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Barcelona v Real Madrid Live Commentary, 02/04/2016

1 - 2
Piqué (56)
K. Benzema (62)
Cristiano Ronaldo (85)
Spotify Camp Nou


FULL TIME! Real Madrid battle their way to an El Clasico win against league leaders Barcelona at Camp Nou! Goals from Benzema and Cristiano were just enough for the ten visiting men, after Ramos saw red late in proceedings. Pique opened the scoring for the Blaugrana, but Zidane's men were somehow able to turn things around and take a much-needed three points! That's all that we have time for, we hope to see you again next time.
Lucas Vázquez
G. Bale
Real Madrid
Bale is replaced by Vazquez, with the Welshman struggling with a little bit of fatigue late on.
We're into two minutes of stoppage time.
Real Madrid are keeping plenty of white shirts behind the ball, with the away side so close to what will be a huge result! Pride will be restored for Los Blancos, with Atleti rubbing their hands with glee as Barca drop points in the title race. Enrique will be needing to throw the kitchen sink at the visitors in order to try and steal a share of the spoils from the jaws of defeat.
Only a few minutes of normal time remain for Barca to find an equaliser, with Real Madrid defending desperately! Carvajal hoofs an untidy clearance into touch, after some neat interplay between Iniesta and Messi. Moments later, Pepe ploughs into Suarez after the whistle had already gone, but somehow escapes a booking.
G. Bale
Real Madrid
Bale causes problems with his pace and athleticism down the right-hand side yet again, with Cristiano profiting on this occasion!
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! TEN-MAN REAL MADRID TAKE THE LEAD LATE ON! Bale makes a run down the right, before hanging up a cross to the back post! Cristiano takes a neat touch with his chest, before squeezing a low finish through Bravo's legs and into the back of the net! The bench empties! Unbelievable!
RED CARD! REAL MADRID DOWN TO TEN! Suarez swivels well, around 30 yards from goal, with the visiting captain deciding to lunge into an irresponsible tackle! The referee has no chance but to brandish the second yellow, after Ramos makes no contact with the ball.
Another huge chance for Los Blancos! Bale is fed down the right channel, with Bravo taking the decision to come hurtling off his line! The Wales international clips an attempted finish over the Chilean shot-stopper, but Mascherano covers to hook a clearance away from danger before it trickles home.
Cristiano hits the bar! Marcelo makes moves down the left flank yet again, before setting a neat pass back to his Portuguese teammate. After opening up his body, the Real Madrid wide man can only kiss the top of Navas' woodwork!
Cristiano Ronaldo
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
Yellow card Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
Mascherano makes a great sliding challenge to halt another dangerous Real Madrid counter, with Zidane's men still happy to sit back and pick their moments. Barca respond with a chance of their own, however. Suarez tries a half-volley from what is a nearly mathematically impossible angle, which dips inches wide of nestling inside Navas' far post.
K. Benzema
Real Madrid
Jese comes into the game for the last ten minutes or so, freshening up the forward line in place of Benzema.
Kroos plays a neat one-two with Marcelo, but the former takes a poor touch and is forced to handle the ball - resulting in a foul being given. Good spot from the referee, as otherwise the ex-Bayern midfielder would have been gallivanting his way into the Barca penalty area.
Suarez tries to scamper in behind enemy lines, but Pepe covers across well to ensure that the ball is hooked away from the ex-Groningen forward. We're getting down to the business end of proceedings at present, with there bound to be a few nerves within Camp Nou during the next ten minutes or so.
A. Turan
I. Rakitić
Arda is introduced for the home side, with Rakitic taking his leave after an energetic showing. The former Atleti midfielder has merely a quarter of an hour to make an impact.
Iniesta manages to find Neymar making a run on the edge of the Real Madrid penalty area, but the first touch from the Brazilian forward is uncharacteristically poor! Marcelo mops up the scraps, with the visitors not about to take any chances around their own 18-yard box at this stage of the contest. A hammered clearance upfield is all that the left-back comes up with.
