Real Madrid vs Barcelona, El Clasico, highlights: Lionel Messi helps Barca rout Real 3-0
Goals from Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Aleix Vidal saw Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-0 in a hotly-contested El Clasico encounter. Catch highlights of Real Madrid vs Barcelona here.Updated: Dec 23, 2017 19:53 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 3-0 at the at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. The highly anticipated El Clasico fixture between Real Madrid and Barcelona ended goalless at half-time. However, the second half was far more eventful. Luis Suarez put the visitors ahead and Lionel Messi doubled their lead from the penalty spot after Dani Carvajal was sent off for handling inside the box. Messi was on hand to provide the assist for Aleix Vidal to score the third goal and finish the game. Catch highlights of El Clasico clash between Real Madrid vs Barcelona, here.
7:50 PM IST: That’s it from our side, thank you so much for joining us! Do join us again for more live sports coverage.
7:45 PM IST: This is perhaps the best (and most hilarious) way to sum up today’s match:
Down go Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/lYslc7VSFa— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 23, 2017
7:40 PM IST: So to sum things up... the first half of the game was a damp squib, but the second delivered all the drama expected from this fixture. Unfortunately for Zinedine Zidane’s men it was all one way as the Catalan club romped to victory. Luis Suarez put his side ahead in the 53rd minute, converting a flowing move at the back post before Lionel Messi scored from the spot after Daniel Carvajal handled on the line. Real had their opportunities to set up a grandstand finish, but could not find the net. Aleix Vidal completed Barca’s victory in stoppage time with a low finish. It’s going to be a long way back for Real this season in the title race, while Ernesto Valverde’s men are slowly edging towards the crown.
7:38 PM IST: At this point, Madrid’s top brass need to seriously consider investing some money in the January transfer window. Otherwise they’re all but likely to end the season as Spain’s second-best side.
7:35 PM IST: And it’s back to reality for Real again. Their FIFA Club World Cup win was a historic achievement no doubt, but at this point they seem all but unlikely to retain their La Liga title. Barcelona, meanwhile, have surprised many this season and this win shows they mean business.
7:32 PM IST: As for Messi, well... enough has been said and written about his impact in such games and he showed just why he’s considered one of the best-ever once again. Stifled in the first half, he produced some classy moments in the second half and that made all the difference.
7:30 PM IST: The scoreline is flattering to Barca as Real actually played better in the first half. But once Suarez scored that first goal, they seemed shaken. Then Carvajal got himself sent off and Messi’s penalty all but killed the game. Vidal’s goal from the bench was just the icing on the cake.
7:22 PM IST: Full-time: Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona. Lionel Messi stars with a goal and an assist as Barcelona rout their eternal rivals 3-0. The first half was a slow one but Barca’s patience paid off in the second half.
7:20 PM IST: GOL DE VIDAL! He puts the game to bed with a scrambled finish right at the death.
7:15 PM IST: And they very nearly score too! The corner goes high and Messi meets it with a well-timed volley that goes straight at Navas, who fumbled the ball before collecting for good on his second attempt.
7:14 PM IST: Barcelona finding plenty of space in and around Real’s penalty area, and a darting run from Messi earns them a corner.
7:11 PM IST: Ramos so nearly pulls one back! Some good play from the home side sees the ball slide into a dangerous area. It only needed a touch, but the Real skipper just fails to connect.
7:09 PM IST: Ten minutes to go now. Barcelona are still 2-0 ahead; can 10-man Real Madrid find two goals in such little time?
7:05 PM IST: Benzema, you just didn’t! His free shot from six yards out finds Ter Stegen, who gratefully parries to keep Barca’s 2-goal lead and cleansheet intact.
7:03 PM IST: Casemiro’s having to work extra hard to cover that right wing. Messi’s foul on him relieves him of that pressure for the time being.
7:00 PM IST: Carvajal’s red card means Barca have plenty of room to run into on the right wing and they’re making full use of the extra space. A third goal might just come soon enough.
