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El Clasico

Real Madrid Take Points and Title

April 23rd, 2012

Barcelona effectively conceded the title on Saturday evening, losing 1-2 to Real Madrid at the Camp Nou. Real Madrid took the lead through Khedira after a slip by Valdés. From there Barcelona fought gamely and eventually equalised via Alexis in the 70th minute. But immediately after the goal Real Madrid regained the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo.

The first half got off to a frantic pace, with Real Madrid once again pressing Barcelona high up the pitch, but quickly getting back into position when Barça had the ball. It was the away team that settled earlier – in the first five minutes Cristiano Ronaldo nodded a header down onto the top Puyol’s head, and looked destined for the top-right corner before Valdés tipped it over the bar acrobatically.

Alves almost got a shot away after he intercepted a pass between two Madrid defenders, but Casillas was quick to come out and block him off. Cristian Tello was lively on Barcelona’s left flank throughout the half, and had Barcelona’s first telling effort when cut inside a defender but saw his shot across the goal well saved by Casillas

But as Barcelona appeared to be finding their feet, Real Madrid scored from a corner – Di Maria swung the ball in deep from the left, Pepe got up at the back post and headed it across the six yard box. Valdes spilled the ball and Puyol attempted to cover, but was outmuscled by Khedira who scooped the ball into the net.

After the goal Real Madrid retreated into their half and put the onus on Barcelona to try and break them down. Ten minutes after the opener Xavi had a golden opportunity to make it 1-1. Messi slipped a sublime reverse pass through, and Xavi had plenty of time one-on-one, but saw his shot narrowly roll past the left post after a small deflection off Casillas.

The second half saw Barcelona completely dominate territory and possession, as Real Madrid held their shape and attempted to buy time at every opportunity. Chances were limited for either side, and after 25 minutes the closest Barça had come was via a Xavi shot that zipped just past the left post.

Soon after though, Barcelona were on level terms. Stylish build-up play from Messi and Iniesta brought the ball to Tello’s feet. His shot was well saved by Casillas, but Busquets sent the ball back towards the goal, and Alexis was on hand to force the ball home after a goal-line scramble.

At this stage it seemed likely that Barcelona would take the upper hand, but directly after the goal Real Madrid had regained the upper hand. This time Özil received the ball on the right touchline, and sent a smart, angled pass in behind for Cristiano, who took it on, rounded Valdes to the right and tucked his shot home.

Stifled by Madrid’s dogged defending, Barcelona were unable to rouse themselves and were unable to muster another chance before full-time.

0-1 Khedira (min 16)
1-1 Alexis (min 69)
1-2 Cristiano (min 72)


Buy Barcelona football tickets for another clasico!

January 13th, 2012

Following Real Madrid’s qualification for the Copa del Rey quarter finals later this month and FC Barcelona going through after defeating Osasuna, football fans can look forward to two clasicos both next week and the week that follows.

On 17/18/19 January Real Madrid play at home, with the Nou Camp leg a week later on 24/25/26. These dates will be confirmed shortly and if you’d like to order now you can do so to ensure you don’t miss out on what will be another exciting encounter between the two sides.

Last season the Copa del Rey was Real Madrid’s only title and so Jose Mourinho’s boys will be looking to at least make it through to the next round and defeat their Catalan arch-rival even if they don’t win the title.

Click the following links to order now: Real Madrid v FC Barcelona or FC Barcelona v Real Madrid


Last call for FC Barcelona v Real Madrid

December 22nd, 2011

After Barcelona’s humiliating 3-1 win against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu earlier this month the focus will soon turn to the next “clasico”, this time played at the Nou Camp.

Barça’s record against Madrid since last season has been remarkable and although they lost the Copa del Rey to their arch-rival, Barça took the important trophies; namely the Spanish League and Champions League.

We have a small number of tickets left for the match, but they will sell out soon. We currently have two VIP Gold tickets and some Cat 3 tickets but nothing else. If you’d like to see “el clasico” in 2012 now is a good time to place your order and avoid disappointment.

Click here to order tickets for FC Barcelona v Real Madrid in the clasico 2012


Barcelona Sweat it Out in Madrid

August 15th, 2011

FC Barcelona drew the first leg of the Super Cup 2-2 at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid on Sunday night. Barça spent long periods of the match on the back-foot, suffocated on a sultry night by relentless Real Madrid pressure. Los Blancos opened the scoring with a smart Özil finish, but Barcelona equalised and then took the lead via a fine Villa strike and an opportunistic finish by Lionel Messi.

Xabi Alonso levelled the score ten minutes after the break, side-footing home from the edge of the area. Although there were some rugged tackles from Real Madrid, the match was played in good spirit, and on Wednesday night Barcelona fans could get to see Cesc Fábregas make his first senior appearance for his boyhood club.