Real Madrid enjoy a slow spell of possession, but can't seem to slot any good service into Benzema. The France international hasn't been particularly creative when drawn towards the ball in deep areas, with Zidane having little in the way of orthodox striking replacements on his bench. That said, Los Blancos might be happy to see out a draw.
Benzema tries to slot a pass in behind for Cristiano to chase, but the former Manchester United dangerman makes his run slightly too early and is caught offside. Barcelona build from the back, before Messi looks to slide a similarly dangerous throughball forward, but Casemiro makes a timely block. Moments later, Suarez shoots from the edge of the area, but the same Real Madrid midfielder deflects the ball away from harm's way.
Alves lifts a wonderfully weighted through ball towards Suarez, but Pepe covers across to make an acrobatic interception! The Portugal international concedes a corner for his troubles, but this set-piece is nodded away at the near post by Casemiro. This contest still could really swing in either direction. Bale shoots from the edge of the box, but Bravo saves comfortably.
Suddenly, Barcelona have to find themselves another goal. Given that Ramos is only one foul away from taking an early shower, Enrique's men may well be wise to try and force a rash challenge from the Real Madrid captain. There's plenty of time for a third goal of the evening, however, with changes still to be made by both coaches.
Neymar is found by a very long diagonal pass, with the Brazil international able to take the service down on his chest in the Real Madrid penalty area! As he escapes from Pepe and shapes to shoot, the linesman's flag goes up to signify an offside decision. Navas gobbled up the scraps anyway, but that was dangerous for the hosts.
K. Benzema
Real Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! BENZEMA APPEARS FROM NOWHERE! Kroos is picked out at the back post, with the Germany international seeing a low shot deflected high into the air! The former Lyon man acrobatically gets up and places a bicycle-kick effort into the bottom-right corner of Bravo's net!
Only half an hour remains at Camp Nou, with Zidane sure to be thinking about making some changes sooner rather than later. Benzema has looked rusty and wasteful up top, but there's still plenty of time for Los Blancos to find themselves a goal.
I. Rakitić
Yellow Card
Rakitic picks up a booking for a rather late lunge, with yet another player now walking the disciplinary tightrope.
After a long and arduous first half, we have our first goal of the evening! Real Madrid have got no option but to come out of their shell in search of an equaliser, with this contest having the potential to really come to life now. Los Blancos respond, but Pique robs Cristiano of possession just inside the Blaugrana penalty area.
I. Rakitić
Rakitic flights a lovely corner delivery into the near-post zone once again, lifting the ball right into the path of his teammate.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! PIQUE MAKES IT 1-0 TO BARCELONA! A lovely corner delivery is curled in from the right-hand side, which is guided onto the Spaniard's head! He thumps a bullet header inside the near post, and that will only further cement his infamy in the capital city! Enrique's men draw first blood!
Barca threaten from back-to-back corners, with both being hacked into touch by Ramos! Enrique's men are looking for near-post flicks, but there is plenty of pushing and shirt tugging on both sides of the equation at the same time.
Suarez manages to rob Marcelo of possession, before the Uruguay international leads a bullish charge down the right-hand side! After battling through one challenge, the Uruguayan manages to slide a pass into Messi on the edge of the box. The Argentina international tries to lift a delicate chip over Navas, but the Costa Rican goalkeeper scrambles across to push the effort around his upright!
Modric lines up a long-range strike, but his attempt takes the slightest of deflections on its way into Bravo's gloves. Barcelona mount a counter-attack, but a throughball towards Messi is gobbled up by an alert Navas. This second half has been bright and full of action! Not as cagey as the opening 45 minutes in Catalonia.
Marcelo lifts a long pass forward towards Benzema, who takes a good touch with his chest. The Frenchman tries to shoot across goal, but Pique slides in to make a timely block! The rebound falls kindly for the aforementioned Real Madrid left-back, but Alves denies the Brazil international. From the resulting corner, Ramos clearly catches Alves in the face with his arm, deliberately, but the referee doesn't see it.
