La Liga

April 21, 2012

Full-time

Barcelona

1 - 2

Real Madrid

La Liga

18:00 +00:00, April 21, 2012

Camp Nou

  • 94'

    Thanks for joining us everyone, and tune in for a pair of tantalising Premier League games on Sunday - Man Utd v Everton and Wolves v Man City.

  • 94'

    You can keep the conversation going post-match on Twitter - contact me at @marklomasESPN or the ESPNsoccernet page - @ESPNsoccernet.

  • 94'

    Remember, he did start against Chelsea, though. Two cracking Champions League matches coming up this week with the semi-final second legs between Barca and Chelsea, and Real v Bayern Munich.

  • 94'

    @jakelove10 on Twitter: Surely Fabregas didn't leave Arsenal for Barcelona to sit on the bench for 80 minutes in El Clasico, right?

  • 94'

    That's the first time since May 2009 that Barca have lost back-to-back games, and it is their first home league defeat of the season.

  • 94'

    Real Madrid had only won one of their previous 14 Clasicos so this really is a massive result.

  • 94'

    FT: Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid. A big blow to Barcelona, and surely the Primera Division title is going back to Madrid now. Los Blancos go seven points clear with four games remaining. It looked as though Sanchez had sparked Barca back into life but Ronaldo finished things off with an excellent finish three minutes later.

  • 94'

    It's all over!

  • 94'

    The ball crossed in by Callejon and Ronaldo can't steer it in.

  • 94'

    Over the bar.

  • 93'

    Free-kick for Real Madrid, around 25 yards out and just right of centre. Ronaldo eyes it up.

  • 93'

    Higuain on for Benzema.

  • 92'

    Incisive run by Granero and he passes to Arbeloa, who promptly goes down like a sack of spuds under a bit of attention from Iniesta.

  • 91'

    Barca corner, Puyol penalised for pushing Arbeloa into Ramos.

  • 90'

    Four minutes of added time - I think there have been players on the floor for significantly longer than four minutes to be honest.

  • 89'

    Pedro (he came on in the 74th minute, I missed that - sorry!) crosses towards Fabregas but he can't get enough purchase on the header to direct it goalwards.

  • 89'

    Callejon on for Ozil

  • 88'

    Barcelona need to throw caution to the wind now. The game has really petered out over the past ten minutes or so.

  • 87'

    Ozil crosses towards Ronaldo and it's again cleared out for a Real corner.

  • 87'

    Ronaldo's gone off to receive medical attention but he's back on now.

  • 86'

    Headed behind for a corner of Thiago.

  • 85'

    Real free-kick on the left wing. Granero to deliver.

  • 85'

    Mascherano takes down Ronaldo.

  • 84'

    Barcelona corner now - the ball falls to Mascherano about 30 yards out and he, rather predictably, spanks it over.

  • 83'


    Alexis Sanchez celebrates after coming on to score the equaliser.

  • 83'

    Real on the break, Benzema with options left and right but he goes it alone and fires in a shot that is comfortable enough for Valdes to hold onto. A tad greedy there from the Frenchman.

  • 82'

    Another Barca free-kick, Alexis Sanchez taken down on this occasion.

  • 81'

    Bit of a disappointing night in the end for Tello, after some early promise. Arbeloa handled him well and when he didn't, the youngster failed to keep his composure in front of goal.

  • 81'

    Fabrgeas on for Tello.

  • 80'

    Cesc Fabregas being readied to come on. Must be coming on for Tello.

  • 79'

    Not sure where Barca can go from here in this game. They need to score in the next few minutes you feel, if they are to have any chance of victory.

  • 78'

    Granero cynically takes down Messi.

  • 77'

    Ozil shown the yellow, I think for time wasting in the corner.

  • 76'

    I think Alves' studs did connect with Ronaldo but he made the most of it. We haven't seen that happen much tonight...not!

  • 76'

    Alves clashes with Ronaldo, leaving the Portuguese star writhing around on the ground.

  • 75'

    @chrismarbellow on Twitter: "Madrid are incredibly organized right now. Seems like they more than 11 out there sometimes."

  • 74'

    Wow, I think I got all of that down. What a two-minute spell. "Only a win will do" was what Guardiola said before the game, but Barca's hopes of achieving that look slim now.

  • 73'

    Granero on for Di Maria.

  • 73'

    Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid. Great through-ball from Ozil, really good pass and Ronaldo turned on the burners to accelerate away and blast in a right footed finish from a fairly difficult angle on the right of the area.

  • 73'

    GOAL Ronaldo scores.

