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March 2, 2013
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: Miguel Pérez Lasa
• Attendance: 83500
K. Benzema 6'
Sergio Ramos 82'
L. Messi 18'
Shots on Target
Thank you for joining me for what was a very enjoyable tie at the Bernabeu! See you all next time. Good bye.
What a game that was! The match exploded after Ronaldo was brought on after 58 minutes. Barcelona, quite rightly, will be furious about not getting the penalty at the end, as had they scored it would have made the game 2-2. Instead Madrid have all three points, with the gap between the two in La Liga now standing at 13 points with 12 rounds to play.
FULL-TIME: REAL MADRID 2-1 BARCELONA Ugly scenes greeted the final whistle as Valdes was shown a red card for protesting to Miguel Perez about his failure to award Barcelona what looked like a clear penalty in injury time. Madrid took the lead in the sixth minute through Benzema before Messi then equalised for Barca. A lacklustre second-half burst into life following the introduction of Ronaldo for Madrid as he hit the post before Ramos headed the home team back in front. Barca should have had a penalty late on after a foul by Ramos on Adriano, but the referee did not give it and Madrid emerged 2-1 winners.
90' + 5'
But we're not finished here by the looks of it! Barcelona players surround the referee after he blows the final whistle and Valdes is shown a red card by Perez for his protests!
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Víctor Valdés
90' + 4'
Red Card Víctor Valdés
90' + 4'
And that is that! Madrid are 2-1 winners here at the Bernabeu.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Andrés Iniesta Luján
90' + 3'
BARCA WANT A PENALTY!! The Blaugrana's players are furious as Adriano is caught by Ramos inside the Madrid box but the referee doesn't give a penalty. How has Ramos got away with that?!
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Arbeloa
90' + 2'
Ronaldo takes the free kick himself and it is nearly a third goal for Madrid! Valdes is forced into making another stop as he dives to his left to push the Madeira-born attacker's effort away from danger.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Daniel Alves
90' + 1'
We are into added time here and Barcelona are losing their composure. The referee goes to his pocket again to show Alves a yellow card after he clearly fouls Ronaldo on the left.
The same player wins a corner for Madrid on the left. Barca have shown very little in the second half here.
RONALDO HITS THE POST FROM THE SET PIECE!! The former Manchester United man crashes a strike over the wall and onto the post with Valdes well beaten. That was a wonderful effort from Ronaldo!
Madrid free kick 25 yards out! Morata is sent crashing to the deck by Adriano just moments after Sanchez had gone down inside the Madrid box under a challenge from Callejon up the other end.
Have Barcelona got anything left in them? They are making their final substitution here - bringing Cristian Tello on for Thiago.
Ramos beat his Spain centre-back partner, Pique, at that corner to put Madrid a goal up!
Assist Luka Modric
Goal Sergio Ramos
RAMOS HEADS MADRID IN FRONT!! The Spain international rises highest to meet Modric's corner and send a fine header into the far corner. 2-1 to Madrid!
Essien's crumples to the floor after clashing with Alba and is shepherded off the pitch by a Madrid medic to receive treatment after being caught in the face by Alba's arm.
Modric sends a free kick onto the head of Ronaldo inside the Barca box but the Portuguese star's effort bounces over the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
Barca make another change as Adriano replaces Pedro.
MORATA SHOULD SCORE FOR MADRID!! The 20-year-old forward has a great chance to restore his side's lead after taking Pepe's fabulous pass in his stride but his side footed effort slinks just wide of Valdes' left-hand post.
STAT: Barcelona are still bossing possesion, with 75% of it so far in this game. They have also completed three times as many passes as Madrid today - 663 to 218.
The game is becoming anarchic now as both teams lose a bit of shape and go flying into challenges with one another. The fans are enjoying it!
Messi catches Essien and immediately a convoy of Madrid players surround the referee demanding a card. They really are like their manager this lot.
Ronaldo embarks on a mesmerising run through the heart of Barca's defence but his final shot is just wide and flies into the side netting!
Yellow Card Morata
Barca bring on Alexis Sanchez for Villa. The two are battling for one position in the starting line-up at the moment, so the Chile international will be hoping to make an impact in the remaining 22 minutes after a quiet showing from Villa.
STAT: In 13 official matches at the Bernabeu, Messi has scored nine goals and provided seven assists.
STRONG STOP FROM VALDES!! Ronaldo's swirling free kick is hit hard and true but Barca's goalkeeper is equal to it as he firmly parries the ball to safety.
Yellow Card Thiago Alcántara
That is cynical from Thiago! The Barca midfielder pulls back Pepe as he drives forward for Madrid and now the home team have a free kick about 35 yards from goal. And here is Ronaldo...
AND THERE'S ANOTHER CARD!! Coentrao strokes Alves' face but that is enough to send the Brazilian sprawling to the deck while screaming in agony. Free kick to Barcelona. Yellow card to Coentrao.
