Full-time - 90'
1 - 1
20:00 +00:00, April 16, 2011
Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: César Muñiz Fernández
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A tale of two penalties from the planet's finest two players. Messi scored his first against a Jose Mourinho side, while Ronaldo broke his El Clasico duck. What next in this intriguing saga?
FULL TIME An absorbing, if not enthralling, 1-1 draw. A fair result and enough to show that there is a lot more excitement to come in the next three matches. Roll on the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.
What a chance for David Villa! A beautiful ball from Xavi and the striker had sprung the offside trap. When he needed a confident touch to bring the pass down, he couldn't find it and the chance was gone. That should have been the winner.
Xavi is booked for dissent. What he was protesting against, I'm not sure.
Lionel Messi has drawn the fury of the Real Madrid fans. As he chased down a pass which was drifting out of play, the Argentine booted the ball into the crowd. They respond by launching a volley of flags at the little striker.
FOUR MINUTES ADDED TIME
Excellent play from the outstanding Ozil. He shrugs off Keita before slipping Adebayor away down the right-flank. His cut back for Khedira is perfect, but the midfielders low shot is straight at Valdes, who makes a save.
Two minutes to go, who can become a hero?
Wonderful play between Ozil and Marcelo. The German gets to the byline, twists and turns before trying to feed Khedira, but Barca make a vital interception. There is certainly another goal in this game...
A hectic period of play. Valdes races out of goal to clear an Ozil pass, at the other end, Messi skips past Arbeloa into the Real box. In the end, Iniesta skews a half-volley well wide.
More neat approach play from Barca, Iniesta almost with the perfect through ball for Messi but Casillas reacts superbly to gather.
Seven minutes left. Will either side push on for a winner?
Barca will be furious with the award of that penalty. Alves didn't get the ball, but Marcelo went down very easily. Was there any contact? It's a very tough call.
GOAL Ronaldo levels it by sending Valdes the wrong way!
Victor Valdes carded for his protests.
PENALTY TO REAL MADRID Dani Alves stretches to tackle Marcelo, penalty given. There didn't look to be much contact. Very controversial.
Maxwell on for Adriano
The delivery is very poor and flies straight out of play as Barca prepare to make a change.
Alves carded for a trip on Adebayor. Another useful free kick...
Ronaldo doesn't get his head over the ball and his shot comfortably clears the crossbar.
Ozil tries to force a way through Barca on the edge of the box, and the referee gives a foul. It didn't look like one, but Ronaldo won't care. He steps up...
Alvaro Arbeloa into the book for a straight-forward tug on David Villa.
Barcelona skipper Carles Puyol goes off injured.
Adriano heads the corner clear, but Villa fouls Ramos near the touchline.
Marcelo tries to take on Busquets and wins a corner...
Jose Mourinho is trying to rally his troops from the touchline, but I'm not sure what he can do here. They seem to have accepted their fate.
Not much intensity to the game at the moment. Surely Real haven't written this one off just yet?
David Villa's drought shows no sign of ending. Great play from Messi, who slips the ball across to Villa inside the Barca penalty area. The pass takes a bobble and makes the shot awkward for Villa, who can only guide an effort straight at Casillas.
A lot of laser pen nonsense about tonight. Messi had it in his face while taking the penalty and Guardiola while he was stood on the sidelines. Victor Valdes is also not happy and tells the referee exactly how he feels.
It looks as if Mourinho has now shifted to a front three of Ronaldo, Adebayor and Ozil. Can the ten men salvage anything from this match?
Alvaro Arbeloa on for Angel Di Maria
Ibrahim Afellay on for Pedro
Emmanuel Adebayor on for Xabi Alonso
Pepe attempts to latch onto a Ramos header across goal, he nearly converts, but from an offside position.
Real corner, Pique stretching to block Carvalho's cross...
Wonderful run from Messi, who is within a whisker of being released after a one-two with Villa.
The whistles begin to ring around the Bernabeu. Their not used to seeing visiting teams control matches like this.
Xavi clips the crossbar with a side-footed effort from Pedro's cut back. Predictably, with Real down to 10, Barca are well in control.
Real Madrid look battle-weary already and are having a hard time getting the ball, let alone an equaliser.
Busquets looks to release David Villa over the top after Barcelona have an age in possession, but the flag goes up.
Carles Puyol seems fine as he steps off the stretcher and walks to the dugout. A bit of gamesmanship there?
