SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISIÓN
Estadio Camp Nou, Spain
Referee: Eduardo Iturralde González | Attendance: 98000
* Local time based on your geographic location.
5 - 0
"Barca, Barca, Baaaarca!" Is the chant circling Camp Nou and the battle for the title of the world's best team has been emphatically decided by a rampant Barca side. Thanks for following the game with us and stay with Soccernet for all the post-match reaction.
FULL TIME! Despite an ugly conclusion, the abiding memory from this 5-0 rout is a beautiful display by Barcelona to send Jose Mourinho home with his tail firmly between his legs. Barca were imperious, Real listless.
That was quite a confrontation, involving most of the players on the pitch and both coaching staff.
Chaos at Camp Nou - pushing and shoving, Messi poleaxed on the floor. Sergio Ramos was kicking off with Puyol and Xavi, and the red card was shown to the defender after he sparked things off with a shocking tackle on Messi.
It's all kicking off!
And that, is decisively that. Substitute Jeffren puts a healthy layer of gloss on what is already a blindingly good result as he latches onto a cross from Bojan and lifts the ball over Casillas. My goodness.
GOAL FOR BARCELONA!
We are now into injury time of what has been a stunning win for Barcelona.
Ronaldo fails to control the ball by the corner flag and Camp Nou bursts into laughter. He has done precious little tonight, and the natives have lapped it up.
Barcelona have enjoyed 63% of possession tonight - a brutal statistic from Real's point of view.
Jeffren also replaces Pedro as another Barca goalscorer is applauded off by the home support.
Xavi earns a well deserved ovation as the man who scored the first goal of the night is replaced by Seydou Keita.
Pepe does well to charge across to the left side of the Madrid defence and cut out a pass from Xavi for Dani Alves. A rare victory for the Real backline there.
When Barca do get a pass wrong, Casillas shows his frustration by booting the ball clear and ceding possession in the process.
Still Barca are not content with four and continually look for the pass. Their tiki-taka football has been mesmeric tonight.
Puyol enters the referee's book for a foul on Puyol. Surely this game won't finish with 11-a-side?
Barcelona are now ten minutes away from a fifth consecutive victory in El Clasico.
David Villa celebrates as he gives Barca total control of the tie.
Messi drives into the box, gets way from Arbeloa but then over elaborates as he turns once more and loses possession. Real cannot stem the flow of chances, and they haven't been able to all game in honesty.
Casillas is then called into action to make a fine save from Bojan, again, as Barca press for a fifth goal.
The substitute almost makes an immediate impact as he springs clear on goal but loses his footing, allowing Pepe to recover.
David Villa won't be getting a hat-trick tonight as he is replaced by Bojan.
Sami Khedira is next into the book for a foul on Iniesta and only four outfield players do not have a booking for Real now.
Barca pour forward again but Messi's run into the box is halted by Lass.
Sergio Ramos clatters into David Villa on the touchline and becomes the ninth player to be booked.
Somehow the defender escapes a yellow card - it should have been a red as Pedro would have been through. I think the referee showed a bit of sympathy there, he should have gone.
Oles ring out at Camp Nou to greet another precise, brilliant passing move in which Real don't even get close to the ball, and a through-ball is cut out by the arm of Ricardo Carvalho!
It's hard to articulate just how excellent Barcelona have been tonight. The way they knock the ball around so audaciously is thrilling to watch. Xavi and Iniesta have never looked like ceding control.
Not a good night for a certain Mr Ronaldo.
You still feel that Messi is capable of another moment of brilliance - he deserves a goal tonight.
Such is the confidence flowing through Barca's veins, Busquets attempts to score from the half-way line. Now that would be silly.
What all this brilliance from Barca means is that they will be heading two points ahead of Real in the table after inflicting a first league defeat of the season on their great rivals. Not a bad night's work, eh?
I think it is fair to say that the reverential aura around Mourinho in the Madrid-based press might just have been shattered tonight as well.