Two strong lineups took to the field in Madrid – Alexis Sánchez made his debut, starting on the right wing for Barcelona, while Xavi, Puyol and Piqué took their place on the Barça bench. Real fielded a more positive XI than in the Clásicos towards the end of last season – Cristiano Ronaldo, Di Maria, Benzema, Ozil and Alonso all started for Los Merengues.

The first 30 minutes were difficult for Guardiola’s men; Real Madrid were pressing hard, forcing mistakes from every one of Barcelona’s defenders. Macherano and Abidal looked particularly uncomfortable, and on the few occasions that they managed to get the ball to a midfielder, possession was surrendered in the face of packs of white shirts. Xavi was sorely missed.

Indeed, it came as no surprise when Real Madrid took the lead; Benzema made a powerful run in from the right, and threaded a delicate squared pass for Ozil, who dispatched a tidy finish to the right of Valdés.

Barcelona continued to struggle until Villa netted a spectacular equaliser, which came almost out of the blue. The Asturian forward found some rare space, pulled in from the left and smashed a swerving shot over Casillas into the very top right corner of the goal.

The second Barcelona goal came just before half time and was another smash and grab. Messi was first to react to a loose ball, shrugged off Pepe, and swept the ball home to hand the away side an unlikely lead going into the break.

The second half saw more pressure on the Barça goal, although Madrid’s pressing was now a little less concerted. Their equaliser came in the 54th minute, after Benzema teed up Alonso who placed a smart shot into the bottom right corner from just outside the area.

Valdés was the busier of the two ‘keepers as the game went on, but neither side would again find the net. Both teams had legitimate penalty shouts denied in the closing stages – Valdés appeared to reach out and trip Cristiano as he chased a ball away from goal, while Pedro was floored in the Madrid area by a clumsy Marcelo challenge.

And while the second half was underway, news of an agreement for Cesc Fábregas filtered through from London and Barcelona, finally bringing to an end a three-year transfer saga.


El clasico 2010 – the shame of Real Madrid

November 30th, 2010

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid is probably the biggest fixture of the year worldwide, and while it always has a huge build-up it is sometimes quite a let down.

That wasn’t the case last night though, particularly if you are a Barça fan. While the Catalans came on to play the beautiful game, the visitors showed what happens when you hire a bunch of expensive thugs who have no idea what sportsmanship is.

And that was nowhere better demonstrated by Cristiano Ronaldo, who was bought for talent that he can never show when the odds are too high and behaves like a petulant prima dona when things don’t go his way.

Such as when he took the ball from Pep Guardiola and pushed him back around 30 minutes in – honestly, I know tensions run high but was that in any way necessary. I’m not condoning violence at football matches, but if I’d been in Guardiola’s place I think I would have decked him.

Okay, so now I have that off my chest….

It was a pretty miserable night from the point of view of the weather – cold and raining and nobody likes much to be out in that, but support for Barça – particularly on a Monday night – was outstanding. Perhaps it was something to do with the Catalan elections on Sunday, perhaps it was simply the event itself, but people were going out of their way to ignore the rain as best they could and support Barcelona.

The team went on with one intention – to beat Real Madrid, and they showed how intent they were to do that from the start. Messi came close in minute six, but Xavi put an Iniesta assist into the goal just four minutes later to open up the scoring. Seven minutes later it was Villa’s pass to Pedro that put the hosts 2-0 up.

That’s when Real Madrid really started to show how nasty they can be, with Ronaldo’s push of Guardiola at around the half hour mark. That earned him a yellow card, but the scuffles on pitch afterwards looked like the ref might start showing the red. In the end it was only Victor Valdes who earned a yellow.

A few minutes later when Valdes tangled directly with Ronaldo in the Barça area it looked like the visitors would be awarded a penalty. When it wasn’t given, Valdes just laughed in the face of his opponent. And what happened at the end of the first half? Leo Messi was clearly elbowed in the face, but it was him that was shown the yellow card!

After the break there was no let up for Barça. In the 54th minute David Villa scored his first; and three minutes later he did it again! Did I imagine it or had Jose Mourinho said that Villa can’t score??!!.. Oh yeah? Mourinho’s sour look on the bench told a story – his face had been well and truly rubbed in the dirt.

4-0 good enough for Barça? Not when it can be 5-0, as Jeffren made it right at the end. And when the stadium was just waiting for the fat lady, Ramos was shown a red for completely unnecessary behaviour and started pushing Puyol, Xavi and other players around. Umm… aren’t you supposed to be team mates in the Spanish selection, Ramos?

At 63% possession, Barça looked like they were playing a second rate team, not against so-called galacticos, thereby leapfrogging them in the league.

Conclusion?

