Arguably Europe’s most elite fixture took place once again on Sunday at the Camp Nou as FC Barcelona battled against second-placed Real Madrid in the El Clasico.
Barcelona’s starting eleven against Real Madrid
The home side, Barcelona, lined-up in a 4-3-3 formation for the encounter. Ter Stegen started in goal behind a defence of Araujo, Kounde, Christensen and Balde.
Roberto, Busquets and Frankie De Jong started in midfield with a front trio of Gavi, Lewandowski and Raphinha.
Real Madrid’s starting lineup against Barcelona
Carlo Ancelotti set up his Los Blancos side also in a 4-3-3 pattern with Courtois in goal and a defence of Dani Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger and Nacho.
The midfield three consisted of Modric on the right, Kroos on the left and Camavinga in between both midfielders. Real Madrid’s attacking trident for the encounter were Valverde, Benzema and Vinicius.
Los Blancos began action and they started the game with lots of intensity right from the blast of the whistle as a nice ball was played to find Benzema at the edge of the box, he then smashes a low shot at the near post but Ter Stegen did enough to gather.
In the 3rd minute of the encounter, Barcelona pushed Madrid further backwards into their own part of the pitch and the ball was squared to find Polish forward Robert Lewandowski.
Robert Lewandowski went past Camavinga before trying his effort from a close angle but Courtois punched it clear his two hands.
Real Madrid got the first goal of the game via an own goal from Ronald Araujo in the 9th minute. Vinicius ran to the wide area due to a contest from Busquets.
The Brazilian then sent a cross into the area close to the byline but Araujo made a mess of it and sent it into his own net.
The first yellow card of the game was handed to Nacho Fernandez
After a poor challenge from Nacho on Araujo in the 18th minute, the referee for the encounter Ricardo De Burgos showed a yellow card to the Spaniard.
In the 32nd minute, Barcelona played a short corner to Frankie De Jong and he curled his effort into the near post, Christensen got ahead of his marker to flick it towards goal but Courtois got down and claimed it.
Raphinha got his name into the referees book a minute later for a foul on Toni Kroos, after the incident he got a massive chance for Barcelona as he sliced open the defence of Real Madrid and afterwards he fired a shot at Thibaut Courtois who got his fingertips to the ball.
Right before half time, Roberto equalized for Barcelona after Araujo’s cross into the 18-yard box resulted in Camavinga clearing the ball only as far as Raphinha.
Raphinha’s takes a shot but it fell to Sergio Roberto who slotted the ball beyond the reach of Thibaut Courtois in goal for Real Madrid.
The first 45 ended in a draw with both sides having a goal apiece
Both sides were level at the interval with no side having the upper hand over the other.
The second half was filled with a lot of intriguing play as Modric ran into the box from the left hand side before curling his effort at goal from the edge of the box. However, Balde was on hand to block it.
The White Angels made their first substitutions in the encounter with Carlo Ancelotti bringing on Rodrygo for Toni Kroos alongside Ferland Mendy for Nacho Fernandez.
Sergio Roberto’s name was written into the referees book after he wrestled Modric through the ground while the midfielder appeared to initiate a counter attack.
Croatian International Luka Modric was also yellow carded a few minutes later as he stopped Gavi from progressing on a counter.
Xavi Hernandez’s Barcelona and Real Madrid went neck and neck with each other with several chances falling to both sides.
Aurelien Tchouamemi was subbed on for Camavinga in addition to Marco Asensio coming on for Federico Valverde.
Dani Ceballos became the fifth and last man to be brought onto the field by Carlo Ancelotti and he replaced Luka Modric.
Xavi Hernandez responded with a substitution of his own bringing on Frank Kessie for Sergio Roberto as the game looked like it would be heading for a draw.
Football is filled with a lot of twists and turns, definitely the final ten minutes of the encounter had it all. Real Madrid thought they had taken the lead via a goal from Asensio after a square ball from Carvajal but VAR chalked the goal off for offside.
Whilst the review was ongoing, Xavi Hernandez substituted Raphinha for Ferran Torres in the 83rd minute of the match.
Balde received a yellow card in the last minute of normal time for a foul on Marcos Alonso and in the first minute of additional time, Xavi Hernandez introduced Ansu Fati for Gavi.
A killer punch was handed to Real Madrid after Kessie roamed around the far side before side footing his effort past Rudiger and straight to the bottom corner to give the Blaugrana side the lead.
Ceballos and Ansu Fati’s minor issue
Dani Ceballos was cautioned with a yellow card for an altercation with Ansu Fati who also received a booking due to the incident.
It finished at the Camp Nou 2-1 as Barcelona got the three points and went 12 points clear of Real Madrid on the La Liga table.
Real Madrid may start to think that the La Liga title isn’t within their reach anymore as their chase for the La Liga crown appears to be getting dim by the day due to Barcelona’s impressive campaign so far but impossible is nothing in football.
Match highlights below: