Saturday April 21, 2012 Day 35 Camp Nou

Countdown: -1165 Days

  1. Barcelona v Real Madrid: LIVE

    Barcelona v Real Madrid: LIVE

    Follow live text commentary on the Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou in La Liga. More

  • Live Commentary

    • - Is the title now done and dusted? Did Guardiola get his team selection wrong? Let me know your thoughts on Madrid's Clasico victory on Twitter now. Follow Tom Adams on Twitter
    • 90+4' FULL TIME. Madrid win at Camp Nou! Goals from Khedira and Ronaldo give Mourinho's men a victory that takes them seven points clear at the top of the table with four games remaining. It was a fantastic performance from Madrid, but Barca were very disappointing and will now lose their title.
    • 90+4' A late free kick for Madrid and Ronaldo thumps the ball high into the stands at Camp Nou. Madrid then pick the ball up again and Ronaldo almost gets on the end of a cross from Higuain.
    • 90+3' Here is the final change for Madrid as Gonzalo Higuain replaces Benzema in attack.
    • 90+1' Arbeloa appears to connect with his own team-mate Ramos yet Madrid have a free kick. Bizarre.
    • 90' We will have four added minutes here. Time running out for Barca if they want to retain their title.
    • 89' Ozil is replaced by Jose Maria Callejon as Madrid run down the clock.
    • 88' This has been a poor, poor night for Barcelona, who haven't been anywhere near their best. Madrid have been resolute and committed, as well as scoring the goal of the night.
    • 86' Mascherano is booked for a messy challenge on Ronaldo. That was borne of frustration no doubt.
    • 85' Mascherano of all people drives a shot high over the bar from 25 yards. Barca are restoring to his and hope now.
    • 83' Benzema attempts to finish things off when hitting a firm shot at goal but Valdes gets his body behind the ball to smother the effort.
    • 81' Barca make their final change as Fabregas comes on for Tello.
    • 80' This has been a superb performance from Madrid and if they hold on they will fully deserve to win the league.
    • 79' And now Granero is cautioned for a pull on the shirt of Messi.
    • 78' Confirmation that Barca have replaced Adriano with Pedro.
    • 77' Ozil goes into the book for taking too long at a corner.
    • 76' Trouble flares up on the far touchline after a tackle from Alves on Ronaldo. The right-back appeared to have a cheeky kick at his opponent from the ground. However, things simmer down quickly.
    • 75' This game is swinging wildly. But the upshot at the moment is that Madrid will be opening up a seven-point lead unless Barca can muster a response.
    • 74' Change for Madrid as Esteban Granero replaces Di Maria in midfield.
    • 73' GOAL! Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid! Sensational! Ronaldo silences Camp Nou with his 42nd goal of the season. On the counter, Ozil takes possession on the right and plays in Ronaldo with a superb pass. He takes a touch to draw Valdes and then finishes with aplomb.
    • 71' Not a bad substitution that. A real shame for Casillas though as he made two superb saves before Sanchez finally tucked the ball away.
    • 70' GOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid! Sanchez equalises within seconds of his introduction! It is a messy goal but Barca won't care. Iniesta plays in Tello with a lovely flick and his effort is saved by Casillas. Adriano's follow-up then ricochets to Sanchez, who finishes at the second attempt as he bundles the ball over the line.
    • 69' Here's a surprise: Sanchez is on but he is replacing Xavi, not Tello. That comes as a shock.
    • 68' Barca go close! Thiago lays the ball off square to Xavi and his fearsome effort flies just wide of the post from 20 yards.
    • 67' Barca are readying Alexis Sanchez. Finally. He should have been on some time ago.
    • 66' Coentrao takes a cross from Alves clean in the temple and collapses to the floor, requiring treatment. He looks a bit dazed.
    • 65' Tello with a poor cross after great work from Xavi and it does look as though the occasion has been a bit much for the 20-year-old. Still nothing from Pep though.
    • 64' Barca need to change something here. This has been a disappointing performance and Guardiola needs to tinker with his side soon.
    • 63' Benzema bundles past a couple of challenges but his pass for Ozil lacks direction as the forward tumbles to ground under a challenge from Thiago. Barca clear.