Messi takes aim from the aforementioned free-kick, but the Argentine curls a poor attempt high and wide of the top-right corner. Moments later, Mascherano slides a low pass into Suarez's feet, who dummies the ball and tries to scamper beyond Pepe! The ex-Ajax striker loses his footing, however. Otherwise, he might have been in on goal!
Navas is the first goalkeeper to be called into action in the second half, with the former Levante shot-stopper hesitantly punching a cross well clear of the Los Blancos box. Immediately afterwards, Ramos is penalised for a poor challenge on Suarez! The Spaniard is already on a yellow and could have previously seen his second, but the referee opts to keep his cards in his pocket. Last warning of the night for the visiting captain.
We are back underway in the second half at Camp Nou! Both goalkeepers haven't had a great deal to do thus far, with most of the play resulting in patient and slow possession from the hosts. Given the quality of player on show and the depth of options on both benches, something has got to give!
NO GOAL FOR BALE! Cristiano manages to pick Bale at the back post, with the Welshman towering above Alba in order to steer home a great header! Despite his celebrations, the referee pulls it back for what is seemingly a foul or an offside decision! Total confusion, but Real Madrid don't take the lead!
HALF-TIME! Goalless at the break in Catalonia, with Real Madrid battling their way towards the interval against La Liga's leaders. Good chances have been few and far between, with Zidane's men happy to sit back and look to counter. Enrique will be pleased with the opening half an hour, but the Blaugrana have since gone off the boil a little. All to play for after the restart!
There is one minute of first-half stoppage time. Rakitic takes aim from around 20 yards out, but the Croatia international dips a long-range attempt well wide of the far upright.
Bale manages to win a corner for the away side, which Casemiro is able to challenge for! However, the former Porto man is penalised for a push on Alba. In the aftermath, Ramos goes down heavily following an aerial challenge with Rakitic, but the Spain international looks fine to continue.
Benzema is found in lots of space in the Barca penalty area, around 15 yards out from goal. The ball sits up nicely for the Frenchman, but he snatches at the opportunity and balloons a half-volley into the stands! A match-fit version of the Los Blancos striker may well have buried that in the back of Bravo's net.
Neymar tries to clip a neat pass to the back post, which finds Dani Alves making a run to the edge of the penalty area. The ex-Sevilla right-back sees his name up in lights, attempting a first-time half-volley as a result! The ball dips and swerves its way over the crossbar, with Navas acrobatically getting up to cover his angles just to make sure.
Bale continues to launch long throws into the Barca penalty area, but Dani Alves rises highest to clear the hosts' lines. After Bravo almost spilled the first one from the Welshman, it appears that Zidane has seen enough to assume that the hosts may struggle to deal with more aerial deliveries into awkward areas of the pitch. Barcelona respond with a counter, but Alba is penalised for a shove on a diligent Cristiano Ronaldo.
Casemiro goes down heavily, after taking a neat touch to beat Messi. Somewhat innocuously, the former Newell's Old Boys' forward clipped the Brazilian midfielder, who is alright to continue after 30 seconds on the turf. Carvajal continues to have his eye on Neymar, meanwhile, with the Spanish right-back cutting out any service into the Brazilian star.
With narrowly under ten minutes remaining in the first half, Barcelona continue to look the more likely to carve their opponents apart. Though, there are so many white shirts in deep areas, that the likes of Neymar and Suarez are struggling to find any space to exploit at all. Los Blancos will definitely take heart from the longer they can keep a clean sheet at Camp Nou, which could give them firm foundations to kick on in the second half.
Modric is found making tracks towards the opposition penalty area, but the move breaks down quickly. Neymar is released over the top by Messi, but the Brazil international is held up with consummate ease by Carvajal before misplacing a pass. In an end-to-end flurry of action, Cristiano scampers to the left byline, but the Real Madrid man's eventual cross is intercepted.
The visitors string together a neat spell of possession, before an attempted one-two with Benzema doesn't quite come off for Modric. The France international hasn't looked at his sharpest thus far, which is to be expected after coming off the back of a lengthy injury lay-off. This is better from Zidane's men, however.
