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14 August 2011
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes
• Attendance: 80000
M. Özil 13'
Xabi Alonso 54'
David Villa 36'
L. Messi 45'
So the first Clasico of 2011-12 finishes level. Honours even and just about right. Keep it here for the match report, player ratings and reactions. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you again for Wednesday's Camp Nou return, which promises to be even better as a winner is decided. Buenas noches!!!
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Daniel Alves
90' + 3'
Bad-tempered ending, with Alves booked as well for a cynical foul. It finishes 2-2 and was a great footballing spectacle. Plenty to like and plenty to lament in what was also another dirty match in the end.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Fabio Coentrao
Marcelo on Pedro again and this time a foul is awarded - outside the area. Coentrao booked for protesting.
Marcelo's challenge was a clumsy one as Pedro shaped to shoot. Could well have been given.
And Barca could have had a penalty at the other end as Pedro went storming into the area and went down under a heavy challenge from Marcelo. One each now for the morning papers to moan about.
Replay shows Valdes did stick out an arm as Ronaldo looked to run onto the loose ball, but the Portuguese exaggerated contact. Could easily have been a penalty, though.
Ronaldo appeals for a penalty after going down following a challenge from Valdes. Nothing given. Ozil had sent in two decent crosses, both cleared, before that.
Alexis looked to be in on goal but Ramos intercepts and Madrid survive. No let up from either side here.
Yellow Card Xabi Alonso
Mess fires a free-kick just over the top at the other end as both sides go for victory in what has been a highly entertaining season-opener.
Great interception by Pique to deny Ronaldo, whi was charging into the Barca box. The Catalans clear from the resulting corner.
Xavi's free-kick evades everyone and drift harmlessly out of touch.
Pedro replaces Villa, whose brilliant goal got Barca back in it.
Ozil in a promising position but ruled offside when ball was played to him.
Madrid win a corner after Ronaldo's effort deflected wide. Cleared by Barca. Another Ronaldo shot then saved by Valdes and Benzema close as well. Frenchman's low cross later intercepted by Valdes in crazy spell.
Madrid corner cleared and subsequent Xabi free-kick straight into Valdes' arms from a deep position.
Ronaldo powerful drive then parried by Valdes. Madrid pile on the pressure again.
Coentrao wins a free-kick in a dangerous position with an impressive dive as Mascherano lunged in. Ronaldo's set piece agonisingly close to top corner but goes over.
Pique now on for Adriano to play the last half an hour.
At half-time, by the way, Arsenal and Barcelona confirmed the arrival of Cesc Fabregas to the Catalan club. Interesting timing!
Just before the goal, Coentrao had come on for Di Maria. Let's see what the €30m man can do. Callejon then on for Khedira and Xavi replaces Thiago for Barca.
Pepe and Alves renew rivalries. No love lost between the Brazilians, protagonists in the Champions League semi-final first leg when Pepe was sent off fot a foul on Alves. There were question marks over the contact that time, but not on this occasion. The challenge was violent and Alves stayed down for a while. Here we go again!
Yellow Card Alexis Sánchez
Ángel Di María
Goal Xabi Alonso
GOAAAAAAAL!!! GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! From the resulting corner Xabi Alonso slots a low drive into the far corner, just inside the post from the edge of the area to make it 2-2. What a match!!!
Ronaldo sprints down the left and advances into the area, winning a corner
Pepe and Alexis tangle on the edge of the Madrid area. The Portugal defender wins the free-kick. Barca have started better, though.
Second half underway and Messi quickly goes down under a challenge from Marcelo. Alexis then wins a corner.
Ramos clears Thiago's corner and Xabi Alonso almost puts through Ozil at the other end.
A great half of football in the end for Barcelona. Madrid dominated, but the Catalans came roaring back with two late goals. Real must be wondering how they are behind.
Goal Lionel Messi
GOOOALLLLL!!!!!! GOAL GOAL GOAL!!!!! On the stroke of half-time, Messi scores!!!!! The Argentine pounces on a loose ball following a mix-up between Pepe and Khedira to slot a low shot past Casillas and complete the turnaround. 2-1 Barca!!!
It comes to nothing but Ronaldo desperately close with a stinging, left-footed drive from the edge of the box, which flies over.
Mascherano deflected Benzema's shot wide and Madrid have another corner.
Benzema almost set up by Ronaldo in the Barcelona area but Adriano is alert and clears. Madrid still dangerous but no longer in front.
Assist Lionel Messi
Goal David Villa
Barcelona had shown signs of improvement before that, with Messi involved once or twice, but the goal was still somewhat out of the blue. Brilliant from Villa.
GOALLLLL!!!!!! GOAL GOAL GOAL!!!! Villa equalises with a sensational strike, cutting inside and sending a perfectly-weighted right-footed, angled shot past Casillas from the edge of the box. Fantastic goal.
Yellow Card Sami Khedira
Khedira now booked for hauling back Thiago. He had been lucky to escape a card for the challenge on Abidal.
Alexis finally gets a run on the right but is crowded out and cannot prodice any magic for Barca.
Pique warming up as it looks like Abidal may not be able to carry on. Bad to worse for Barcelona so far.
Bad challenge by Khedira on Abidal and the Frenchman is down for some time. Looks like he may not be able to carry on.
Centre too long and Barca clear, but the frenetic pace continues. This is some season-starter.
Alexis working hard and running a lot, but he has hardly been involved so far. Not his fault - it's all Real Madrid at the moment.
Madrid are playing through Barca with ease at the moment. A rare sight these days. Busquets' absence is huge and they could do with Mascherano in the holding role, not in defence.
Much of the credit for that goal must go to Benzema, who has been outstanding in pre-season, finishing as topscorer with eight goals.
Assist Karim Benzema
Goal Mesut Özil
Madrid take the lead and it had been coming. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!! Benzema into the area on the right and squares for Ozil, whose shot leaves Valdes wrong-footed. 1-0!!!
Di Maria penalised for hand-ball as he raced into the Barca box. Mourinho making noted on the sidelines - he must be happy so far.
Ronaldo's cross headed down towards far post by Benzema and pushed wide by Valdes. Madrid pressing for the opener.
Barcelona passing the ball around as usual, except they are forced back by a hard-working Madrid side. The Catalans are finding it hard to advance.
Madrid win another corner and after Barca initially clear, great play from Benzema keeps the ball in on the right-hand side. Real have started with impressive intensity but nothing comes of the attack in the end.
Deafening noise from the crowd as the match gets underway. It's a real Clasico atmosphere and no time for anyone on the ball at the moment. Benzema wins a corner though as his shot is deflected wide. Barca clear.
Mourinho has gone for the same XI which lost 5-0 at Camp Nou last term: Casillas; Ramos, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Ozil, Cristiano; Benzema.
Barcelona hand a debut to Alexis Sanchez as they wait to confirm their second signing of the summer, Cesc Fabregas. Xavi, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique all deemed unfit to start, along with long-term ansentee Carles Puyol. Thiago gets a chance to shine as Mascherano and Abidal are paired in central defence. Here's the team: Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Abidal, Adriano; Keita, Thiago, Iniesta; Messi, Villa, Alexis.
Spain's - and possibly the world's - biggest match is set to start in just over 20 minutes. Following their five fervent fixtures last season, Barcelona and Real Madrid are ready to do battle again. Keep it here for live updates of El Clasico (with me, Ben Hayward) as Spain's big two fight it out for the Supercopa. It's bound to be exciting.
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