Mar 2, 2013 at 3pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid
Ramos (82'), Benzema (6')
Ramos (51'), Coentrão (61'), Morata (68'), Arbeloa (90')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Messi (18')
Alba (55'), Piqué (58'), Alcantara (64'), Valdés (90'), Alves (90'), Iniesta (90')
Valdés (90')

Live Commentary: Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona - as it happened

Live Commentary: Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona - as it happened
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid record a 2-1 win over Barcelona.

Barcelona travelled to Real Madrid on Saturday just four days after losing in the Copa del Rey semi-finals to Jose Mourinho's side.

It was Madrid that took the lead with a strike from Karim Benzema, but Lionel Messi levelled the scores with 18 minutes on the clock.

Chances remained few and far between in the second period, but a late Sergio Ramos header wrapped up all the points for Madrid.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

2.01pmAfternoon all! Well we really are being spoilt here. Real Madrid and Barcelona only met four days ago, but it is time for another El Clasico. I am not certainly not complaining. However, one thing is for certain, both of these teams would have prioritised Wednesday’s clash over this particular meeting. In terms of the league title, it is gone for Madrid.

2.04pmReal may have failed to compete with Barcelona in the league this season, with the 16 point gap a clear indication, but they have demonstrated that on their day, they are more than a match for the Catalan outfit. They were just devastating on the counter-attack in the cup, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice in the 3-1 win. It was a really special occasion for Jose Mourinho and his side.

2.07pmThere is still focus for Real in the league, however, as they attempt to close the gap on second-placed Atletico Madrid. Losing the title to Barcelona could just about be stomached in these parts, but the supporters will not accept a third-placed finish. Should they pick up all three points in this match, then they would move one point behind Diego Simeone’s outfit.

2.10pmReal have more pressing matters on their minds, however, with the second leg of their last-16 Champions League clash with Manchester United to come next week. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was in attendance at the Camp Nou on Wednesday and I suspect that he might try to kidnap Ronaldo before the match. The Portuguese was just stunning once more.

2.13pmReal also enter the match with an impressive run of results against Barcelona. They are unbeaten in their last four, with their last defeat to the Catalan outfit coming in the Super Cup at the beginning of the season. The reverse league clash at the Camp Nou earlier in the season ended in a 2-2 draw, with Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both scoring twice.

2.16pmReal have also been in fine form in recent weeks with four wins from their last five matches in all competitions. They are also the in-form team in La Liga having taken 15 points from their last six matches. The bad news? Well, they are 16 points off the pace at the top of the table. It is just about pride in this particular match, another chance to dent Barcelona’s confidence.

2.19pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: No Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid this afternoon, but Karim Benzema does start alongside Jose Callejon in attack. Pepe also returns to the starting side, while there are starting berths for Michael Essien, Luka Modric and Kaka. Barcelona recall Javier Mascherano and David Villa to their side, with Victor Valdes also returning between the sticks.


REAL MADRID: Lopez; Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Coentrao; Modric, Kaka, Essien; Callejon, Morata, Benzema

BARCELONA: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Thiago, Iniesta; Villa, Messi, Pedro

2.25pmBarcelona have just stuttered in recent weeks with a 2-0 loss to AC Milan in the Champions League followed by a slender win over Sevilla in the league last weekend. It is too soon to speak of a crisis, but having set such high standards, criticism is bound to arrive when they fall even slightly below what is expected of them.

2.28pmIt is difficult to criticise the likes of Carlos Puyol and Xavi, who have been two of the finest players in world football in recent years, but there have been a couple of signs that each could be coming to the end of their glittering careers. The sight of Xavi, hand on hips, looking into the Barcelona sky on Wednesday was an image that will live long in the memory.

2.31pmIn many ways, Barcelona are fighting a losing battle, which is an incredible thing to say about a team that has utterly dominated in the league this season. What I mean by that statement is that they are going to win the title this season, which has been expected. They were also expected to win the Copa del Rey and Champions League, but one has already gone and the other is seriously in the balance.

2.34pmIt cannot be overestimated for just one moment the importance of their Champions League second leg against AC Milan. If they beat the Italian side 3-0, then all is forgotten. But the Serie A outfit will come in, absorb the pressure and simply ask Barcelona to beat them. That tactic has worked against the Catalan outfit in recent weeks with Barcelona struggling to answer the question.