From the aforementioned foul, Cristiano has the chance to try his luck from a long-range free-kick. The Portuguese forward takes aim, but dips a poor attempt over the centre of Bravo's crossbar. The Chilean goalkeeper still hasn't had a very tough save to make, other than beating away a ferocious strike from the ex-Sporting wide man.
J. Mascherano
Yellow Card
Mascherano lunges into a poor challenge on Bale, with yet another counter-attack cut short by a cynical tackle.
Enrique's men are still in control as we reach the half-hour mark, but Real Madrid have been able to muster up some good counters in the last 10 minutes. Bale drives infield from the right-hand side, before releasing possession out to Cristiano, but Mascherano then dives in and catches the Wales international very late indeed! The referee dips into his pocket for a caution again.
L. Suárez
Yellow Card
Suarez receives a yellow card for catching Pepe with his forearm, though the latter does make a meal out of the challenge.
Suarez battles with Pepe in an aerial duel, with the former catching the Portugal international in the chest with a raised forearm! The Real Madrid defender goes down in a heap, with the referee racing over to give the former Liverpool striker a booking. Theatrics are already making their appearance in this derby!
Cristiano tries his luck from the edge of the penalty area, but his eventual powerful strike is beaten away by Bravo! Moments later, Bale manages to angle an attempt goalwards, but the Welshman's shot loops high and over the crossbar of the Barcelona goalkeeper. The referee's decision to not award Messi a free-kick still hasn't been forgotten.
Ramos goes into a full-bodied tackle on Messi, with Enrique tearing his hair out on the sideline! The Real Madrid captain is known for bending the rules a little bit if it aids his side get the result they want. Plenty of hankerchiefs are out in the stands, with the referee clearly bearing the brunt of some criticism already.
Messi tries to scamper his way through traffic on the edge of the penalty area, but Ramos comes out forcefully to rob the Argentina international of possession. Barcelona continue with their control of this game, however, as Neymar works his way down the left. The former Santos youngster cuts in from out wide, before ballooning a terrible effort high and wide of the target!
Great save from Navas! The ex-Levante goalkeeper gets down to his right, diving at full stretch to deny Rakitic! The former Sevilla man thumps a low effort beyond Pepe, but the Real Madrid goalkeeper is on hand to keep the Blaugrana at bay. Enrique's men are very much on top here.
Dani Carvajal
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
Yellow card Daniel Carvajal Ramos
Suarez goes down in a heap, with Carvajal getting tight to his man in the opening minutes when required. Real Madrid have been a little scrappier than their opponents, with Barcelona continuing to press on and look for a way to test Navas. The Costa Rica international hasn't had much to do thus far, but watches the resulting Messi free-kick hurtle just over his crossbar.
Modric tries to lead a quick break for the away side, but the ex-Dinamo Zagreb midfielder is bundled to the ground cynically. The resulting free-kick sees Bale gallivant down the right flank, but a cut-back from the Welshman is slowed due to a touch by Pique! Bravo mops up the scraps, with Cristiano lurking at the back post.
The hosts are looking very confident in possession, with Bravo and his back four unafraid to draw the visitors right into Barca's half. Chances have been few and far between thus far, with Real Madrid looking extremely concerned about the possibility of conceding the first goal in this derby tonight.
Barcelona are patiently probing and looking for a chink in Los Blancos' armour, but Zidane's system isn't allowing for acres of space in behind for Suarez to exploit. The visitors are being forced into playing direct football at present, with the Blaugrana pressing making it tough for Real Madrid to settle into this contest and find a foothold to kick on from.
Sergio Ramos
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
Ramos thinks that he is tugged to the ground by Suarez, with the Spanish captain then racing over to the referee to give him a piece of his mind! The central defender goes into the match official's book for dissent.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR SUAREZ! Neymar scampers into the penalty area on the right-hand side, before cutting a great pass to the back post! The Uruguay international is there and merely has to slot home a close-range finish, but fluffs his lines entirely. Somehow, the Blaugrana aren't ahead!