6:55 PM IST: This is Lionel Messi’s 25th goal in El Clasico fixtures. Given that Real are down to 10 men, this game seems all but done at this point.
6:51 PM IST: GOL DE MESSI! The Argentine maestro sends his spot kick straight into the top corner. No stopping those! Barcelona look pretty unstoppable too.
6:50 PM IST: Penalty to Barcelona! Dani Carvajal handles inside the penalty area and is sent off!
6:48 PM IST: Barcelona slowly beginning to dominate the game. The sooner Real bring on either Isco or Gareth Bale, the better.
6:45 PM IST: The Roberto-Suarez partnership almost doubles Barca’s lead! But Suarez’s effort only finds the side netting this time around.
6:43 PM IST: GOL DE SUAREZ! A wonderful move started by Rakitic ends up putting the visitors ahead. His pass to Sergei Roberto opened up Real’s defence and the makeshift right-back slotted a nice cross to Suarez, who only had to beat the ‘keeper. It’s 1-0 to Barcelona!
6:41 PM IST: The game has been a massive tactical battle thus far. At this rate, it might just be decided by a single moment of brilliance from either side.
6:38 PM IST: Pique has been solid as a rock all afternoon, and he once again slides into a wonderfully-timed tackle to dispossess Ronaldo. Excellent bit of play from the veteran defender.
6:36 PM IST: Barcelona seem content to pass the ball around and wait for an opening. To their credit, Real have been pretty solid thus far.
6:33 PM IST: The second half is now underway! Will a winner emerge or will the points be shared? We shall know soon.
6:27 PM IST: Amazingly, Real had 51% possession in that first half. Not often you see any team keep the ball more than Barcelona!
6:22 PM IST: Karim Benzema and Paulinho had the best chances for Real and Barca, respectively. Also worth noting that Ronaldo definitely looked livelier than Messi in the first half.
6:17 PM IST: And that free-kick was the last bit of play we saw in this half: it is Madrid 0-0 Barcelona at the break.
6:16 PM IST: Free kick to Barca in a dangerous position! And... Messi hits the wall. Not his proudest moment, that.
6:13 PM IST: And again! Benzema gets a free header but his effort only hits the post. We look set for a frenetic last 5 minutes of this half.
6:12 PM IST: The first half is coming to a close and the deadlock doesn’t look likely to be broken at this point. Both teams have started the game cautiously, although Madrid have had the better chances.
6:09 PM IST: Barcelona put together a beautiful passing move but are denied once again when Navas saves Paulinho’s header.
6:05 PM IST: Real have looked the likelier side to score and once again come close. A quick break sees Ronaldo fire in a cross from the right side but the ball only goes out for a goal-kick after deflecting off Benzema.
6:02 PM IST: And now Ronaldo so nearly scores! A brilliant run on the left flank sees the forward get a shot away from a tight angle, which is well-saved by Ter Stegen. The resulting corner is once again wasted.
6:00 PM IST: Barca so nearly go ahead! Paulinho’s close range effort is well-saved by Keylor Navas. The ensuing corner, though, is essentially wasted by the away side.
5:58 PM IST: Things are beginning to heat up a bit here, and Real skipper Sergio Ramos is getting stuck in now. Barcelona need to do more with the ball though.
5:55 PM IST: It’s worth noting that a draw would be an ideal result for Barcelona. They haven’t really looked to force the issue as much they usually do; maybe Valverde is happy settling for a point? We shall know soon enough.
5:52 PM IST: The issue with playing only Ronaldo and Benzema as attackers is that the onus to create falls solely on the latter. This is where starting with Bale or Isco alongside those two would have been more useful, as the hosts aren’t creating too many chances at the moment.
5:49 PM IST: And the game sees its first booking: Thomas Vermaelen shown a yellow for a foul on Luka Modric. Free-kick in a good position for Real... which ends up coming to absolutely nothing. Still 0-0 at the Bernabeu.