2.37pmDigging into the record books, this is the 225th time that the two sides have met. You would not believe me if I told you that Real Madrid have won 89 times to Barcelona’s 87, but that is an indication of the battle between the Spanish duo. Had Barcelona won in midweek and then picked up another success this afternoon, then they would have moved ahead in the all-time record.

2.40pmLet’s take a closer look at how both sides have fared in the league this season. Real currently occupy third position in the table having taken 52 points from their 25 matches. They also have the joint-best defensive record in the league, conceding just 23 goals and keeping 10 clean sheets in the process.

2.43pmDown the other end, they have scored 62 goals in their 25 matches thus far, a total that is bettered by just one side. Guessed it? Yep, Barcelona. It is not difficult to see why Jose Mourinho’s side are off the pace this season when their home and away form is assessed. They have won 10 of their 12 matches at the Bernabeu, scoring 38 goals and conceding just nine times.

2.46pmHowever, although their away form is the second-best in the division, they have won just six of their 13 matches, drawing twice and losing five times. Far from disastrous, but Barcelona have registered 14 more points than Real on the road having played the same number of matches. That said, previous form goes out the window for these particular matches.

2.49pmBarcelona, meanwhile, currently top La Liga having taken 68 points from 25 matches. The Catalan outfit have the second-best home record in the division having won 11 of their 12 matches, scoring 42 times in the process and conceding 10. Their away form, meanwhile, is the best in La Liga having won 11 of their 13 matches, losing just once.

2.52pmPrior to Real’s visit on Wednesday, Barcelona had been on a 22-match unbeaten run at the Camp Nou. Meanwhile, members of their squad have openly admitted that the team is missing boss Tito Vilanova, who continues to recover from cancer in New York. There is certainly a different feeling about this particular match. But it is still Real Madrid against Barcelona.

2.55pmThe world's best two players will also be keen to impress this afternoon with Lionel Messi scoring 17 goals in his last 24 games against Real Madrid, while Ronaldo has nine in his last eight Clasicos. Long gone are the ludicrous suggestions that Ronaldo did not perform on the big occasions. Messi is currently on 49 goals for the season, while Ronaldo is on 39. Just stunning.

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2.58pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. Barcelona have certainly named more of their big players than Real, therefore I am backing an away win in the Spanish capital.

0 minJust a quick reminder of the main team news. No Ronaldo, Ozil, Khedira or Alonso for the home side, with Modric, Kaka, Essien and Morata all starting. Barcelona, meanwhile, recall Mascherano and Villa. Be sure to remain with us for the entirety of the action. The away side get the match underway.

2 minNot the best of starts for Barcelona as Alba lets a pass from Pique drift under his feet and move out of play. It must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere in the stadium, while the sun is shining in the Spanish capital. Decent possession of the ball for Barcelona inside the opening couple of minutes.

4 minA reminder that Barcelona currently sit 16 points clear of Real in the league table, which makes the result of this match not too important. However, this is still Real against Barcelona. The away side continue to probe as Thiago fires a long pass towards Messi, but Varane is across to clear at the vital moment. The Frenchman has been sensational in recent weeks.

6 minSlightly scrappy opening six minutes to this match with neither side really able to gain any sort of control of the ball. A half-chance does arrive for the home side as Kaka advances into the box before finding Benzema, but the Frenchman just cannot release a strike under pressure from Alba. It must be said that it is very strange watching these two sides compete in daylight hours. Surreal almost.

6 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Barcelona (Benzema)

7 minFirst blood to Madrid! Real take the lead in the Clasico as Morata drives down the right before finding Benzema in the box, who is on hand to tap home from close range. Awful defending from Barcelona. Where on earth was the marking?!

9 minFirst real involvement for Messi as the Argentine picks up possession before sliding a pass towards Pedro, but it had too much pace for the Spaniard, with Lopez out to collect. Madrid advance down the other end with Kaka finding Ramos, but Callejon is felled in the act of shooting. What a few days it would be if Madrid could claim another win here.