Well we heard so much about what a titanic clash between Europe's two best teams this would be - but it's been emphatically one sided. This has been a procession, and one of the great all-time nights for the Camp Nou fans. Remarkable stuff.
Ronaldo fizzes a free-kick wide from 30 yards, but frustration is etched all over his body. It's been an awful night for the Portuguese star.
Marcelo is removed and Arbeloa comes on in his place. Real attempting to limit Messi? Good luck with that...
Messi hasn't scored yet tonight, but he has demonstrated why he is the best player on the planet, and a superior individual to Ronaldo. Barcelona are running riot - what a disaster for Mourinho and Real.
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful stuff. Messi, again, ripped the Barca defence in half with a pass of pure precocity, allowing Villa to race onto the ball and finish past Casillas. Wow.
Iker Casillas is shown a yellow card for his protestations but there is no arguing against Barca's dominance - they have been simply brilliant.
That is exactly what I am talking about from Messi. He supplies a wonderfully-weighted through ball for Villa, who beats the offside trap to slam a shot past Casillas. He was very close to being offside, but it was an accomplished finish, as you would expect.
And now Iniesta attempts to thread a ball through the heart of the Real defence to unleash Pedro, but Marcelo sticks a leg out.
Messi has had a quiet game by his standards but that pass for Xavi - bisecting the Real defence - was glorious. That is what elevates him above Ronaldo for me, that selfless, brilliant passing.
Barca go so close! Messi plays just a sumptuous pass through for Xavi and after Casillas gets a glove to the ball, Xavi can only turn his subsequent shot into the side netting. He appeared to be off balance but should really have done better.
Xabi Alonso chops down his international colleague Sergio Busquets from behind.
With Diarra on the pitch, Real are lacking the invention of Ozil but in all honesty the Germany international made very little impression on the game in the first half. It's a cute move from Mourinho.
Messi then has the ball in the back of the next but Pedro is pulled up for a foul on Pepe, and rightly so. It's been a great start to the half for the home side.
A great chance for Barca! As they flood the box, the ball pops out to Villa on the left and his effort is saved superbly by Casillas.
Dani Alves attempts to flip a ball over the top for David Villa but the striker is found to be offside.
Well, well, well. Mourinho does make a change but it is Lass Diarra who comes on for Ozil, presumably to try and assume control in the centre of midfield.
So do we expect Real to make any changes at half-time? Perhaps Gonzalo Higuain might be thrown on, while Pedro Leon also offers some attacking threat. It is hard to see how they can reverse the tide at present though.
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Real need to muster a giant response if they are to avoid their first defeat under Jose Mourinho - Barca have been wonderful in possession, though they have perhaps been rattled too easily by provocation. That might be an area for Real to exploit if they want to indulge in the dark arts.
Ronaldo and Valdes were booked for a coming together.
HALF-TIME Goals from Xavi and Pedro leave the Catalans well placed for a crucial win over their great rivals.
As the contretemps continue, the first half is drifting to a close and Barca are not exerting the same control over the game. That will offer Real some hope.
But it is Messi who is shown the yellow card, and he did appear to make a bit much of Carvalho's semi-elbow into his face. Carvalho was playing with fire though and could have been punished himself.
Messi goes down off the ball and Barca are angry, Carvalho could be in trouble...
The referee is doing a wonderful job of allowing this game to flow and Ronaldo attempts to take advantage when launching a shot from 35 yards. Valdes is unperturbed though.
Pepe does superbly well to deny Messi with a strong tackle in the box after the forward thunders down the left wing and attempts to open up space for a shot.
Barca are just retaining control of the ball and that famous passing carousel is in full swing.
Pedro taps home Barca's second goal.
Ronaldo wants a penalty when he appears to touch the ball away from Valdes, only for the goalkeeper to clatter into him. Valdes may have got a touch and the ball was heading out - both of which counted against Real - but it wouldn't have been outrageous to give it.
The game has turned a touch fractious in the past few minutes, disrupting Barca's rhythm a touch, but still Real are struggling to get their foot on the ball for any meaningful amount of time.