Barça walked all over Madrid in the first half and after scoring the first two goals they simply tried dirty play to put Barça off their stride and break their flow. Real Madrid – you really ought to be ashamed. At least Jose Mourinho was suitably humbled after the match and said that Barça deserved to win.

And man of the match – definitely Cristiano Ronaldo, but for all the wrong reasons. He is a disgrace.

1-0, Xavi (min 10)
2-0, Pedro (min 17)
3-0, Villa (min 54)
4-0, Villa (min 57)
5-0, Jeffren (min 91)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Barcelona
13
11
1
1
38
8
34
2
Real Madrid
13
10
2
1
33
11
32
3
Villarreal
13
8
3
2
26
12
27
4
Espanyol
13
8
1
4
15
15
25
5
Valencia
13
7
3
3
19
13
24
6
Mallorca
13
6
3
4
15
13
21
7
Atlético Madrid
13
6
2
5
22
17
20
8
Sevilla
13
6
2
5
20
22
20
9
Real Sociedad
13
6
1
6
19
19
19
10
Athletic Bilbao
13
6
1
6
21
23
19
11
Getafe
13
5
2
6
19
20
17
12
Osasuna
13
4
3
6
12
14
15
13
Hércules
13
4
3
6
14
20
15
14
Deportivo
13
3
5
4
11
16
14
15
Racing Santander
13
4
2
7
11
19
14
16
Levante
13
3
2
8
14
23
11
17
Sporting Gijón
13
2
4
7
11
21
10
18
Málaga
13
3
1
9
15
27
10
19
Almería
13
1
6
6
9
20
9
20
Zaragoza
13
1
5
7
12
23
8

Barça back on top after defeating Real Madrid

April 12th, 2010

Barcelona is back at the top of the league table after a classic 2-0 defeat of Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Saturday night!

Although there are still seven matches remaining of the season, it is a huge moral boost for the Catalans and has really dented Real Madrid’s self-belief. It is always difficult to put “El Clasico” in any real perspective as it is hyped so much throughout Spain, which it so often fails to live up to (although last season’s 6-2 defeat of Real Madrid at the Bernabeu certainly DID). However, Saturday’s match was the forth El Clasico won by Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid’s first home loss this season.

The match started with both teams looking a little desperate and a long way from playing their best. Barça’s first goal came in the 32nd minute from a clearly annoyed Messi, sick and tired of the constant fouling from Madrid.

To me – and I’m hardly unbiased -  it looked like Madrid were going in hard throughout the match, but players from both teams received yellow cards; Messi, Xavi, Alves and Maxwell were all cautioned, but although Ramos picked up one yellow for Madrid, there were two other occasions which looked like they were clear yellow cards and he should have received his marching orders.

After the break one of the heroes of the night was Victor Valdes, who faced dangerous moments in the 51st and 55th minute when Van der Vaart and Ronaldo managed to break through, and then in the 69th minute – it constantly amazes me both when people call for him to be replaced AND that he has never been called up for the Spanish selection. The other hero was Pedro, who scored the second goal for Barça in the 56th minute; Messi came close again in the 77th minute, but his shot was saved by Casillas.

A great night for Barcelona, but not the dismal result Real Madrid seem to think it is. While the teams are arch-rivals, coming second in the league – and it isn’t over yet – hardly counts as the total failure painted by some of their supporters.

After the match there were plenty of fireworks in Barcelona and the party atmosphere spilled over in to the centre of Barcelona where another spectacular victory was celebrated. My own post match party didn’t finish until the very early hours of Sunday morning.

0-1, Messi (min 32)
0-2, Pedro (min 56)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Barcelona
31
25
5
1
77
19
80
2
Real Madrid
31
25
2
4
83
27
77
3
Valencia
31
16
8
7
50
33
56
4
Sevilla
31
15
6
10
45
36
51
5
Mallorca
31
15
6
10
49
36
51
6
Athletic Bilbao
31
14
6
11
45
42
48
7
Villarreal
31
13
7
11
46
41
46
8
Getafe
31
13
5
13
43
40
44
9
Deportivo
31
12
7
12
33
39
43
10
Atlético Madrid
31
11
7
13
47
48
40
11
Sporting Gijón
31
9
10
12
33
39
37
12
Osasuna
31
10
7
14
28
35
37
13
Almería
31
9
10
12
33
43
37
14
Espanyol
31
9
10
12
25
37
37
15
Racing Santander
31
7
11
13
31
45
32
16
Zaragoza
31
8
8
15
37
55
32
17
Málaga
31
7
10
14
35
40
31
18
Tenerife
31
6
8
17
29
61
26
19
Valladolid
31
4
13
14
30
53
25
20
Xerez
31
5
8
19
26
53
23

Want to see one of the few remaining home matches in this classic season? Reserve your FC Barcelona tickets today.


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