Yellow Card Fabio Coentrao
Some poor play from Pedro gifts Madrid possession but the home side don't have the ball for long as Ronaldo overruns the ball and then catches Mascherano. Ronaldo is right in the thick of things since coming on as a sub a few minutes ago.
Ronaldo is on for Madrid and his first contribution is to win a free kick high on the left. Pique is the man that fouls the Madrid star, with a wild lunge that results in a yellow card for the Barca defender.
Yellow Card Piqué
I cannot praise Varane highly enough at the moment! Villa appears to be clean through after latching on to a pass from Messi but the 19-year-old races back like a thoroughbred to execute a precise sliding tackle and stop the striker just as he tries to shoot at goal. Brilliant defending!
Madrid are set to make a change here, with Sami Khedira warming up on the sidelines.
Yellow Card Jordi Alba
Alba follows Ramos into Perez's pad after being elbowed in the face by Pepe. I'm not sure about that one...
I have more from our man at the Bernabeu, Alberto Pinero. He was not a fan of that first half! "It has been an awful match, with both teams at walking pace. It seems that both are happy to play for a draw. Barcelona, because they have the Liga title in their pocket, and Madrid, because they have an important Champions League game against Manchester United on Tuesday. Everybody seems happy with a draw - except the fans who are being robbed of a chance to see two of the best teams in the world at their best."
A Real Madrid fixture would not seem complete without a Ramos yellow card - and there it is. The centre-back makes his way into Perez's book after intentionally blocking the ball with his hand.
Yellow Card Sergio Ramos
Messi takes it, but the referee seems to appease Madrid's fury at the initial awarding of the set piece by handing them a free kick for an innocuous tangle between Pique and Pepe.
A great tackle from Varane on Pedro is penalised by the linesman on the right-hand side. Madrid are furious about that as the young defender appeared to cleanly win the ball. Barcelona have a free kick in a very dangerous position now...
Barca have quickly slipped back into their rhythm in this second half and are totting up a disgustingly high number of short, sharp passes in midfield.
The Croatian midfielder's curling set piece is hoofed away by the diminutive Mascherano though, as Barcelona's defence stands firm.
Coentrao wins a free kick for the hosts after being fouled at the same time by Alves and Thiago. Modric will take the free kick over on the left.
We are back underway for the second half over in Madrid...
So what did you lot think of that first half? Throw your views to me over on Twitter at @charliefscott or post them in the comments box to the right of this LIVE commentary.
HALF-TIME: REAL MADRID 1-1 BARCELONA Los Blancos took an early lead in the 6th minute through Benzema after some fabulous build-up play from Morata before Messi evened things up with a low finish not long after. Barca have been the better side despite a poor opening and they have looked very confident in possession against a Madrid side without Ronaldo, Ozil, Khedira and Alonso.
And there is the half-time whistle bang on 45 minutes!
The visiting side are keeping the ball brilliantly in the final stages of this half.
BIG STAT: Barcelona have had 78% of possession so far in this match. Away from home. Against Real Madrid.
Pepe is caught by a stray leg belonging to Alves and Madrid rightly have a free kick awarded to them just outside their own box by the referee Perez.
A good interception from Fabio Coentrao stops Pedro from gliding into the Madrid box on the right-hand side. The Spain international was nearly in there!
MORATA HEADS INTO THE SIDE-NETTING!! The 20-year-old attacker plants a headed effort just wide at the back post for Madrid after being found by a fine arcing pass from Modric. Madrid could and perhaps should have restored their lead there.
An absurd pass from Iniesta to Villa cuts Madrid's defence wide open but the former Valencia striker's driven cross does not find a team-mate and goes all the way out for a throw-in on the opposite side.
Barca win a fortuitous free kick after Busquets tangles with Benzema on the near side. There was not much in that!
Mascherano is allowed to run with the ball for 30 yards by Madrid but with time and space to pick a pass he overhits a long ball towards Messi that runs out for a Madrid goal kick.
Barca are growing in confidence as this half ticks on. They are moving the ball very well in midfield, particularly Iniesta and Thiago.
MESSI SHOOTS STRAIGHT AT LOPEZ!! The 25-year-old has a chance to score a second from the edge of the Madrid box after being played in by Villa, but his shot is central and easily dealt with by Lopez. The Argentine should have done better there - it was a great chance.
STAT: Messi is the first player in history to score in 16 consecutive matches in La Liga.
THAT GAMBLE FROM RAMOS NEARLY BACKFIRED! The Madrid centre-back stopped the ball from going out for a Barca corner with the sole of his boot but it ran into the path of Pedro. Luckily for Madrid, Ramos was able to recover and put in a diving tackle on the Barca attacker inside his own penalty area!
Madrid have a player on the floor... No prizes for guessing who it might be - it's Pepe! The former Porto man stays down for some time after a challenge with Alba but after a minute or so is able to get to his feet and brush himself down.