Alves rolls the ball out of play to allow Puyol to be taken off. He's been placed on a stretcher and carried to the sidelines. It was a shock to see him back tonight, so hopefully for him this is just a precautionary measure.
Mesut Ozil on for Karim Benzema Seydou Keita on for Carles Puyol
Mezut Ozil is also ready to come on...
Seydou Keita is ready to be introduced for Barcelona...
Real Madrid went from coming within inches of taking the lead, to being behind and down to ten men in the blink of an eye. What can Jose Mourinho do now?
GOAL Iker Casillas gets close, but it's a very calm penalty from Lionel Messi.
Raul Albiol drags down Villa as he latches onto a through ball. A certain penalty and a straight red card. Lionel Messi steps up...
PENALTY TO BARCELONA
Barca would have been furious had Ronaldo converted that free kick. It was never a foul by Adriano.
Ronaldo has clattered a low, skidding free kick off the post! Victor Valdes nowhere near it and Barcelona survive.
A very useful free kick for Real. It looks soft, given for an Adriano push on Ronaldo. A great chance from just outside the box...
Di Maria is tackled by Alves. The Argentine attempts to make amends and concedes a foul. Barca free kick.
A similar start to the second half, Barca enjoying possession with Real Madrid sitting off.
SECOND HALF Real Madrid with the restart.
The teams make their way back out on to the pitch, who can grab this game and take the psychological advantage in this series of matches?
Tempers started to fray at times in the opening period and you would think that is only going to get worse over the coming days and weeks. Expect fireworks.
Lionel Messi takes on the Real Madrid defence.
For Barcelona, there are not many options on the bench but more than enough talent on the pitch. Messi showed in glimpses his immense talent, but David Villa was largely invisible. They need to get him into the game and threaten Casillas' goal.
An intriguing clash of styles in the first half. Real Madrid were content to let Barca play in the opening stages, but slowly grew into the contest. With the likes of Kaka, Higuain and in particular Mesut Ozil on the bench, the options are there if Jose Mourinho decides to adopt a more attacking approach.
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HALF TIME Stalement in the Santiago Bernabeu. Messi and Ronaldo have both gone close, but not close enough. The main talking point is Villa's penalty claim, which looked like it should have been given. It wasn't and we're goalless at the break.
Ronaldo with a header cleared off the line!!! The corner is won at the far post by Ramos, who heads back across goal. Ronaldo's effort is destined for the back of the net, but Adriano with a last-ditch headed clearance.
Khedira works hard to earn a corner form Real Madrid. What a time this would be to score...
First glimpse of Messi's brilliance as we approach half time. The Argentine evaded one challenge before playing a one-two with David Villa. From the return he stretches to fire on goal, but Casillas is equal to it and palms the shot clear.
High-foot from Alonso on Busquets, free kick inside the Barca half.
Lionel Messi is down and clutching his head after launching a mazy dribble. It looks as if he whacked his face of Xabi Alonso's backside, not nice. But he's fine, thankfully.
David Villa, I had forgotten he was on the pitch too, skips inside and shoots from long range. It bounces comfortably into Casillas' body.
Busquets making a bit of a fool of himself attempting to claim a shot to the face from Xabi Alonso. There was nothing in it and luckily the referee isn't buying it.
Marcelo, who I must say is a fairly irritating guy to watch, skips forward and tries a left-footed drive from 25-yards. It's easily gathered by Valdes.
Slowly but surely Real are taking the ascendency in this contest.
The game seems to be opening up, to the relief of the neutral.
What a chance for Ronaldo to break his El Clasico duck! Marcelo intercepts a clearance and advances on goal before sliding a perfectly-timed pass into Ronaldo. His first touch is loose, which allows Adriano to nip in and make a crucial intervention.
An excellent burst from Pepe as he shows a surprisingly deft touch. He exchanges passes with Ronaldo, before the later attempts to let fly only to see his shot blocked.
Marcelo is in the book following a coming together with Lionel Messi.
The corner is headed clear, but from the rebound the ball is fed to Di Maria who is in acres of space. He closes on the nearpost, but instead of crossing, he lashes a shot over the bar. A real waste. Or should I say, Real waste..?
Di Maria comes within a whisker of releasing Ronaldo through the middle of the pitch, Pique stretches to intercept and concede a corner...
That surely would have been a game-changing moment. Casillas would have had to go if a penalty had been given. A huge, huge let off for Mourinho's team.
Gerard Pique receives a booking for his overly-enthusiastic protesting.