11 minGood response from the away side as Thiago combines with Busquets around the edge of the Madrid box, but Pepe is across to clear at the vital moment. The pressure continues as Alves drives down the right before drilling a low cross into the box, but again the danger is cleared. It just isn't happening for the Catalan outfit at the moment.

13 minBarcelona continue to pass and probe outside the penalty area with Iniesta involved once more as the Spaniard feeds a cross into the box towards Thiago, but the midfielder fells Ramos in the act of jumping. Wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this afternoon. It does appear that Madrid have hit some serious form at just the right time.

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15 minIt's all Barcelona at the moment with Iniesta, Thiago and Busquets all joining the attack, but they just cannot find that elusive final pass. Possession has not been the problem for Barcelona in recent weeks, rather their ability to create chances. Today is a real test of their credentials.

17 minIn truth, not a great deal is happening at the moment. As expected, Barcelona continue to pass and probe outside the Madrid penalty area, but the home side are comfortable dealing with the danger. Benzema attempts to threaten on the counter, but Pique is across to clear. Is there a better counter-attacking team in world football than Madrid? Not in my opinion.

18 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona (Messi)

19 minIt just had to be that man. From nowhere Messi collects a pass from Pedro before turning Varane and firing his effort into the back of the net. Barcelona really needed that. Game on in the Spanish capital. What a start to this match.

21 minReal end-to-end football at the moment with both sides prepared to commit numbers to each attack. Messi is again involved for the away side as he collects possession before dancing past two defenders, but his effort is just wide of the post. Madrid come close down the other end, but Kaka cannot evade Pique.

23 minThe atmosphere has just dropped in the stadium following that Barcelona goal, with the away side now making most of the noise. Kaka is again involved for Madrid as he drives down the left before firing a low cross into the box, but Valdes is out to claim, before finding Messi with a long throw.

25 minJust about 20 minutes of the first period to play and the score remains 1-1. We have just see signs that Barcelona are prepared to mix it up as they look for the run of Messi with a through pass, rather than attempting to pass and probe outside the box. Essien is involved down the other end moments later, but his low cross is cleared by Mascherano.

27 minFirst sign of ill-feeling in this match as Pepe is clattered by Thiago, much to the frustration of Jose Mourinho. The resulting free kick is taken short to Benzema, but the Frenchman cannot release a strike under pressure from Busquets. Real end-to-end football at the moment with both teams enjoying spells of possession.

29 minAlmost a horror show from the Madrid defence as Ramos takes too long in the penalty area, with Messi on hand to gather possession, but the Argentine just cannot release a strike under pressure from Varane. Essien is a threat down the right moments later, but Alba comes across to make the challenge at the vital moment.

31 minYou just get the feeling that Barcelona have started to take control of the possession here. While they are really mixing it up with Messi prepared to run behind the final defender. Not too much from Madrid in the final third in the last few minutes, with Kaka staved of the ball. Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining.

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33 minVilla is again the target for Barcelona as the Spanish striker combines with Messi before the Argentine attempts to curl one in the far corner, but Lopez is just across to claim at the vital moment. What an opportunity. It would certainly be fair to state that the away side are in control as the first period draws to a close. However, the scores remain level at 1-1.

35 minPossession football from Barcelona in the last few minutes with Thiago and Iniesta both enjoying touches of the ball, the latter attempts to combine with Messi on the edge of the penalty area, but Varane is on hand to make the challenge. Madrid just cannot get in the match at the moment, much to the frustration of the home supporters.

37 minMessi is again the target for the away side as Thiago floats a long pass towards the Argentine, but it just runs out of play. Jose Mourinho's expression tells the whole story as he slumps with his head in his heads. Slightly laboured from the home side as Benzema is felled by Alba outside the box.

39 minHalf-chance for the away side as Villa advances into the penalty area before drilling a cross into the box, but there were no takers. Meanwhile, it is the away supporters that continue to make the noise in the Bernabeu. I wonder whether we will see Ronaldo at any point this afternoon?

41 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for the home side as Morata meets a searching cross from Kaka, but the youngster can only thump his header wide of the post. What a chance for the youngster to score his third goal of the season. Little under five minutes of the first period remaining.