  • 70'

    Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid Messi with a fantastic run to create the chance initially. Tello's shot was saved by Casillas, Adriano's follow-up shot shot was deflected and superbly palmed away by Casillas, but the Chilean was there to turn it in.

  • 70'

    GOAL Sanchez, what an impact! I take it all back.

  • 70'

    Puyol bravely leaps through the air to head the ball away.

  • 69'

    Surprised about that, I'm not going to lie. He looks surprised too! I thought Guardiola would have brought off Tello.

  • 69'

    Sanchez on for Xavi.

  • 68'

    Iniesta wins the ball back from Di Maria and Xavi tries his luck from 20 yards out. It whistles just past the post.

  • 68'

    Acrobatic overhead clearance from Di Maria.

  • 67'

    And the stretcher is on, embarrassing.

  • 66'

    Barcelona corner now and Coentrao is on the floor having been 'caught in the face' with the ball. In truth it hardly touched him. I'd have liked to see him play with that old pigskin ball of early-era football. I repeat: Man up!

  • 65'

    Real Madrid pretty much sticking 11 men behind the ball at the moment, they must have read Chelsea's book of 'How to beat Barca' from cover to cover.

  • 64'

    Stats: Lionel Messi's chance conversion rate this season has been 31.5%, while Cristiano Ronaldo's has been 22.9%.

  • 63'

    Benzema tries to play in Ozil but Puyol steps in to hoof it away.

  • 62'

    Messi tries to play a one-two with Xavi but Ramos intervenes. Ramos down again courtesy of Messi, who'd have thought Barca's little Argentine would be such a physically destructive force.

  • 61'

    Messi brushes off Ramos with ease, unbelievable show of strength from the diminutive magician.

  • 60'

    Messi offside on this occasion, as Busquets searched for him through the middle.

  • 59'

    Here comes the Blaugrana wave again - it's all Barcelona, attack after attack.

  • 58'

    Messi hits one from the edge of the area but it's off Pepe's thigh to safety.

  • 57'

    Barca trying to be patient, spreading the play well from side to side.

  • 56'

    Speaking of Pepe - a hefty dose of histrionics from the Portuguese centre-back as he grabs his knee despite not even landing on it. Outmuscled by Messi there.

  • 55'

    Messi attempts to thread it through to Xavi, but Pepe intercepts.

  • 55'

    Stats: Prior to this game, Victor Valdes' 'Saves to Shots' ratio was 70% while Iker Casillas' was 71%.

  • 54'

    What a through ball from Thiago to slice Barca open, but Tello couldn't keep his composure and that effort may have landed on someone's car in the Camp Nou car park.

  • 54'

    Tello has bottled it there!

  • 53'

    But he's marginally offside. Think he did probably hear the whistle beforehand but he took it around Valdes and slid it in anyway.

  • 53'

    Ronaldo has the ball in the back of the net...

  • 52'

    Tello tries his luck from a very acute angle and he blasts it over the bar.

  • 51'

    Poor delivery from Ozil.

  • 50'

    Real Madrid corner for Barca to deal with, won by Ronaldo from a tight position by the corner flag.

  • 49'

    Shocking stff from Di Maria, he has just claimed the award for best dive of the night. Was down before any contact was made. Man up Angel!

  • 48'

    It's all Barcelona here, they're really pressing hard for that equaliser - can Real's defence stand up to the challenge of keeping them out for the next 43 minutes?

  • 47'

    Messi drops deep for the ball and goes on a mazy run. Alonso tackles him perfectly but the referee has deemed it a foul. Not sure about that one, think he got all of the ball.

  • 46'

    Barca holding onto the ball in the early stages here. I wonder when we will see Sanchez, Fabregas and Pedro introduced.

  • 45'

    Right, we're off for the second half...

  • 45'

    I'd have liked to have seen what the odds were on Busquets and Pepe getting the first two yellows. Hint of inevitability there.

  • 45'

    @brainsicktweets on Twitter: "A routine el clasico on the run. A goal due to barca's error. A pepe booking."

  • 45'

    @chrismarbellow on Twitter: "Think Casillas' time-wasting needs to be watched closely in first 15 mins of 2nd half. He's on precipice of a deserved yellow"

  • 45'

    Sami Khedira bundled in Real Madrid's opener.

  • 45'

    Barca 0-1 Real Madrid. Khedira netting a La Liga record with Real's 108th goal of the season, but more importantly it is the strike that could push Los Blancos towards the Primera Division title. It's still finely poised and Barca had certainly got back into their stride by the end of the first half.

  • 45'

    Half-time whistle blows.