The bookings continue to come thick and fast as Pepe is shown a yellow for pulling back a charging Messi.
Camp Nou was so nearly silenced! Ronaldo catches the free-kick well but it flies narrowly wide of the post, with Valdes scrambling.
David Villa goes in late on Sergio Ramos to earn a booking, and Ronaldo is lining up the free kick...
After the first minor eruption of mutual antipahty, we get back to normal service and Ronaldo is targeted for abuse when he gains possession. They are protective of Pep, these Catalans.
Both Victor Valdes and Cristiano Ronaldo go into the book following the spat, but it was the proverbial storm in a teacup. Ronaldo just gave Guardiola a tiny shove as the Barca coach held the ball.
Ronaldo is losing his cool and sparks a bout of pushing amongst most of the outfield players and both benches! Even Pepe charges 50 yards to get involved. He pushed Pep Guardiola, which angered Iniesta and sparked the row. It wasn't a firm push though.
Barcelona have enjoyed 73% possession up to this point. 73%. Against a team that is accustomed to annihilating teams in the Primera Liga. That's hugely impressive.
Now Alves bursts down the right and fires in a cross that demands a clearing tackle from Ricardo Carvalho. Real cannot alleviate the pressure on their defence at present.
As Xavi chips a neat pass to Alves and Barca play their passes around in tidy triangles, Pedro is released and almost gets in behind to finish past Casillas. The Real 'keeper saves though.
Ronaldo has hardly had a kick tonight - some indulgent stepovers aside of course.
Di Maria fails to control a pass from Xabi Alonso on the touchline and jeers emanate from the stands at Camp Nou. This is a bit of a humiliation so far - a non-contest.
Barca are so confident in possession. When the ball is worked to him from a corner, 35 yards from goal, Alves dinks a ball over the top that Real only just keep out of the clutches of Messi.
Lionel Messi has been an entirely peripheral figure so far, but it does not matter one bit. Xavi, Iniesta and Villa have been superb.
Meanwhile, when Ronaldo is not given a free-kick he indulges in a trademark strop, throwing his arms to his side.
Iniesta attempts to exploit a defensive slip from Pepe but cannot quite get the ball under his control.
Now Mourinho is up against it, and how. Real will have to produce a response of huge proportions to get a victory from this game, and even a draw looks a distant dream given the way this game has panned out so far. Barca have been dominant and clinical.
Pedro doubles the Catalans' lead! Xavi fizzed the ball out to Villa and after jinking past his international colleague Sergio Ramos, the forward's cross eluded the fingers of Casillas and dropped into the path of Pedro, who tapped home.
Barca's mesmeric string of passes is being greeted by 'Oles' by the Camp Nou crowd - ominous.
Barca are beginning to look somewhat imperious in possession. Mourinho's Inter were happy to let Barca have the ball in the Champions League semi-final last season but then they were leading from the first leg. This is an entirely different scenario.
Real charge up the other end and Ronaldo attempts to find Benzema with a cross, only for Abidal to get his foot to the ball and Valdes to turn it behind. Again, the corner is wasted by Real.
Brilliant footwork from Villa as he drives in from the right but Iniesta cannot slip a pass through for Pedro.
Jose Mourinho is on course for his first defeat as Real coach as things stand, and what a day to do it. Of course, there is still plenty of time for Real to turn this around.
Victor Valdes is called into action as he throws out an arm to palm clear a shot from Di Maria that deflects off Alves. Real waste the corner though.
Real's gameplan if they scored first was obvious - park the bus - but now what does Mourinho do? Real need to take the game to Barca, who will relish the chance to exploit any space.
Well, all the pre-match talk was about Messi and Ronaldo, but it is Barca's midfield double act who have done the damage. Iniesta slipped a through-ball in for Xavi, and with Marcelo failing to clear, the ball popped up in front of the little genius and he tapped home past Casillas.
Ronaldo is assailed by a chorus of whistles as he attempts to beguile Carles Puyol with about 20 stepovers - he seems in the mood for that particular trick tonight. He crosses for Di Maria, who loses possession. Ronaldo is lining up on the right, not the left as expected, by the way.