Essien plays a fine one-two with Modric on the right for los Blancos, but the Ghana international's eventual cross goes straight to Mascherano and he clears the ball up field with aplomb.
Jordi Roura's side have responded very well since that early Benzema goal had given Madrid the lead. Their passing has looked far better than it did on Tuesday. Iniesta looks to have more space than he does when Cesc Fabregas plays and it is allowing him to see more of the ball in the central areas. The former Gunner is on the bench for Barca today.
STAT: Messi has equalled Alfredo di Stefano's record for highest number of goals scored in Clasico fixtures with his strike this afternoon. He has now scored 18 goals against Real Madrid.
Modric curls another free kick into the Barcelona penalty area but again it is cleared by the Blaugrana's defence. The ball falls only as far as Morata, however, and he nearly finds space to shoot with a neat shimmy before being dispossessed by a brilliant sliding tackle from Pique.
Assist Daniel Alves
MESSI EQUALISES FOR BARCELONA!! THAT'S HIS 50TH OF THE SEASON!! The Argentine attacker was tackled well by Varane a few moments ago but on this occasion Ramos cannot get close to him as he cuts on to his left foot inside the Madrid box and powers a low shot past Lopez at his near post.
MARVELLOUS PLAY FROM INIESTA!! The midfield magician evades three challenges in the space of seconds in the centre circle with a wonderful display of close control and agility.
Modric hooks a free kick towards Pepe from the left but the centre-back/centre-mid fails to make contact with the cross and Pique is able to clear the ball away.
I have updates from our Goal.com man at the Bernabeu today for you all. Alberto Pinero says: "The game is a sell-out here and the stadium looks amazing - it is completely full. Former Madrid player Christian Karembeu is among the VIP members at the stadium today. Also, there is an impressive black, blue and white mosaic on the south side of the stadium which has the legend "Real Madrid CF" across it."
Dani Alves and Pedro link well on the right-hand side for Barca but the move breaks down just as the Brazil full-back tries to race into the Madrid box.
STAT: Barca have conceded in their 13th consecutive game today. The last time they did this was in 1962!
Ramos goes down under a challenge from Thiago inside the Madrid penalty area. Barca are yet to threaten Diego Lopez's goal.
The camera pans to Ronaldo on the Madrid bench and he nods his head in approval at what he is seeing on the pitch before him.
So Madrid, with just four of the players that started the 3-1 victory over Barcelona on Tuesday, are leading their rivals after just six minutes. They have played with such confidence in the last two weeks, and that looks to be continuing today.
Victor Valdes just didn't know what to do there! That Morata cross was pinpoint to Benzema. Brilliant play from the young forward.
Goal Karim Benzema
GOALLLL!!!! BENZEMA PUTS MADRID IN FRONT!! The France international taps home from close range after Alvaro Morata breezes past Dani Alves and curls a delightful pass to him at the back post. What a start for Madrid!
Madrid threaten inside the Barca box after Kaka and Benzema combine well. The Brazilian backheels the ball to his French team-mate but the striker cannot find space to get a shot away under pressure from Javier Mascherano.
STAT: Madrid have won 10 of their last 11 home matches in La Liga and are unbeaten in their last 24.
It looks like that Pepe in midfield rumour was right, Essien is occupying the right full-back position for Madrid here.
The referee Miguel Perez gets the sixth Clasico of the season underway...
There are rumours flying round that Pepe may start in midfield for Madrid, with Ramos moving to centre-back and Essien playing on the right side of defence. That would probably stop the Portugal international killing Messi so that could be wise from Mourinho. We will see.
We're approaching kick off over in Madrid. I must say it is very odd to be watching a Clasico in broad daylight! The weather is glorious in the Spanish capital today.
I've got an insightful stat for you all from Goal.com's resident Spain Expert, Ben Hayward: "Some interesting 'reserves' on show in today's Clásico: Kaká, Modric & Villa cost almost €150 million between them." The man has a point. Those three would be first-team players at nearly every club in the world!
By the way, my name is Charlie Scott and I'll be contactable throughout proceeding today through the comments box to the right of this commentary or on Twitter @charliefscott. As always I would love to hear your thoughts on the game as it unfolds.
Subs: Pinto, Puyol, Adriano, Song, Cesc, Alexis, Tello
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Thiago, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa
Subs: Adan, Khedira, Ronaldo, Ozil, Carvalho, Arbeloa, Higuain
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Lopez; Ramos, Pepe, Varane, Coentrao; Modric, Essien; Callejon, Kaka, Benzema; Morata
THERE IS NO RONALDO FOR MADRID...
The fixture list has spoilt us this week, with this the second Clasico in just five days. Madrid won the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Barca convincingly on Tuesday and would love a repeat of that 3-1 victory today. By the looks of their starting XI though, Jose Mourinho appears to have at least one eye firmly focused on the coming Tuesday's Champions League tie with Manchester United. Stay tuned for both team's starting line-ups to find out who has been rested by the Portuguese coach.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Clasico clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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