  • 45'

    Two very entertaining passages of play there - Messi dribbled past a couple of players and ran through at pace, before losing the ball. Then immediately Ronaldo picked up the ball and did exactly the same with a marauding run - like two heavyweight boxers going toe to toe.

  • 45'

    Ozil skipped past Adriano a little too easily there.

  • 44'

    Quality stuff from Ozil on the right wing to open Barca right up, but his final ball is intercepted by Mascherano with Ronaldo waiting in the centre.

  • 43'

    Pepe body checks Busquets and gets a booking for his troubles.

  • 43'

    It is absolutely chucking it down in Barcelona - torrential rain at Camp Nou.

  • 42'

    Wonderful build-up play from Barcelona, intricate exchanges in and around the penalty area between Tello, Xavi and Messi - Alves eventually crosses towards Messi, but the Argentine is just offside.

  • 42'

    Ronaldo on the break but Busquets does fantastically to tackle back.

  • 41'

    Alves again in space, this time Coentrao blocks his attempted cross out for a throw-in.

  • 40'

    Alves in space on the right and he drives in a cross but Ramos heads it away.

  • 39'

    Arbeloa again stays strong on the right, this time easing Tello out of play. Tello has looked bright, though, and that's proving an interesting little battle.

  • 38'

    Barca getting into their stride now, the flowing football is coming back.

  • 37'

    Messi with some smart footwork to release Iniesta and he tees up Thiago, who fires a daisy-cutter wide from just over 20 yards out.

  • 36'


    Cristiano Ronaldo climbs to win a header.

  • 35'

    Iniesta the latest to misplace a pass, plenty of sloppiness from the Blaugrana.

  • 34'

    Penetrating run by Iniesta down the left but he's fended off well by Arbeloa, good strength shown by the Real defender.

  • 33'

    @stevendmills on Twitter: "Tuned in to the Camp Nou for the Professional Handbags & Diving Competition, and a football game broke out! I feel cheated.."

  • 32'

    Barca playing some delightful triangles in midfield but there's been no end product.

  • 31'

    Ronaldo getting plenty of joy down the left wing, you'd expect he's been told to try and run at Puyol where possible.

  • 31'

    Ronaldo runs at Puyol and then tries his luck from just outside the area but slices it wide.

  • 30'

    Pepe then goes and blows it by booting it long and aimlessly to absolutely no-one.

  • 30'

    A couple of cheeky touches from Ronaldo as Real patiently keep hold of the ball.

  • 29'

    Tello looking to cause Arbeloa some problems but the Spain right-back is doing an okay job of handling him at the moment.

  • 28'

    Stats: Mesut Ozil has contributed more assists (15) than any other player in the major European leagues this season.

  • 28'

    It was a delightful reverse pass from Messi ont he edge of the box to put him in the clear. Would have expected Xavi to keep his cool though.

  • 27'

    And he's not even hit the target, sliding it wide of the left post.

  • 27'

    Xavi through...

  • 26'

    Haven't seen Barca give the ball away as often as this in midfield for a while.

  • 25'

    Alonso catches Alves, who 20 seconds later is still rolling around on the floor.

  • 24'

    Everytime Barca come out of defence, though, Real are pressing hard - almost playing the Catalans at their own game.

  • 23'

    Boos ring out for Casillas, who takes his time with a clearance.

  • 22'

    Barca have been stepping it up the past couple of minutes, the possession is building again as they probe for a way through.

  • 21'

    Xavi spreads the ball to Alves hugging the right touchline but as he comes inside, Real close the ball out. Mourinho's side looking highly organised at the moment.

  • 21'

    I'm always keen to hear your thoughts before, during and after the game so give me a shout on Twitter - @marklomasESPN - to offer up your opinions.

  • 20'

    Ronaldo flashes a shot across goal, and Los Blancos are really stretching Barca on the counter-attack at the moment.

  • 19'

    Stats: Barcelona are currently in their best-ever run of results against Real Madrid in the league - uwinning six and drawing one of the last seven.

  • 18'

    Iniesta brings Barca forward and he plays a one-two with Messi but Alonso makes a great sliding challenge to stop the ball returning to him inside the penalty area.

  • 18'

    So more than just potentially shaky from set pieces. Barca caught out at Camp Nou.

  • 17'

    Barca 0-1 Real Madrid. Mistake from Valdes, who spilt Pepe's header and Khedira was there to pounce and slide it in from around two yards out.

  • 17'

    GOAL Real Madrid are ahead thanks to Khedira.

