ANYONE HAVE A DRINK? I NEED A DRINK! Barcelona and Real Madrid put on a very entertaining and very crazy El Clásico on Sunday night at Camp Nou. Great goals, bad fouls, awful refereeing, everything you would want from a Barça-Madrid clash. In the end, the game ended in a 2-2 draw that keeps Barça unbeaten in their road to an invincible La Liga season.
The game started perfectly for Barça, who pressed high up the pitch, forced Real Madrid to rush their passes and scored an opening goal on a gorgeous counter-attack that ended with a perfect cross from Sergi Roberto and a great volley from Luis Suárez. Madrid equalized shortly after with another really nice, quick attacking move that ended with a Toni Kroos cross, a Karim Benzema assist and a tap-in for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The great start turned into a hard-fought battle between a Barça side that failed to replicate the first 10 minutes and a Madrid team free of responsibility and playing quite well. Ronaldo had at least two great chances, but Barça managed to avoid conceding again.
And then came the end of the half and a few questionable calls from the referee: first it was Sergio Ramos who got away with an elbow to Luis Suárez, then Gareth Bale got away with a leg breaker on Samuel Umtiti, and then Sergi Roberto was instantly sent off for pushing Marcelo’s face.
As we went into halftime, the only thing equal was the score: Real Madrid played better, had better chances, had more men on the pitch, and had all the calls in their favor. Tough odds for the champs.
It was Madrid who began the second half with a lot of high pressing looking to trouble Barça’s passing, but the Blaugrana did a pretty good job of finding spaces. They also found a second goal: Luis Suárez fouled Raphaël Varane and recovered the ball, then served Lionel Messi who beat a couple of desperate defenders before firing it home.
Madrid had the numbers advatange and went forward even more trying to find at least an equalizer, and they got it thanks to a sensational strike from Gareth Bale. With 20 minutes to go and just 10 men to play with, Barça were on the ropes looking to protect their unbeaten run.
And somehow, someway, Barça did it. Hate Valverde Ball as much as you want, to survive Real Madrid with 10 men is not an easy thing. And we did it. And we are now very close to ending the season unbeaten. Just crazy.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Coutinho (Semedo), Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta (Paulinho); Messi, Suárez (Alcácer)
Goals: Suárez (10’), Messi (52’)
Real Madrid: Navas; Nacho (Lucas), Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos (Kovacic); Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo (Asensio)
Goals: Ronaldo (14’), Bale (72’)