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August 23, 2012
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez
• Attendance: 91728
Many thanks for all your contributions tonight - hope you've enjoyed the coverage here on Goal.com. I'm Tom Woods - see you next time.
There's the final whistle. What a 45 minutes we just had. Forget about the first half, and this was El Clasico at its best. Barca take a narrow lead into the second leg of the Supercopa, but it's still very much all to play for.
90' + 2'
Terrible pass from di Maria, totally miscued and over hit. Perhaps that will be that.
90' + 1'
Three minutes are to be added on here. Time for a final twist?
Fabregas goes down almost apologetically after running across Sergio Ramos inside the area. Never a penalty.
Real Madrid win a corner, and a clutch of Barcelona heads manage to get the ball clear. All of a sudden, it looks like we could have a last-gasp equaliser on our hands.
So, five goals here at Camp Nou. I promised you entertainment, and I was (eventually) proved right. Who would have called 3-2 at half-time though?
Jordi Alba is coming on for Pedro here. Barca look a little shell-shocked by what just happened here. They were home and dry before Victor Valdes forgot he was a goalkeeper.
Goal Ángel Di María
GOOALL MADRID! Just as I say that, Barca make a howler. What was Victor Valdes doing?? From an Adriano pass-back, his first touch is woeful, and Angel di Maria is alive to it. The winger nips in and pokes the ball home. Suddenly, the tie is back in the balance.
Time for some vintage tiki-taka from Barcelona. Madrid can't get near it.
In search of that fourth goal, Barca bring on Cesc Fabregas for Xavi. Huge cheers for the veteran midfielder as he jogs from the field.
In acknowledgement of this, Mourinho has brought off Mesut Ozil in favour of Marcelo, who tends to operate more defensively.
I think it's fair to say Barca have worn Real Madrid down here. Their relentless possession is finally bearing fruit, and they are now finding space at will. Could be more goals in this.
Tello has a run at Arbeloa, and the defender is forced to concede a corner. Barca want to put this one out of sight.
Assist Andrés Iniesta Luján
GOOOALLL BARCA! What a beauty that was. Iniesta is the architect here, skipping forward and drifting past challenges like they aren't being made. He slips the ball through to the onrushing Xavi, and the ball is swept into the back of the net. Barca have daylight now.
Pedro is led from the field here. Looks like Ramos may have stood on his hand. By mistake of course.
Pedro looks in real pain here. Looks like he fell awkwardly and was then landed on by Sergio Ramos. Medical attention required.
What a ball from Xabi Alonso. From 50 yards, he finds the run of Mesut Ozil, but the German can't quite get it under his spell, and Barca are able to cover. I can't guess which way this one is going to go. I really can't.
Victor Valdes puches away a long free-kick, and Madrid have a corner. Which Valdes catches with ease. Safe hands.
Well that Ronaldo goal certainly woke this tie up. A glut of chances have followed since Madrid took the lead, and more are surely to follow.
Cristian Tello is entering the fray here, replacing Alexis Sanchez. This guy looks a real prospect, and is quick as lightning.
Penalty Goal Messi
GOOALL BARCA! That man Lionel Messi steps up and finds the bottom corner. Barca back in front.
It looked like some clown in a blue baseball cap came on to the field to celebrate with the players there. He is swiftly dealt with.
PENALTY! Carlos Clos Gomez points to the spot after Sergio Ramos brings down Iniesta. I don't think there can be any complaints about that. The standing leg was swept away.
Ángel Di María
Pique thinks he can beat everyone, and he almost does. The defender rides three or four challenges, barging his way to the opposition penalty area, before Xavi takes over and the ball is lost. Should have kept going, Gerard.
Jose Callejon has had a quiet game tonight, and that's the end of it. Angel di Maria replaces him.
Higuain almost makes amends there, as his drive towards goal is blocked by Mascherano. Madrid are throwing bodies on the line here. It's breathless stuff.
Tell you what, that's a chance. Ozil finds Higuain inside the box, but the Argentine can't find Ronaldo with what looks a simple header across goal. Such a waste.
