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El Clasico - LIVE
Welcome to Goal.com's coverage of the first leg of 2011-12's Copa del Rey quarter-final clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Join us until midnight (0100 CET) for eight hours of uninterrupted, comprehensive build-up, updates and reaction

00:00 GMT

19/01/2012

That's us for the night, folks.

It's been a exciting ride today, and it's been worth it every step of the way. Thanks to everyone who joined us and followed the LIVE, and to everyone who contributed to it by sharing their thoughts and opinions through Facebook and Twitter.

From everyone here at Goal.com, a very good night to you all!

23:50 GMT

18/01/2012

And now we hear from tonight's match winner:

Eric Abidal delighted with Barcelona's 'big win' over Real Madrid in Copa del Rey

The French defender, who netted the winning goal in the second half in a 2-1 win at Santiago Bernabeu, added that his team must show focus in the return match...

23:40 GMT

18/01/2012

Pep Guardiola has now addressed the press, and has stressed that there is still plenty to do before the Catalans can truly celebrate:

'Copa del Rey tie is not over, Real Madrid will keep fighting,' says Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola

23:35 GMT

18/01/2012

And now for some more reaction from our readers:

Abdullahi Sa'eed was critical of Mourinho's choice of right-back tonight: 'I'm happy to be a Madridista, but the squad was not as I expected it to be. Mourinho should not have used Altintop in defence.'

Fabian Niederprum backed up his fellow Blanco with: 'Can someone tell me why Altintop was in the starting line up? He was a midfielder and never played at Bayern, now he starts in the Clasico?'

Meanwhile, Robby Susanto was focused on the behaviour of one Portuguese defender-cum-midfielder, adding: 'Players like Pepe should banned for life! Take the Madrid shirt from him and he's no different than a street criminal!'

23:30 GMT

18/01/2012

Iker Casillas has spoken in the wake of tonight's defeat:

Real Madrid's Iker Casillas: Our marking on set-pieces let us down in Barcelona Copa del Rey loss

The Spain international believes his team's lack of discipline on the corner that led to Carles Puyol's equaliser is the reason behind Wednesday's Clasico defeat...

23:25 GMT

18/01/2012

And now tonight's player ratings - be sure to let our writers know what you think of their judgement of each player by leaving us a comment. We always love to hear from our readers:

Player Ratings: Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona

23:15 GMT

18/01/2012

Lloyd Miller has voiced his opinion on Jose's choice of tactics for the evening, venting on Twitter: 'Flop of the match is Mourinho! I can't believe he started with that formation and expected to win, even though they scored. And that goal shouldn't have scored anyway. But I can't take anything from Pinto though, he made some fine saves.'

Opajobi Muhammad Adewale's feelings on the game were directed toward's Abidal's winning goal, which he felt was a clear offside – and fellow Facebook user Ayobami Orlhadhapor Accurateholyboy feels the same way...

Ebenezer Adegbite, however, was more objective, stating: 'How I wish it was just Barca and Madrid competing for every trophy.'

After tonight's display, a large majority of football fans the world over would be inclined to agree, Ebenezer.

23:10 GMT

18/01/2012

Some interesting facts from this evening's match:

Pep Guardiola has now won more matches against Real Madrid than any other side since he became a manager.

Lionel Messi got his 9th Clasico assist this evening, equal to former Real Madrid star Luis Molowny.

23:05 GMT

18/01/2012

As promised, here's our match report for tonight's action-packed clash:

Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona: Puyol and Abidal complete impressive second-half comeback for Pep Guardiola's side after Ronaldo's early opener

Two goals from unlikely sources give the Catalans a vital advantage going in to the second leg of the Copa del Rey, despite going behind to the Portuguese's early effort...

22:55 GMT

18/01/2012

There it is! The final whistle! And it's Barcelona who come out on top once again!

What a stunning match-up we've been treated to tonight, full of thrills and spills – another classic Clasico!

Stay tuned for our full match analysis, player ratings and reactions from both teams. And remember, you can still get in touch with us through Twitter and Facebook if you have something to say...

22:50 GMT

18/01/2012

And now Fabregas has made way for the very talented Isaac Cuenca, one of Barcelona's latest La Masia prospects.


Just a very short time until the ref blows the final whistle of the match now...

22:45 GMT

18/01/2012

Alexis Sanchez has been hooked for Adriano, Guardiola opting to add a little more steel to his side, while Mourinho has brought Esteban Granero on in place of the tempestuous Pepe, who looked set to have himself sent off at any moment.

With five minutes left to go, it's still all to play for at the Santiago Bernabeu...

22:37 GMT

18/01/2012

GOOOOOOOOOOOOL ABIDAL! Barca second goal of the night has come from another unlikely source in their left-back, who poked the ball home after an inch-perfect, lobbed pass from Lionel Messi found the Frenchman at the back post. What a goal!

77 minutes in - it's Real Madrid 1, Barcelona 2.

22:30 GMT

18/01/2012

The first substitutions of the match have been made now, and it's Mourinho who's opted to change things up, bringing on Jose Callejon for Gonzalo Higuain, while Lassana Diarra has made way for Mesut Ozil. Lets see if Madrid can add a bit of bite to their attack now...

22:26 GMT

18/01/2012

Our stats team have come up with a gem regarding Puyol's goal: apparently the 33-year-old is the oldest player to score in a Clasico since Quini in 1983.

Additionally, this is only the skipper's second goal against Real Madrid - both have been headers assisted by Xavi.

And one last one: Puyol has not lost with Barca in 50 matches.

Excellent stuff.



22:20 GMT

18/01/2012

Well what about that – a stunning start to the second half! Barcelona have come flying out of the traps and it's paid off hugely.

With 15 minutes gone in the second period, Benzema has now rattled the post with possibly the most powerful header the Frenchman has ever mustered, while Sergio Busquets has, rather unsurprisingly, found himself in the book.

This match-up is poised for another 30 minutes of non-stop action if it keeps up like this...

22:08 GMT

18/01/2012

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL PUYOL! The second half had barely kicked off and Barca have scored from a corner kick through the head of their captain! What a goal, and what a start to the second half!

22:05 GMT

18/01/2012

And we're back under way for the second half - can Barca come up with a quick response?

22:00 GMT

18/01/2012

A huge thank you to everyone for all your Twitter and Facebook responses! Here's our pick of the bunch:

Rafhkat is unhappy with the refereeing so far: Valdes would have saved that and Alexis wasn't offside. Looks the referees this season are on a mission to let us down.

Dyke Davis adds: The second half will be a real test for Guardiola – can't wait to see how he'll respond to Madrid's gameplan.

Jay Duba has been left irritated by the distinct lack of a certain Argentina so far, saying simply: Give the ball to Messi!

In response to the fans who doubted Cristiano Ronaldo's talent in big games, Frequency_65 says: The readers are going to be proven wrong – this is CR7's year.

Donadiz01 feels his team have what it takes to grind out a win, but isn't sitting comfortably: 'Seems like a 2-1 win for Madrid, but I'm scared for the hosts'

And finally, Manchester City's Vincent Kompany has said on his Twitter: 'Barca look like the better team so far, but Real Madrid will win this one 3-1, mark my words!

21:52 GMT

18/01/2012

It's half time at the Santiago Bernabeu, folks. Got something to say about the match so far? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter (@goal_intl #Clasico) – we'll be hearing from the fans during the break in play in this enthralling encounter momentarily!

Forty five minutes gone - it's Real Madrid 1, Barcelona 0.