REPORT | 23/03/2014 | Alberto NavarroThe three penalties given by Undiano Mallenco in the second half and Ramos' sending off in the 63rd minute changed the course of a game that was 2-2 at half-time.
- Liga BBVA
- Matchday 29
- Sun, 23 Mar
If there is one thing that sets Real Madrid apart, it is that they never stop fighting, and thanks to the Di María-Benzema partnership, all they needed were fifteen minutes to turn the match on its head. Their second goal was practically a carbon copy of the first, only the finish from the Frenchman, who had been fighting a minor injury all week, was different. The equaliser came through a header when the clock read 20 after a cross from the Argentine and for the second Benzema cushioned the ball on his knee and coolly volleyed past Valdés in the 24th minute. He could even have grabbed another two minutes later. Another assist from Di María and a sublime shot from the left foot of Benzema was cleared off the line by Piqué.
It was a hectic match, anything could have happened and the chance to make it 3-1 was followed by the equaliser three minutes before the break. Neymar combined with Messi and the Argentine slotted past Diego López from the penalty spot. El Clásico was level again after a first half that was as intense as it was exceptional and there was plenty more excitement in store in the second. In fact, after ten minutes of play, Real Madrid took the lead once more. Cristiano Ronaldo was brought down by Alves as he entered the box and the Portuguese striker converted the penalty.
The celebrations did not last long, ten minutes to be exact. Neymar burst into the box and tangled with Ramos as he pulled the trigger, the Brazilian hit the deck. Messi converted the penalty in the 65th minute to balance the scores once more, although the teams were now anything but balanced; the Whites' defender had received his marching orders. Madrid faced nearly half an hour of Clásico one man down.
Ancelotti had to change systems and brought Varane on for Benzema. The Whites put up a heroic resistance until Undiano Mallenco pointed to the penalty-spot once more as Iniesta was sandwiched between Carvajal and Xabi Alonso. Messi delivered once more from twelve yards in the 84th minute to put a controversial Clásico to bed.