Could do nothing to stop Messi’s magnificent free-kick, and came up with a fair share of timely saves to preserve his side’s slender advantage.
Started the match on fine form, looking more than a match for the Barca frontline, but he was caught out once or twice in the second half as the visitors put more pressure on his goal.
He had little to do defensively, so he spent most of his time camped in the opposition half. His running with the ball from deep positions posed plenty of problems for the visitors, and he was able to fashion some dangerous opportunities from out wide.
A solid display in both halves of the field. Save from one lapse, he was generally able to deal with the threat down his side, and was able to get forward to good effect to support the likes of Di Maria.
Looked to suffer no lasting effects from his concussion as he was strong at the back, halting the likes of Messi on the rare occasions they looked like breaking through on goal. His hopeful punt from defence in the 11th minute ended up assisting the opener for Madrid.
Khedira did the simple things, proving a nuisance in the centre of the park and always able to provide an extra body when closing down runners. Almost got his name on the scoresheet with a close range volley that was saved by Valdes.
Some silky footwork opened up avenues for Madrid and he revelled at times in an advanced position, especially when his team had a man advantage. Such was Barca’s trouble in dealing with Ronaldo and Higuain, that Ozil often found himself with significant room to operate, but his legs began to fail him as the game wore on.
Mopped up loose balls simply and effectively, and provided accurate distribution from deep. However, it was his foul on Xavi that led to Messi’s successful free-kick, and made the game closer than it should have been.
Ángel Di María
Ran his socks off in an energetic display on the flank, always proving a willing runner, and doing his part defensively. Did not have as much cutting edge as some of his team-mates, but his effort cannot be faulted.
Top of the Match
The main danger man, as always, for the Spanish champions. Ronaldo’s searing pace on counter-attacks left Barca scrambling, and an outrageous flick high over the head of Gerard Pique allowed him the time and space he needed to put his side two goals up. A match-winning display.
The Argentine was allowed acres of space, time and time again by the Barca backline, and had at least four clear-cut chances to score. He profited from a Mascherano mistake to slot his side into the lead, but really, he should have been far more clinical.
A willing runner in his spell as a substitute.
Made his Madrid debut in the second half and had a chance to score late on.
Looked dangerous in his late cameo off the bench, and caused Barca some problems.
Would probably be disappointed with letting Higuain’s opener slip under him and will definitely be kicking himself that he was not able to save Ronaldo’s effort. However, he more than made up for those inconsistencies with a phenomenal effort between the posts, saving Barca’s bacon time and time again with some splendid saves.
Completely fooled by Ronaldo’s trickery in the build-up to Madrid’s second goal, and was never able to gain a solid footing after Adriano was sent off. Given a yellow card for a pretty obvious hand ball early in the second half.
Flop of the Match
His evening lasted only 29 minutes after a blatant foul on Ronaldo denied the Portuguese a clear sight on goal and earned him a deserved red card.
Was caught out positionally once or twice on the left, and looked stretched after Adriano’s sending off. However, he did provide a decent outlet out wide in the moments when Barcelona looked to attack.
Struggled to impose himself in his usual manner in the first half, but as Barcelona were able to take control after the break, he came to the fore. Was as diligent as ever with his one-touch passing and vision in the middle.
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Found it hard to get involved often in the first-half, but there were moments when he looked like causing problems with his wonderfully quick feet. Looked more like his old self after the break, but was not able to make the difference in the end.
Allowed Higuain too much space on an early chance and gifted his compatriot the opener after a wild swing and a miss on a clearance. Booked shortly after for barging into Di Maria. He recovered slightly in the second-half with some well-timed tackles, but his putrid showing in the first half will stand in the memory.
Barcelona spent large periods without the ball, meaning that Busquets was forced outside of his comfort zone of recycling possession from deep. As the deepest midfielder, a fair share of defensive responsibility rested on his shoulders, but on more than one instance, he was too slow to track back.
Sacrificed in the first-half for the more defensive Montoya after Adriano’s sending off, and in truth, he was virtually anonymous prior to his departure.
Much like his display against Osasuna on the weekend, Messi was well-marshalled and not able to influence proceedings in his normal manner. But once again, he popped up on the scoresheet, this time with a fantastic free-kick from well out. Unlike the weekend though, it was not enough to give his team the victory.
Was one of the catalysts of Barca’s second-half revival with a host of determined runs off the ball to stretch the Madrid defence. Had two chances to drag his side back into the game, but fluffed his lines.
Shaky start after coming on as a first half substitute, but solidified in time and looked comfortable in the opposition half during Barca’s late surge.
His first appearance for Barca was rather underwhelming, though he was only given 15 minutes to make his impact.
Did not make much of a mark in his limited spall on the pitch.