The first installment of four El Classico matches in a space of three weeks between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona has ended with victory for.
The result of the first El Classico, which took place today April 11 2011, was Real Madrid 1 Barcelona 1.
The match this time round was a more level affair with both Barcelona and Madrid creating chances. The first clear-cut chance of the game fell to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. He run through on goal and tried to chip Casilas. But the Madrid goalkeeper stood firm to make the save.
Morinho tried to change tactics this time by playing Pepe in midfield and that seemed to have worked very well. The portuguese defender played a very good game breaking down Barca’s midfield.
There was a contentious decision taken by the referee in the first half. He booked David Villa for diving when replays suggest he may have been felled by Casilas.
Real’s closest chance in the first half came after a corner in the 44th minute. Sergio Ramos headed the ball back across goal from the corner and Cristiano Ronaldo saw his header cleared off the line.
The second half began much quieter with nothing much happening in front of goal. That all changed in the 52nd minute when Villa was put through on goal but was manhandled by Raul Albiol. The referee pointed to the spot and gave Albion a red card as he was judged to have prevented a clear goal scoring opportunity.
Lionel Messi stepped up and scored from the resulting penalty. That was the little Argentine’s forty-ninth goal of the season. It was always going to be a tough match for Madrid and it became more difficult with ten men. The goal seemed to have sucked the energy out of the Real Madrid Players as the well-balanced game swung in favor of Barcelona.
Real Madrid struggled to go forward after the red card incident. But just as it looked like the match was going to be won by Barcelona, a quick move by Real Madrid saw Marcelo brought down in the box. The referee pointed to the spot with strong protests coming from the Barcelona Players. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to the plate and slotted the ball past Victor Valdez to level the scores.
Sami Kedhira could have won the game late on for Madrid when he got the ball on the edge of the box but shot straight at Valdez. The draw leaves Barcelona eight points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga. The two teams will meet again on Wednesday April 20 2011 in the Copa Del Ray final.