Now Dani Alves sends Casillas scrambling with an effort from range. The goalkeeper is still thanking the woodwork for preventing Barca from taking the lead. It was an outrageous attempt from an outrageously talented player.
Messi hits the post! From the set-piece, the ball is played into the box and back to the little Argentinian, who floats the ball over Iker Casillas and onto the woodwork.
Angel Di Maria indulges in some risky business by the touchline as he attempts to keep the ball in play and instead allows Lionel Messi to nick it away from him and win a corner.
Valdes collided with the legs of Pique as he claimed the ball and requires treatment on a painful shoulder, but thankfully it appears he will not be forced off the pitch.
Now Real attack as Mesut Ozil claims possession of the ball and slips it wide to Ronaldo. A couple of stepovers later and the Real star fizzes in a low cross that Victor Valdes stoops to grab.
Gerard Pique plays a lovely ball out wide to Andres Iniesta, who attempts to whip a quick pass into David Villa in the box, but Pepe is across to stick his boot in the way.
It's a fearsome atmosphere at Camp Nou tonight, just as expected, and Real's first touches of the ball are roundly whistled.
Here we go then...
The Barca fans are in full voice as the players exchange pleasantries on the pitch. Don't expect that fraternal atmosphere to last long though, not tonight.
The 98,000 Barca fans have been handed plastic placards to produce a mural of the club's colours and the colours of the region of Catalunya - a particularly significant gesture when the Madridistas are in town.
Jose Mourinho might be known as the Special One to most of us, but in Barcelona he is known as El Traductor (the translator) in recognition of his time as assistant to Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal (and that nickname is not meant in an affectionate way). His behaviour at Chelsea and Inter angered Barca fans and he will get a hot reception tonight.
Barcelona employ a 4-3-3, with Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Andres Iniesta lining up between an attack that boasts Pedro, David Villa and Lionel Messi. Eric Abidal has been chosen at left back thanks to his defensive qualities and he will come up against Di Maria. Key to the game could be the battle between Dani Alves and Ronaldo down Barca's right, but this game contains so many special battles that it could be decided anywhere on the pitch.
To the team news, and the only headline is the inclusion of Karim Benzema in place of the injured Gonzalo Higuain. It was feared that Mourinho - who so effectively asphyxiated Barca while at Inter in the Champions League semi-final last season, deliberately ceding possession at times - would bring in Lass Diarra as a third holding midfielder, but instead he sticks to a 4-2-3-1 shape that sees Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso holding, Angel Di Maria, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo behind Benzema.
Evidence for that claim comes in the fact that 11 members of Spain's victorious World Cup side start the game while among those that didn't emerge victorious in South Africa are Lionel Messi (scorer of 70 goals in his last 71 for Barca, scoring in each of his last ten games) and Cristiano Ronaldo, who has now scored 50 goals in only 53 games for Real Madrid. Not bad, not bad at all.
Just one point separates the sides in the Liga table, with Real, still unbeaten since Jose Mourinho's arrival in the summer, sitting one point above the reigning champions. It has been said that such is the two sides' dominance over the rest of La Liga, this game could decide the destination of the title. Let's not forget that last season, Real accrued a record 96 points, only to see Barcelona get 99, and forget claims from London, Manchester or Milan - these are the two best teams around.
If there was ever a match that did not demand a preamble, this would be it, but I'm going to give you one anyway. Welcome to quite possibly the most hyped league fixture in any country for years and years. It's Barcelona v Real Madrid, it's Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo, it's Pep Guardiola v Jose Mourinho. It's El Clasico, and it's the match that the globe has been talking about for days.
It's here - the game the world is waiting to see. Barcelona welcome Real Madrid to Camp Nou for El Clasico and we will be bringing you live coverage of the clash between Europe's two best teams, and two deadly rivals. Tom Adams will be here from 1945 GMT, but in the meantime take a read of our preview of the match.