Bale is caught offside once again, with the former Spurs wide man needing to be careful not to waste the rare counter-attacks that Real Madrid are affording themselves. Messi is tucking right in at the moment, but Suarez is the first man to threaten in a central area! Iniesta tries to slide the Uruguayan striker in behind enemy lines, but Navas is first to react and smother the danger.
Messi and Iniesta try to come up with something special from the aforementioned set-piece, but a cheeky pass from the latter is intercepted with ease on the edge of the Los Blancos penalty area. The hosts are sliding passes around at ease, with Barcelona on top in the opening stages at Camp Nou. Zidane is very animated on the touchline, he wants more from his charges.
Bale manages to escape down the right-hand side, after beating Alba for pace, but the linesman pulls the Wales international back for an offside decision. Barcelona earn themselves a free-kick on the right-hand side, after Casemiro catches Rakitic late, allowing for Enrique's men to load the box with personnel.
Modric does well to intercept a dangerous diagonal pass, with the Croatia international briefly sitting in Real Madrid's defensive line until Pepe comes back into the fray. The visitors respond with a long ball of their own, but Pique is capable of cushioning back to Bravo in simple fashion.
Real Madrid look happy to sit deep and frustrate at the moment, with Zidane's side keeping plenty of players behind the ball. There's a brief stoppage in play, however, as Pepe and Busquets clash during a 50-50 in the centre circle. The former is ordered off after receiving some momentary treatment.
We are underway in the first half at Camp Nou! Three points are the only thing on all of these players' minds, with both sets of supporters set to cheer their teams on until the death. Around 600 Real Madrid fans have been allowed to make the trip to Barcelona, and all of them would like to see nothing better than a historic win.
Before we get underway, there is a minute of silence for ex-Barca and Dutch star Johan Cruyff, which is impeccably observed.
Real Madrid substitutes: Nacho, James, Casilla, Vazquez, Jese, Isco, Danilo.
Real Madrid starting line-up (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barcelona substitutes: Ter Stegen, Turan, Rafinha, Bartra, Munir, Sergi Roberto, Vermaelen.
Barcelona starting line-up (4-3-3): Bravo; Dani Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar.
TEAM NEWS: Both Sergio Ramos and Pepe return to the heart of the visiting defence, after serving respective suspensions. Raphael Varane misses out due to injury, while Dani Carvajal is preferred to Danilo at right-back. Casemiro retains his place after adding balance to the Real Madrid midfield, with Toni Kroos asked to play in a slightly more advanced role as a result. Karim Benzema leads the line, with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo supporting from out wide. James Rodriguez and Isco are among the substitutes.
TEAM NEWS: Jordi Alba shakes off an injury problem to start at left-back, with Dani Alves preferred on the opposite flank. With Jeremy Mathieu sidelined due to injury, Javier Mascherano has no strong competition to partner Gerard Pique at centre-back. Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta are chosen to slot into the midfield three ahead of Sergio Busquets. The notorious trident of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi will look to strike a fruitful harmony once again tonight. After a lengthy injury lay-off, Rafinha is back on the bench for Enrique's side.
While Barcelona target another title, their opposition this evening will be set on chasing down second-placed rivals Atletico. Diego Simeone's men will only be a point ahead of Los Blancos, should the visitors snatch three points in potentially the most heated fixture on the La Liga calendar. Not to mention, this contest sees some of the world's biggest stars butt heads.
Both outfits come into this clash in excellent form, with Real Madrid registering four consecutive wins in the Spanish top flight. However, Zinedine Zidane's men have only scraped to respective 2-1 and 3-1 victories against Las Palmas and Levante on their recent travels. The hosts, meanwhile, have won all but one of their last 15 league games at this stadium, with that anomalous result coming in a 2-2 draw with Deportivo back in December.
Hello and welcome to the latest instalment of El Clasico, as Barcelona and Real Madrid lock horns at Camp Nou! Normally, these two sides would be a little closer in terms of points totals in La Liga, but pride is still very much at stake. Luis Enrique's men currently sit atop the division, ten points clear of Los Blancos, but the visitors could put a serious dent in the Blaugrana's title hopes with a victory in Catalonia tonight.