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Saturday, 26 October 2013

El Classico: Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid

Super Sanchez goal seals victory for Barcelona in tight affair in the Nou Camp.

Barcelona have beaten Real Madrid thanks to goals from Neymar and Sanchez to put 6 points between the two sides.

The game started slowly with both sides attempting to get settled in to their passing style, unsurprisingly Busquets picked up an early yellow card after a rash challenge on Angel Di Maria.

The opening goal came in the 19th minute when Iniesta dribbled past 2 Madrid defenders and slid the ball to Neymar who applied the finish, Neymar was somewhat fortunate with deflections as his low shot managed to nestle into the far corner of the goal past a stranded Lopez.

This goal failed to ignite the game however as it continued in a pedestrian manner, Messi came close after a sublime ball from Iniesta, Bale making his El Classico debut attempted one of his trademark shots after cutting in from the left but failed to hit the target.

Sami Khedira had the only other chance of the half on the stroke of half time sliding in from a Ronaldo cross only to be denied by Adriano and Victor Valdes, Barcelona went in at half time deserving their lead and bossing possession with 60% of the ball.

The second half similar to the first started slowly with very few chances in the opening minutes, Sergio Ramos was replaced on 50 minutes by Illarramendi as a precaution after picking up a yellow card in the first half.

Neymar had the first chance of the half latching onto a long ball and volleying straight at Lopez in the Madrid goal, moments later Ronaldo came close with a thunderous volley only to be denied by a super Valdes save.

Bale made way on 60 minutes for Benzema after having a quiet game, Barcelona also made a change bringing Sanchez on for Fabregas, Madrid started to control the game around the 70th minute and will feel hard done by not to have gotten a penalty after Mascherano blatantly shoved Ronaldo in the back but the referee did not share the Madrid players view.

Benzema also came close striking the underside of the cross bar from the edge of the box, Angel Di Maria was replaced by Jese on 75 minutes having performed poorly by his standards.

Alexis Sanchez stole the headlines on 78 minutes when he chipped the ball home from 20 yards after a great pass from man of the match Neymar, Neymar was almost immediately substituted for Pedro, coming off to a well deserved standing ovation.

Real Madrid tried to get back into it and scored on 90 minutes thanks to a Jese goal that Valdes will feel he could have done better with, It was only to be a consolation however as Barcelona held out for the final three minutes to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Barcelona have now picked up 28 points from 10 games and find themselves 4 points clear of Atletico Madrid in 2nd who play tomorrow and 6 ahead of Real Madrid who lie third with 22 points.