Excellent save Casillas! Dani Alves thinks he's scored with a low drive, but the Spain captain is down superbly to make a fingertip push round the post. Where did this game come from?
Real Madrid make their first change of the game, with Gonzalo Higuain replacing Karim Benzema.
Goodness me. Arbeloa chests the ball down, calm as you like, and hits his own post in doing so. Crazy piece of defending there, and a lucky escape.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to El Clasico. It's a terrific game all of a sudden.
Assist Javier Mascherano
GOOALLL BARCA! Immediate response! That is a terrific finish from Pedro, who latches on to a delightful long ball from Mascherano, before firing the ball beyond Casillas. Hint of offside, but I think he was just level. This Clasico has officially come to life.
Assist Mesut Özil
Goal C. Ronaldo
GOOALLL MADRID! Ronaldo has done it! From Ozil's corner, the no.7 meets the ball with a thumping header. What a finish there, no chance for the keeper. Advantage Madrid!
Alexis goes down AGAIN, and it looks like another clear dive inside the box. Surely that's a booking? Nope, apparently not.
Yellow Card Raúl Albiol
Here's another booking folks. Raul Albiol is definitely the culprit here, as he clearly body checks Busquets on the edge of the box. Another chance for Barca.
There's a lot of pushing and shoving in the box there, and Clos Gomez decides to give the free-kick to Barcelona. Could have gone either way there.
Arbeloa wins what looks like a cheap free-kick from Alexis Sanchez. Chance for Madrid to create something from the right wing.
Well some things don't change. A poor final ball from Ozil runs out of play, and Barca have an easy goal kick.
Off we go. Surely there's goals in this second half?
Ah, here he comes. Mourinho takes his seat, calm as you like. And here are his players, finally.
The teams are back out onto the pitch. Madrid are hanging back a bit, making their opponents wait. Few more mind games from Mourinho there.
Ok, wonderful stuff Twitter. Thanks very much. It's time for the second half...
@diogenedesouza Mourinho's boys can see it through.....I say Madrid 2-1
... Barca are what???
@kylelago I have a feeling that this clasico is about to unfold with an intensified second half. Madrid's defense is strong & Barca are ...
@kunal_ghogale Barcelona need this win more than Madrid....only Messi did well last year...rest of the team was shaky...need a team win today.
@reganneale Messi hat-trick in the second half with one goal from Ronaldo - Barcelona 3 - 1 Real Madrid.
Not sure about you, @nishant_pant, but Ronaldo scoring wouldn't surprise me at all...
@nishant_pant Wonder what CR7 would have done with those chances that Messi missed...He'll surprise you 2nite....wait for it.
A Madrid fan not confident enough to predict a win here. Haven't Mourinho's lot got enough in the tank to see this one out?
@lobson4u Prediction: Barca 1-1 Madrid. Supporting madrid all the way
Hmm.. guess @Emmanuelfema is looking at that Alexis dive there?
@Emmanuelfema Football is all about team work and not antics. Barcelona should play like a football team not based on prestige..
@aizen_tousen Decent spell for Madrid at the beginning,but as we can see it's turning into a one sided affair...
Let's see what you lot have been saying on Twitter (keep it coming to @woodstome)
There's the half time whistle. Save two decent openings for Lionel Messi, there's hardly been a chance in this first Clasico of the season. Some super defending on show from Madrid, but enough yellow cards to suggest that there's plenty of spice left in this yet. Don't go anywhere...
Yellow Card Javier Mascherano
Another booking. Mascherano is beaten by Coentrao, so makes sure to take his man out of the game. Totally cynical, but many applaud that type of defending. Took one for the team there.
Yellow Card Arbeloa
Arbeloa has been shown a yellow card here, for what looks like a high boot on Busquets. The free-kick is in a good location, but runs harmlessly out of play.
Not yet. Xavi's effort hits the wall and goes behind for a corner. The resulting kick ends with a Dani Alves cross that is punched clear by Casillas.
