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2-1: An unfair result

REPORT | 26/10/2013 | Alberto Navarro

Madrid deserved more, but whilst 1-0 down, the referee didn’t give two clear penalties to The Whites: one for a handball by Adriano and another for a foul by Mascherano on Ronaldo.
  • Liga BBVA
  • Matchday 10
  • Sat, 26 Oct
Camp Nou
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Real Madrid went into the first clásico of the season having won their two games following the international break. Ancelotti played Ramos in the centre of midfield, whilst putting Ronaldo, Bale and Di María in attack.

The match started as a tactical battle without too many clear opportunities for either side. Bale was the first to break the ice with a long-range effort in the 15th minute, but it was Barcelona who opened the scoring five minutes later through Neymar’s individual effort. The Brazilian’s shot took a deflection off Varane, wrong footing Diego López, who was unable to react.

Everything that could have gone wrong did, however Real Madrid, who hadn’t lost a competitive away fixture going into the tie, took the shackles off and started to test Valdés in the home side’s goal. Indeed, from the moment the goal was scored until after the half hour mark, it was Madrid who dominated possession, and could have levelled things up in the 26th minute, but Bale’s shot from the edge of the area went over.

Then came the game’s first talking point. Ronaldo centred the ball from the left, and Khedira’s effort from the penalty spot was clawed away on the goal line by Valdés in the 43rd minute. The goalkeeper’s save hit Adriano’s hand and arrived back at the feet of the home side’s number one.

REAL MADRID DESERVED MORE FROM A TERRIFIC SECOND HALF, IN WHICH THEY WERE BETTER THAN THEIR OPPONENTS.

The second half was much more open. Proof of such came in the first quarter of an hour when both sides might have scored. Neymar tried his luck in the 54th minute but Diego López stood up strong one-on-one. Four minutes later, Ronaldo had an almost equal opportunity. Valdés produced a reflex save to stick out a hand when the Portuguese was one-on-one, saving Barcelona once again. From the resulting corner Di María let fly with a tasty volley from the edge of the area but the home side’s goalkeeper was able to keep it out.

A Madrid goal seemed inevitable given the way they had dominated play and created chances. The introduction of Illarra and Benzema to the field breathed more life into the side who at least deserved to be level. This would have been the case had the referee awarded a penalty when Mascherano clearly brought down Cristiano Ronaldo in the 70th minute. It was the second major talking point of the game. One minute later Benzema saw a thunderbolt from outside the box come crashing back off the bar.

Lady luck wasn’t on Real Madrid’s side, yet they didn’t relent, pushing for an equaliser and given what was happening on the pitch, the scoreline was unjust. When The Whites were playing their best football of the game, Barcelona scored their second. Alexis surprised Diego López with a lob in the 78th minute, but the visitors, true to their philosophy, gave their all right to the end, and Jesé halved the deficit in added time. However it finished 2-1 in a clásico that Real Madrid had deserved more from.

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Goalkeeper

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Forward

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