    • 62' Messi slips a quick pass forward for Xavi, who flicks the ball back into his path. Messi then collides with Ramos when trying to collect the pass and becomes involved in a confrontation with, you guessed it, Pepe.
    • 60' Just a reminder that if the score stays like this then Madrid will be going seven points clear with four games remaining. That will be La Liga done and dusted.
    • 59' Pepe blocks an effort from Messi as Barca continue to surge forward at every opportunity. They have mastery of the ball but Madrid are proving adept in snuffing out their attacks.
    • 58' Stat from Opta: "The Azulgrana have won their last three league matches at home to Real Madrid, scoring eight goals and conceding none."
    • 57' Messi bumps into Pepe and provokes a dramatic bout of rolling around from the Madrid man. The usual antics from the Portugal international.
    • 55' What a chance! Thiago cuts open the Madrid defence with a sumptuous pass but Tello, who has been wasteful tonight, takes it first time and gets under the ball with his right boot, sending it high over the bar.
    • 53' Ronaldo has the ball in the back of the net but the forward has strayed offside when collecting a through-ball from Benzema.
    • 52' Fantastic pass from Iniesta. However, after taking possession of the ball Tello attempts to beat Casillas from a tight angle and only succeeds in lashing his shot high and wide. That was poor.
    • 51' Ozil stands over a corner on the right but his delivery is poor and fails to beat the first man. Madrid need to make more of those chances.
    • 50' Di Maria cons the ref with a dive under minimal contact from Iniesta. No booking though.
    • 49' Ronaldo is caught offside when attempting to collect a high ball over the top from Ozil.
    • 48' Very harsh. Messi surges through the centre of the pitch but is halted by a fine challenge from Alonso. He clearly gets the ball but the referee blows for a foul and Alonso is booked!
    • 47' No changes at half time which is something of a surprise given Barca have Alexis Sanchez and Pedro sat on the bench.
    • 46' KICK OFF!
    • - Now you have 15 minutes to kill, why not get on contact on Twitter. Follow Tom Adams on Twitter!
    • 45+2' HALF TIME. Khedira's goal has Madrid in front at the home of Barcelona.
    • 45+1' We will have one minute of added time.
    • 45' It is absolutely teeming down with rain at Camp Nou now. Should make for a slick surface in the second half.
    • 44' Ozil finds space on the right and jinks away from Thiago. However, Mascherano is on hand to produce a fine block as Ozil tries to cross.
    • 43' Pepe, surprise surprise, goes into the book for a body check on Busquets.
    • 42' Ouch. Iniesta lands heavily on his back after an aerial challenge from Khedira but though in pain, looks fine to continue.
    • 41' Barca construct another flowing move but after Xavi slips in Alves, the Brazilian finds Messi offside when he delivers his cross from inside the box on the right.
    • 40' Stat from Opta: "Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 20 away goals in the league this season, beating Dani Guiza’s 19 with Mallorca in 2007/08."
    • 38' Arbeloa is again forced to deal with the speedy Tello but uses his body well to lever the forward off the ball and usher it out for a goal kick.
    • 37' A lovely passing move from Barca culminates in a rather ambitious shot from range from Thiago which creeps wide. That was symptomatic of Barca's performance so far.
    • 36' The Barca players are furious after a decision goes against them but Messi did foul Ramos. Frustration creeping in after a rather impotent first half.
    • 35' Iniesta has such a deft touch but on this occasion an attempt to lift the ball over the Madrid defence goes awry.
    • 33' Barca have had plenty of the ball since going behind, as you would expect, and Madrid have faded somewhat as a force. Messi needs to see more of the ball.
    • 31' Xavi tries to collect a return pass from Messi and throws himself to ground. The referee is not convinced though and waves play on.
    • 30' Stat from Opta: "Sergio Ramos has seen more cards in games against Barcelona (seven yellows, one red) than any other side in the league."