Now that one is a foul. Xavi turns away from Albiol and is tripped. Right on the edge of the box. Is this the moment?
Alexis stays on his feet this time, and is easily robbed by Coentrao. Madrid's defending has been excellent so far tonight. Can they keep it up?
I'm just watching the Alexis dive again. It's really quite a bad attempt. Boooo!
Is that a penalty? Alexis thinks so, as he goes down theatrically after an attempted challenge from Sergio Ramos. Replays show that it was a clear dive by the Chilean. But the referee didn't spot it, so he gets away with it.
Barcelona are still frustrated here. Pedro goes for the one-two with Iniesta, but Arbeloa reads the move expertly and the former Liverpool man gets across to intercept.
Ozil's kick is a little better, and when the ball is played back to him, he floats in a dangerous cross towards Benzema. Victor Valdes does well to come and punch clear. Brave goalkeeping.
It's end-to-end stuff now, as Coentrao forces a corner off Pique...
Jose Mourinho looks suitably smug in the away dugout. Looks like his tactics are to stifle the opposition, and I'd say they are working a treat up to this point.
A save! And a good one too. Pedro whips a swerving shot at goal, and at full stretch, Casillas is forced to turn the ball over the bar. Finally!
No, in fact. Ozil's corner doesn't beat the first man. Sigh.
An excellent quick break leads to a Real Madrid corner, as Karim Benzema bursts into the box and plays the ball of Mascherano. Chance here?
Messi dances around Albiol and Arbeloa, and suddenly he's in the clear. But with his left foot, he drags the ball back across goal and wide of the post. Again, for him, he should probably hit the target.
Alves and Messi exchange overhead passes, and it almost comes off too, before Arbeloa nips in ahead of the Argentine to head clear. We're getting ever so slightly more stretched here, but still neither keeper has had a shot to save.
Dani Alves attempts an audacious chip to the back post, looking for Alexis, but the Chilean is offside, along with two of his colleagues. Still, the Madrid back line holds firm.
...Messi hits it, and the wall deflects it behind. Corner to Barca.
Xavi is brought down by Arbeloa 25 yards out, and Barcelona have a dangerous free-kick...
Madrid seem to have settled into a defensive shape here. They are content to let Barca have the ball, and are sitting deep as their opponents stroke it around. It's working, too - they haven't conceded a shot inside their box yet. Good stuff, if not the most attack-minded from Mourinho's men.
It wasn't that great a chance, I should say. But Messi still puts those away nine times out of ten. Camp Nou is briefly stunned into silence.
Well, I thought that was in. Dani Alves cuts the ball back to the edge of the box, and Lionel Messi meets it with his trusty right foot. It looks a certain goal, but to my disbelief, it's an inch wide of the top corner. He looks shocked at himself. Best chance of the game so far.
Messi looks like he's been hacked to the ground by Coentrao, but the advantage is played and Alexis is inches away from latching on to a lofted through-ball. No booking for the wing-back when the move comes to an end though.
Some more lovely triangles from Barcelona, but with an odd finish. Xavi and Iniesta combine beautifully on the edge of the box, before playing the ball to Gerard Pique, who sends a bobbling shot wide from 25 yards. He had options too. Bit of a waste.
Good opening for Real Madrid, as Benzema plays Sami Khedira away down the right. But the German's final ball is poor, and Pique can clear easily. Very pretty football so far, but no cutting edge just yet.
After that positive Madrid start, it's all Barca now. And when Barca get going, Lionel Messi gets going. The Argentine beats two men, before being crowded out by a stubborn defence. But positive signs for the Blaugrana.
Busquets is down again, holding his head after a trip from Alonso. Madrid look less than amused.
Yellow Card Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso is booked for a foul on Sergio Busquets. Although it looked like Albiol who might have been booked initially... nope, it's Alonso.
Now Alves attempts a through ball to Alexis Sanchez, but he's nowhere near his target. Bring back the beard Dani.
Dani Alves chases a long ball that runs just beyond him and out of play. Big news: the Brazilian has shaved his mighty beard for tonight's game. I almost didn't recognise him.
