with only six minutes gone, the 20-year-old forward justified his selection by fashioning the opener, taking advantage of Alves’ half-hearted pressure to put in a fantastic cross for Benzema, who was left with a simple tap in at the back post.

But Alves would make amends 12 minutes later. His sublime through pass cut straight through the heart of Madrid and released Messi, who cut onto his left foot ahead of the back-pedalling Ramos and drilled in at the near post.

The visitors had responded well to the early setback, and worked themselves onto a more even footing in the game. The on-pitch atmosphere, as expected, was as relaxed as any Clasico in recent years, with the cutthroat intensity of meetings past conspicuously absent.

The second half unfolded in much the same un-fussed manner as the first, though Raphael Varane had to be at his absolute best to thwart Villa with a sliding tackle at point blank range, after Messi’s through ball opened up the defense.

With half an hour remaining, Ronaldo was summoned from the bench to replace Kaka, and five minutes after his introduction, the Portuguese made his presence felt with a stinging free-kick that was parried by Victor Valdes.

Morata would go close yet again, but after latching on to Pepe's brilliant pass, he saw his finish thwarted from close range by the alert Valdes.

But with 82 minutes on the clock, Madrid would find the winner. Modric's corner saw the Barca defense hesitate, allowing Ramos just enough time to plant a superb header into the back of the net. 

Ronaldo could have iced the game after crashing a 25-yard free kick off the crossbar, but instead, Madrid was left counting its blessings at the end of the game after Ramos' clear trip on Adriano inside the area went uncalled by the referee. After the final whistle, Valdes saw a red card for protesting the decision.

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Real Madrid CF

25
3.00
2
Raphaël Varane
Defender
3.50
3
Pepe
Defender
3.00
4
Sergio Ramos
Defender
51′ 82′
3.50
5
Fabio Coentrao
Defender
61′ 68′
3.00
-
Michael Essien
Midfielder
2.50
19
Luka Modric
Midfielder
82′
3.00
22
Kaká
Midfielder
57′
3.00
9
Karim Benzema
Striker
6′ 57′
3.50
7
2.50
21
Morata
Striker
6′ 68′
3.00

FC Barcelona

2.50
1
2.50
22
3.00
3
Piqué
Defender
58′
3.00
18
Jordi Alba
Defender
55′
3.00
8
2.00
6
2.50
14
3.00
16
Busquets
Midfielder
3.00
9
3.50
10
2.50
7
Pedro
Striker
77′

Substitutes

1
Adàn
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
 - 
17
Arbeloa
Defender
68′ 92′
2.50
6
Sami Khedira
Midfielder
57′
3.00
11
Mesut Özil
Midfielder
 - 
7
3.50
9
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
13
 - 
5
3.00
21
Adriano
Midfielder
77′
 - 
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
 - 
17
Alex Song
Midfielder
2.50
9
3.00
20
Tello
Striker
85′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0