16th of April saw the first of four El Classicos within a period of under three weeks when Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid played host to Barcelona for their second clash in the Spanish La Liga. After their 5-0 thrashing at theNou Camp the Galacticos were playing more for pride and bragging rights as it is unlikely that they will be able to topple the Catalans at the top of the La Liga table.
First Half Analysis
At the start of the game it was Barcelona all the way and at one stage their world class midfield held together by Xavi and Iniesta had strung together over a 120 passes to Real’s 20 odd! However, Barca failed to create anything meaningful in the final third and to be frank they enjoyed most of their possession within their own half as Jose Mourinho’s men smartly sat a little deep and allowed the Barca halfbacks to string together a series of meaningless passes.
The Real Madrid defense managed to keep Lionel Messi uncharacteristically quiet with only two decent attempts on goal and Spain number one Iker Cassius was more than equal to it on both occasions. Pedro too failed t to create any chances in the Real third and almost went unnoticed more the majority of the first 45 minutes. Barca’s best chance fell to Spanish striker David Villa who was foiled by the lunging effort of his national team captain Iker Cassius. The referee read the situation as a dive on villa’s part but replays hinted that Real had got away with a tight penalty call.
Though by the end of the first 45 Real Madrid only had 30% of the possession they were able to create a number of threatening chances in the Barcelona chances most which were unfortunately squandered by a very nervy Di Maria. Real’s best chance came from a corner when Christiano Ronaldo’s header was cleared off the line by Adriano right at the stroke of half time.
Second Half Analysis
Within 10 minutes of the restart Ronaldo first hit a free kick straight against the woodwork and then Real Madrid defender Albiol saw a straight red for bring down David Villa inside the box and Messi converted the penalty to give Barca the lead.
Even as 10 men Real Madrid struggled to get their feet on the ball Barca could have doubled their lead but a splendid effort from Xavi ricocheted off the post.
Then Dani Alves brought down Marcello and it was a penalty for the Galacticos with less than 10 minutes to play. Ronaldo put it in the back of the net to even things up. Later Real Madrid strung together the move of the match through Oezil and Adebayor (both of whom came in as substitutes) but Sami Khedira just couldn’t find the shot to beat Victor Valdes.
The game ended a one all draw with the Catalans still maintaining their commanding 8 point lead at the top of the table. Next the two Spanish giants meet in midweek for the Copa Del Rey.