We've settled into a nice ebb and flow now, with each side exchanging neat passes looking for an opening. On balance, though, it's Madrid who have settled the best - they are not giving their opponents a moment's piece out there. Some tasty tackles are flying in, but most of them fair. For now.
Ronaldo's first run of the game is greeted by 90,000 jeers from the crowd. Followed by a cheer as the Portuguese is brought down. Expect that to be a recurring theme tonight.
Turns out not, as the ball is played short before Khedira makes a dangerous run into the box... only to be flagged offside. As you were.
The first free-kick goes the way of the visitors, as Javier Mascherano brings down Ozil around 35 yards from goal. Ronaldo territory?
The whistle goes, we’re underway. Hang on to something.
Jose Mourinho was left with much to ponder after seeing his side labour to a 1-1 draw with Valencia, and has made four changes to the eleven who started that game. One change is enforced, as the injured Pepe is replaced by Raul Albiol, while in midfield, Lassana Diarra loses his place to Sami Khedira. Further forward, Jose Callejon and Karim Benzema come in for Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain respectively.
Barcelona make four changes to the side that trounced Real Sociedad 5-1 on Sunday. Cristian Tello, who had an extraordinary game that night, makes way for Alexis Sanchez, who isn’t half bad himself. New signing Jordi Alba is replaced at left-back by Adriano, but another new recruit, Arsenal’s Alex Song, will not make his debut tonight, having not made the match day squad. Andreas Iniesta for Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique for Carles Puyol are the other changes. David Villa, who made a scoring return from injury at the weekend, and should have a part to play from the bench.
REAL MADRID LINEUP: (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, Coentrao; Khedira, Alonso; Callejon, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema Bench: Adan, Varane, Marcelo, Diarra, Granero, di Maria, Higuain
BARCELONA LINEUP: (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Alexis Bench: Pinto, Puyol, Alba, Roberto, Tello, Fabregas, Villa
Perhaps we should concentrate on the players for a sec. Here’s your TEAM NEWS for tonight’s game.
One thing’s for sure, if the lure of the best players in the world doesn’t grab you, then the action on the sidelines surely will. Sparks could fly here at Camp Nou.
We are, of course, in the first leg of the Supercopa, Spain’s traditional curtain-raiser between last season’s league and cup winners. We had the same two sides competing this time last year, and what an experience that was. Nine goals over two games, red cards galore, and even a touchline brawl between opposition coaches. Tito Vilanova was assistant manager when he squared up to Jose Mourinho that night, taking a jab to the eye in the process, but now he emerges as Barcelona’s ruler-in-chief. Does he have a response in mind?
As you can tell, I’m pretty pleased to be bringing you tonight’s game. Tom Woods reporting for duty. I want all your comments and predictions right from the off people. Get in touch via Twitter, using my username @woodstome. I’ll use as many as I can in the live feed.
Many of us will have friends or loved ones who just aren’t that into football. They just don’t get the appeal. To those people I say, here is the game for you. Barcelona and Real Madrid, a fixture offering more skill, hatred, and raw-throated passion that you will find anywhere else in world football. Both sides think they are the best thing to ever happen to the sport, and I say, the fact that they exist is sure and certain proof that football will never die. This is Goal.com. This is El Clasico.
Unsurprisingly, you can’t separate these sides in near or distant history. Over 220 meetings, the win count stands at 87-86 in Madrid’s favour. The Catalans have lost one of their last eight Clasicos, but in Jose Mourinho, Madrid have a coach that knows how to get the better of Barcelona. Having begun his coaching career at the club, the Portuguese has managed to knock Barca out of the Champions League on two separate occasions, and last year effectively sealed the league title with a 2-1 in this very stadium. Neither party has forgotten this history. The question is, who is most prepared to write the next chapter.
With kick-off fast approaching – there’s still time to get your comments up on this here feed. Send to @woodstome on Twitter.
The referee tonight is Carlos Clos Gomez. To you I simply say, good luck.
Here come the teams, to a deafening Catalan roar. My goodness I’m excited.
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