A big penalty shout for Barcelona! Messi slips in Villa, who taps the ball around Casillas and goes down. It looked a clear spot-kick, but the referee points for a goal-kick. A let off for Casillas and Real.
Benzema charges down a clearance by Puyol and is racing clear on goal. The whistle goes and the referee decides, correctly, it hit Benzema on the line.
Ronaldo down in a heep after a challenge by Pique, but the referee waves play on. A dive by Ronaldo and strong officiating.
Ronaldo bursts on to the corner but he can't get over the header and it clears the crossbar.
Much better from Victor Valdes, who punches the cross out of play. From the throw, Real win another corner...
The corner is cleared, but Alonso feeds Benzema from the loose ball. The French striker darts into the box and his low shot is fumbled behind by Valdes...
Angel Di Maria tries to take on Puyol and wins a corner...
The pattern is set now, Real Madrid are prepared to sit off Barca and let them have possession for as long as they want. But when they try and attack, Barca are coming up against a white wall. It's not too popular with the Real fans, by the sound of it.
First chance of the game and it's Lionel Messi. Barca had an age in possession prior to springing to Real offside trap, Messi played through by Iniesta. He traps the bouncing ball on his chest before trying to chip Iker Casillas, but the keeper stands tall.
It's almost as if both teams know there are still three matches to go after this one and they don't want to peek too soon.
Neat approach play from Barca, Iniesta whipping in a cross from deep looking for Pedro which drifts to Iker Casillas.
Ronaldo's free kick the only shot on goal so far. David Villa has been anonymous for the visitors.
Another foul and this is a frustratingly stop-start match so far, Pedro impeded by Xabi Alonso.
Khedira gains revenge on Adriano, tripping the Brazilian to give away a cheap free kick.
Messi is coming up against a Pepe-shaped brickwall in front of the Real defence at the moment. Mourinho has clearly given the Portugal defender a man-marking mission.
Dani Alves gets forward for the first time and is caught just offside on the right flank.
Ronaldo puffs out his chest and puts his foot through the ball, only to see it scuttle into the arms of Victor Valdes.
Adriano has the dubious honour of being the first man in the book for blocking Sami Khedira. A very dangerous free kick for Madrid...
Pedro, of all people, jumps highest to head clear.
Free kick Real just inside the Barca half...
Dani Alves put under pressure by Angel di Maria, who closes down the Brazilian's attempted clearance.
Another loose Busquets pass, two of those in a match is surely a crime in Barcelona? Let alone two in the opening five minutes.
Even the linesman is getting some rough treatment. Marcelo charges down Lionel Messi, slips and ploughs through the official on the touchline. Amusing stuff.
A scrappy opening, Pepe now tripping Andres Iniesta. It's more like Stoke v Bolton out there at the moment.
Free kick to Real, Pepe, who is playing in midfield, on the end of a robust Busquets challenge.
A rare loose pass from Barca, Iniesta can't control and it's a Real throw.
Immediately Busquets is felled by Karim Benzema. Has the tone been set?
KICK OFF Barcelona get us started.
The teams are out and the Real anthem is being fairly belted out by the 80,000 Madridistas.
The scene is set, a giant mosaic of the Real Madrid crest has been formed by the fans and everyone is eager to get this started.
The strength on the Real Madrid bench is unbelievable. Has any team ever had a stronger set of substitutes?
The Bernabeu is ready to welcome the teams. I say welcome the teams, they will mainly be welcoming Real and deriding Barca.
For Real, Jose Mourinho has opted against including German schemer supremo Mezut Ozil, instead preferring to name five defenders. There has been talk in the build-up that Marcelo may play in a defensive midfield role, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
The big team news is that Barca captain Carles Puyol has made an unexpected return from injury to play in the heart of their defence alongside Gerard Pique.
In case you've been living under a rock for the last week or so, I'll let you know what's going on. Archrivals Real Madrid and Barcelona are set to go head-to-head four times in the next 18 days in three competitions. Tonight, it's La Liga, Wednesday is the Copa del Rey final, before a two-legged Champions League semifinal clash.
Hands up who's excited? I can't see your hands but I know they are raised, what game we have in prospect. The El Clasico super-series kicks off tonight with a La Liga battle. It doesn't get much better than this folks.
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Jose Mourinho angered the Spanish press on Friday when staying silent during his press conference to preview the clasico. Who will have the last word tonight?
Ángel Di María
José Manuel Pinto