  • 16'

    Alonso swings in the resulting free-kick and Real have a corner now.

  • 15'

    Busquets booked for bringing Ronaldo down in full flow.

  • 14'

    Good quick feet from Tello but he had just staryed offside at the start of the move. Decent save from Casillas to deny him as well.

  • 13'

    Tello cut in from the left and tiptoed through Real's defence before striking a decent effort that Casillas palmed out towards Alves, who fired it in.

  • 13'

    But at the start of the move Tello was offside.

  • 13'

    Alves has the ball in the net...

  • 12'

    Messi delivers from right of centre but his ball in is headed clear.

  • 12'

    Ramos penalised for a foul on Xavi, Barca try to take it quickly but the ref pulls Alves back.

  • 11'

    An innovative scorpion kick from Iniesta goes wide, I thought it looked like it would loop in for a moment. Great improvisation when the ball was behind him.

  • 11'

    More sloppiness from Barca as Real win it in midfield and Benzema is released on the right. He cuts in and shoots low, but Valdes does well to get down and hold onto the ball.

  • 10'

    Ronaldo picks it up on the left and runs at Alves at pace, but his ball across the box is cleared.

  • 9'

    Ramos clatters into the back of Alves.

  • 8'

    It's a bit like a game of chess at the moment, despite both sides knowing each other's game so well, it's been a match of gentle probing so far.

  • 7'

    Stats: If Lionel Messi scores today he will be the first ever Barcelona player to score in 11 successive league games.

  • 6'

    Messi with his first notable time on the ball, a good bit of positive dribbling around the box but it comes to nothing in the end.

  • 5'

    Superb goalkeeping from Casillas, Alves was clean through after a shocking square pass from Pepe and the Real captain was speedily off his line to smother the ball at the Brazilian's feet.

  • 5'

    Barca certainly look potentially susceptible from corners - Real have plenty of big, powerful players, whereas the hosts have just one outfield player over 6ft, Sergio Busquets.

  • 5'

    Pepe with the header this time but it's over the crossbar.

  • 4'

    Great header from Ronaldo and a great save from Valdes to tip it over.

  • 3'

    Real pressing Barca hard in the opening exchanges. Positive play from Ronaldo down the left-wing and a couple of little tricks sees him win a corner.

  • 3'

    Ozil gives away a free-kick after tugging back Busquets.

  • 2'

    Don't usually see Barca give the ball away as easily as that - and they've just done exactly the same thing again. Rare simple mistakes from the Catalans.

  • 1'

    A loose early pass sees Real take possession and Puyol keeps his cool to intercept just as the ball looked to be heading past him towards Coentrao or Ozil.

  •  

    And they're off...

  •  

    Camp Nou is a sea of Blaugrana, and the noise has been turned up the Barca fans. We're ready to go.

  •  

    @ashboy007 on Twitter: "It will be a barca win. no way Real can beat them."

  •  

    Around 440 million people around the world apparently going to be watching this one. I'm very happy to be one of them.

  •  

    Remember, Los Blancos were ten points ahead a month ago, a Barca win tonight would make the title race VERY interesting.

  •  

    A few minutes to go now and the anticipation is certainly building. Just to paint the Primera Division picture for you - Real Madrid are four points clear of Barcelona with five games to go.

  •  

    Stats: Real Madrid have failed to score on their last three league visits to the Camp Nou.

  •  

    @confusedbulldog on Twitter: "I'm interested to see if Barca, specifically Messi, has a hangover from dropping the Chelsea game"

  •  

    As always, I'm keen to hear your thoughts before, during and after the game so give me a shout on Twitter - @marklomasESPN - to offer up your opinions.

  •  

    Our faithful La Liga predictor Eduardo Alvarez has also been having his say in the latest Quiniela.

  •  

    Check out our Real Madrid correspondent Sam Rigg's El Clasico preview as he tries to guess how Jose Mourinho will approach the game.

  •  

    Real Madrid are unchanged from the XI who started against Bayern Munich in Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg defeat.

  •  

    Team news is in and Barca start with youngsters Tello and Thiago in place of Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas. In defence, Javier Mascherano is preferred to Gerard Pique.

  •  

    Xavi says Barcelona will stay true to their football philosophy as they seek to gain a potentially decisive victory over Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

  •  

    It's too difficult to build-up to this game without mentioning Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo so here it is: Messi looking for his 64th goal of the season, Ronaldo looking for his 54th.

  •  

    Excited? We are too. Join Mark Lomas from 1900 BST for live text commentary of Barcelona v Real Madrid - a clash that could well decide the destination of the Primera Division title.