43 minPossession football from Barcelona in the latter stages of the first period. Alves is again involved from right back, but the Brazilian is late in a challenge with Pepe, much to the anger of the Portuguese international. In truth, it has been a slightly bitty half. Not up to the standard of Tuesday night that is for certain.

45 minReal untidy period of the match in the latter stages of the half with both teams guilty of giving away a host of fouls. In truth, it has not really been that type of match in the first period. Meanwhile, the referee indicates that we will play no stoppage time at the end of the first period.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona

3.47pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 1-1. The home team took the lead after six minutes when Benzema converted from close range, but Messi levelled the scores after 18 minutes. All square at the interval in El Clasico.

3.51pmLet's take a look at some statistics from the first half of football. The away side have dominated the possession with 77%, but they have had just two attempts to Madrid's three. In truth, it has not been a particularly exciting encounter. Rather two well-matched sides cancelling each other out.

3.55pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a host of talent on the bench with Ronaldo, Ozil, Higuain and Khedira in reserve. Meanwhile, Barcelona have the likes of Fabregas, Sanchez and Tello on the bench. There are certainly goals in that list! Will we see changes at the break?

3.59pmIn terms of the league table, this result would leave Barcelona top of the league with 69 points. While Madrid would remain third, three points behind Atletico Madrid. The tie is just so delicately poised ahead of the second period. Be sure to remain with us for the entirety of the action.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch. No changes for either side at the interval which is perhaps not too surprising based on events in the first period. Will Madrid record another win over Barcelona? Or can the Catalan side extend their lead at the top of the league? The home side get the half underway.

48 minHalf-chance for the home side in the early stages of the second period as Benzema is felled outside the penalty area. The resulting free kick is whipped into the penalty area by Modric, but Pique rises highest to clear the danger. Meanwhile, Ronaldo has been sent to warm up on the sidelines.

50 minHalf-chance for the away side as Pedro wins the race with Varane, before the Frenchman comes across to fell the Spaniard. The referee was not convinced, but the linesman awarded the decision. The resulting free kick is taken by Thiago, but the whistle is blown for offside. Madrid survive for now.

52 minRamos has his name taken - of course - for a handball outside the penalty area. However, the resulting free kick comes to nothing. Barcelona continue to dominate the possession in the early stages of the half, with Alves firing a low cross into the box, but Ramos is on hand to clear under pressure from Ramos. One-way traffic at the moment.

54 minThe resulting corner also causes concern in the Madrid penalty area, but Varane is on hand to head clear. Messi is again involved moments later as he collects a pass from Pedro before attempting to spin behind, but Varane clears once more. The Frenchman has had another wonderful afternoon of football thus far. However, the pressure continues to build.

56 minIt does appear that Ronaldo will soon join us on the pitch. Madrid certainly need a lift as they continue to struggle to keep possession in the final third. Another half-chance comes to Barcelona as Villa collects a pass from Messi before driving into the box, but Varane is across to make a wonderful challenge.

58 minMadrid do indeed make a double change with Ronaldo and Khedira replacing Morata and Benzema. The former is involved immediately as he collects possession before driving to the edge of the box, but Pique fells the Portuguese. Just outside the box this time, unlike on Tuesday.

60 minThe resulting free kick is driven into the penalty area by Ronaldo, but Pique is on hand to make the challenge at the vital moment. Callejon as half-chance moments later as he attempts to clip an effort into the far corner, but it just drops wide of the post. Good pressure from the home side in the last couple of minutes.

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62 minAltercation between Ronaldo and Mascherano as the Argentine takes exception to a challenge from Ronaldo, but the referee refuses to book the Portuguese. The challenges continue to fly in, meanwhile, as Alves is flattened by Ramos down the other end. Little under 30 minutes of football remaining in the Spanish capital.

64 minOzil is also warming up on the sidelines, with the Madrid midfielder seemingly preparing to enter the action. Not a bad player to introduce I suppose! Ever since Ronaldo entered the field, Madrid have certainly dominated the proceedings. Thiago is the latest player to have his name taken for a late challenge on Pepe outside the penalty area.

66 minThe resulting free kick is taken by Ronaldo, but his effort is palmed away by Valdes. The Barcelona goalkeeper would have been expected to save it, but it was moving in the air. If any side is going to win this at the moment, then it will be Madrid. It is just so delicately poised with around 25 minutes of football remaining.