    • 29' Alvaro Arbeloa deals well with a tricky run from Tello as the youngster cuts in from the left. Excellent defending.
    • 27' What a chance! Messi plays in Xavi with a glorious pass and his low effort creeps just wide following a faint touch from Casillas that is not spotted by the officials. Xavi should have put that away.
    • 26' Alves pings in a cross for Messi again but lifts the ball into the air, making it all but impossible for the forward to control. That was poor.
    • 25' Alonso looks perplexed to be penalised for a foul on Alves and the Barca midfielder certainly threw himself to ground. Replays show he did catch his heel though.
    • 24' Messi attempts to thread a pass through for Iniesta but overcooks his ball as Madrid tidy up at the back.
    • 23' Skills on show from Alves as he cuts in from the right to square for Messi but an attempted backheel for Iniesta is cut out by Alonso, who hoofs the ball clear.
    • 21' Tello thumps a shot wide of the post before, at the other end, Benzema plays in Ronaldo on the counter-attack and he drags a shot right across the face of goal and wide.
    • 20' Andres Iniesta and Messi attempt to prise open the Madrid defence as Barca seek a route back into this game. However, Madrid close ranks. Expect to see Barca dominating possession to a huge degree now.
    • 19' Stat from Opta: "Mourinho's side are the highest-scoring away side in Europe’s top-five leagues this season (45, a club record, and nine more than Man Utd this season)."
    • 18' That is Real Madrid's 108th league goal this season, setting a new La Liga record. Not bad.
    • 17' GOAL! Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid! Khedira, of all people, puts the visitors in front! A corner comes in from the right and Valdes gets a good hand to a header from Pepe. However, Puyol is unable to clear the loose ball and Khedira swings in a leg to turn the ball over the line. Reward for a fine start for Madrid.
    • 16' Stat from Opta: "After Bayern (six), Barcelona have conceded the fewest goals at home of all sides in Europe’s top five leagues (eight)."
    • 15' Our first booking as Busquets brings Ronaldo to ground as the forward attempts to break clear down the left. It was a clumsy challenge, even if Ronaldo was rather theatrical with his fall.
    • 14' Alves has the ball in the back of the net! However, Tello has already been ruled offside before seeing a low effort turned into the path of his team-mate by Casillas.
    • 13' Messi takes responsibility for the free kick but can't beat the first mad as Madrid head away.
    • 12' More excellent work from Thiago as he plays the ball out from the back in a tricky situation. Barca then win a free kick when Xavi is clattered into by Ramos.
    • 11' Valdes is forced into a low save when Benzema collects a looping pass, cuts back inside Sergio Busquets and drills in a low shot from 20 yards.
    • 11' Ronaldo darts forward down the left but his square pass for Benzema is cut out by the sliding Thiago. That's a fine piece of defending.
    • 10' The first flashpoint of the match as Sergio Ramos kicks Alves from behind and the Barca man refuses the hand proffered to him before remonstrating angrily with the referee.
    • 8' Thiago pokes a neat pass through for Alves but the Brazilian, operating tonight wide on the right in attack, is caught offside.
    • 7' Superb goalkeeping from Iker Casillas! Alves intercepts a terrible pass from Pepe and bursts towards the box but Casillas races off his line to close down the Brazilian and block as Alves tries to sneak around him. Excellent from the Spain captain.
    • 6' Stat from Opta: "Guardiola’s Barcelona have won six league games against Madrid, their most against any team is seven (Sporting, Racing, Malaga)."
    • 5' Ozil delivers the corner from the left and Ronaldo rises high to meet it with a header that takes a touch off Puyol and requires a save from Victor Valdes to turn the ball over the bar. Pepe then heads over from the next corner. Very encouraging signs for the visitors.
    • 4' Madrid will be happy with their start but Xabi Alonso is then guilty of a poor pass as he attempts to find Ronaldo. Madrid win the ball back and Ronaldo gets a corner when knocking the ball against Carles Puyol.
    • 3' Just a tactical note: Barca are playing three at the back with Dani Alves pushing high up on the pitch on the right. That could be a brave move against Madrid's fluid and dangerous attack.