68 minBarcelona make their first change of the match as Villa is replaced by Sanchez. The Spanish striker has just struggled to get into this second period. Much better from Madrid, meanwhile, as the capital outfit continue to pass and probe outside the Barcelona box. Nothing much from the Catalan outfit in the last five minutes or so.

70 minMadrid do indeed make their third and final change, but it is due to an injury with Arbeloa replacing Coentrao. No place for Ozil this afternoon. He will be saved for the clash with Manchester United next week. Ronaldo is again involved as he drives into the box, but his effort is fizzed wide of the post.

72 minBarcelona just cannot get hold of the ball at the moment with Thiago and Iniesta struggling to overcome the power of Khedira, who has emerged into one of the best of his kind in world football. However, you just get the feeling that there is another goal in this match. Little under 20 minutes of football remaining, but clear chances remain few and far between.

74 minSlightly untidy period to the match at the moment with both sides guilty of giving away a host of fouls in the opposing half. However, both sets of supporters have just found their voices once more with the atmosphere building inside the stadium. On the face of it, a 1-1 draw would not be the worst result for either of these sides.

76 minCHANCE! Stunning chance for the home side to take the lead as Morata beats the offside trap before advancing into the box, but Valdes is on hand to make a fine save. What a wonderful opportunity for the youngster to make himself a hero. Barcelona attack down the other end with Sanchez, but the Chilean is crowded out.

78 minMeanwhile, Barcelona make another change as Pedro is replaced by Adriano, who will provide some cover down the left. The resulting free kick is whipped into the penalty area by Messi, but Lopez comes a long way to palm clear before ALves fires high and wide of the crossbar. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining.

80 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Modric finds Ronaldo in the area, but the Portuguese can only clip his header over the crossbar. There is no question that Ronaldo has made a difference since entering the field. Barcelona remain a threat with Alves, but the right back's cross is just too powerful for Messi.

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82 minSlight stoppage in play as Essien receives treatment following a challenge with Sanchez. However, the midfielder is deemed fit to continue. A long cross into the Barcelona penalty area causes concern, but Pique rises to clear. Little under 10 minutes of football remaining, with the score level at 1-1.

82 minGOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona (Ramos)

83 minWow! Madrid take the lead after 83 minutes as Ramos meets a cross from Modric before thumping his header into the back of the net. What a victory this would be for the home side. Can Barcelona respond in the latter stages?

85 minWonderful defending from Varane once more as the Frenchman matches the pace of Sanchez before ushering the ball out of play. Meanwhile, Barcelona make their third and final change of the match as Thiago is replaced by Tello. Little over five minutes of football to play, with Madrid leading 2-1.

87 minCROSSBAR! Again it's really smart work from Morata as the youngster drives to the edge of the box, but he is felled by Adriano. The resulting free kick is taken by Ronaldo, but his effort thumps against the crossbar. Wonderful technique from the Portuguese.

89 minBarcelona continue to make scrappy challenges, with Madrid wasting time with free kicks. Little over a minute of normal time remaining and Madrid are heading for their second win in a week against Barcelona. What will this do for their confidence ahead of the clash with Manchester United?

90 min+1Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of added time and we are indeed into the first of those. Again it's really poor from Alves as the Brazilian defender dives into a challenge with Ronaldo. Poor discipline from Barcelona.

90 min+3Comfortable for Madrid in the latter stages of the match, with Madrid keeping hold of the possession. Another free kick is fired into the penalty area by Ronaldo, but Valdes is on hand to make the save. Little over 30 seconds of football remaining, with Madrid heading for another win against Barcelona.

90 min+3Penalty shout for the home side as Adriano hits the deck in the penalty area, but the referee is not prepared to award the decision. That is just about that for this particular match.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona

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4.52pmRED CARD! Valdes has been dismissed following the final whistle for arguing with the referee. Poor scenes at the Bernabeu as the Barcelona players continue to surround the referee.

4.54pmSo there we have it. Madrid make it back-to-back wins over Barcelona courtesy of that late header from Ramos. Incredible afternoon of football. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and join us for more La Liga football from 6.30pm. Until then!

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