    • 2' It is a confident start from Madrid with Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema all enjoying touches of the ball. They look keen to attack Barca, which should make for a fascinating match.
    • 1' KICK OFF!
    • 18:58 Barcelona's famous anthem booms out at Camp Nou as the teams emerge to a splendid montage of cards held up by the 90,000 supporters inside the stadium. "Barca, Barca, Baaaaaaaarca!"
    • 18:55 One final stat: Both Messi and Ronaldo have scored 41 goals in La Liga this season, a record for Spanish football. Messi has 63 in all competitions and Ronaldo 53. Who will shine tonight? Do you fancy Madrid or Barca? Let me know on Twitter now. FOLLOW TOM ADAMS ON TWITTER
    • 18:50 The Clasico has a storied history - full of controversy, brilliance and bad blood. You can take a look at some of the key protagonists and central moments of one of world football's greatest rivalries with our Clasico A to Z.
    • 18:45 However, in a Copa del Rey clash away at Barca earlier in the season Madrid suddenly played with abandon and their high-tempo, attacking approach finally unsettled Guardiola's side, even if they drew 2-2. Will they adhere to a similar approach tonight, or will they look to stifle Barca as Chelsea did at Stamford Bridge.
    • 18:40 Though Mourinho has at his disposal the most potent attacking force in the history of La Liga with 107 goals in 33 games - and in Ronaldo, Benzema and Higuain the most deadly attacking trio of all time - they have won only once in 10 meetings with Barcelona under their current coach: last season's Copa del Rey final. Madrid have been constantly outclassed by the Catalans in recent seasons and have resorted to being overtly negative in what have been some bad-tempered encounters.
    • 18:35 Unusually for world football's two leading clubs, both sides enter this fixture at a bit of a low ebb having suffered narrow defeats in their Champions League semi-final first legs: Barca at Chelsea and Madrid away at Bayern Munich. However, in the league Barca are on an 11-game winning streak and are now unbeaten in seven meetings against Real Madrid - their best ever run against their great rivals. Guardiola ready for Clasico agony
    • 18:30 Madrid - unbeaten in 18 league games and having equalled the record for goals in a Liga season - start today four points ahead at the top of the table and if they can manage a draw or even a win then the league title will almost certainly be heading back to the capital. However, if Barcelona win as expected, then they will have a one-point gap to overcome in the remaining four games of the season. La Liga table
    • 18:25 Jose Mourinho, pleasingly, opts against fielding three holding midfielders as Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso link up in the middle. In fact, Madrid's front six is exactly the same as in this fixture last season - a game Barcelona won 5-0 following an era-defining display. It is also noteworthy that Fabio Coentrao keeps his place at left-back as Madrid are unchanged from the side that lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in midweek.
    • 18:20 A couple of surprises in the Barcelona team as Pep Guardiola drops Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez is out with injury, so youngsters Thiago and Cristian Tello come into the starting XI. That's a big vote of confidence in two more graduates of the famed La Masia academy. Lionel Messi can set yet another record by the way as no Barcelona player has scored in 11 consecutive league games.
    • 18:15 TEAMS: Barcelona: Valdes, Dani Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Thiago, Iniesta, Messi, Tello. Subs: Pinto, Pique, Montoya, Keita, Fabregas, Pedro, Sanchez. /// Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao, Khedira, Alonso, Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo, Benzema. Subs: Adan, Albiol, Marcelo, Kaka, Granero, Callejon, Higuain.
    • 18:10 So here we are. Camp Nou plays host to the biggest game in club football as Barcelona host Real Madrid in a match that could potentially decide the Liga title for this season. It's Messi v Ronaldo, Pep v Jose, Busquets v Pepe. It's the Clasico, and if this game lives up to the billing then we are in for a memorable 90 minutes or so in Catalunya.

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