5:48 PM IST: Barcelona yet to dominate possession as they’re wont to, which has affected their game plan somewhat. Messi, Suarez and co. yet to really grow into the game.
5:46 PM IST: The game started quickly but has now settled down a bit. Real seem to lack that extra spark of creativity going forward. The sooner Bale or Isco comes on, the better for them.
5:43 PM IST: Real looking likelier to score at this point. Ronaldo has been in the thick of all the action.
5:41 PM IST: The visitors growing into the game now: the short, crisp passes have begun to flow. Real’s stacked midfield need to do more to prevent Barca from enjoying long periods of dominance in the middle of the park.
5:39 PM IST: Barcelona starting to dictate the pace now. They would prefer the game to be played at a slower tempo so that they can pass the ball around in midfield.
5:36 PM IST: Real have started stronger here. Barcelona need to see out this early bit of dominance from the home side.
5:33 PM IST: Gooooaaa... no sir, he’s been flagged offside! Ronaldo heads home from close range after a corner but the linesman raises his flag.
5:30 PM IST: The referee has blown his whistle and we are underway here!
5:27 PM IST: Players have emerged from the tunnel. Kick-off now only moments away.
5:20 PM IST: Kick off isn’t too far off now. Lionel Messi has recorded a massive 13 assists in previous El Clasico fixtures. Ronaldo, meanwhile, has only made 1 assist. The Portuguese forward definitely prefers scoring!
5:16 PM IST: Even if Barcelona lose today, they will still have an eight-point gap over Real Madrid. However, a 14-point gap awaits the Catalan giants if they register a win.
5:11 PM IST: Lionel Messi has 27 La Liga hat-tricks. The only man with more hat-tricks than him? Cristiano Ronaldo, of course... the Madrid man has scored 32. Will these men add to their impressive goal tallies? We shall find out soon enough.
5:05 PM IST: We are now minutes away from kick-off of one of the biggest fixtures in La Liga. A lot rides on this fixture, not least of which is bragging rights.
4:56 PM IST: Given that Real Madrid are starting with 4 midfielders today, the plan seems to be to ensure Barcelona have no space to work with in midfield. But a lot will depend on Benzema and Ronaldo, who will have to be their usual lethal selves on the counter-attack whenever the home side are able to break with pace.
4:50 PM IST: Here’s a stat Barca fans will enjoy reading: Barcelona have not lost any of their 15 La Liga games when Thomas Vermaelen has started (W12 D3).
4:45 PM IST: Real’s home record this season doesn’t make for great reading: they have 5 wins, 1 loss and 2 draws in eight home games. A Clasico win might just be what the doctor ordered as far as their home La Liga form is concerned.
4:40 PM IST: Lionel Messi is the most prolific player in El Clasico history, with 24 goals in all competitions from just 36 appearances. Meanwhile, Ronaldo is only one strike shy of Alfredo Di Stefano’s club record of 18 against Barca. Will these once-in-a-lifetime talents add to their goal tallies? Kick-off isn’t too far away now.
4:29 PM IST: Here’s how Madrid line up. Isco starts on the bench, interestingly enough:
4:25 PM IST: Here’s how Barcelona line up ahead of the season’s first Clasico, It will be interesting to see how Sergei Roberto, a midfielder by trade, fares at right-back:
4:20 PM IST: A win for Barcelona, however, will see the Catalan giants open up a 14-point lead over their rivals at the top of the table.
4:11 PM IST: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo renew world football’s greatest individual battle when they meet in the mouth-watering El Clasico. Barcelona have the benefit of a healthy lead in LaLiga and know a win at the Santiago Bernabeu would be a major blow to Real Madrid’s title hopes.
This is the first time that an El Clasico will kick off at lunchtime as La Liga seeks more attention from Asian viewers. Play starts at 5: 30 PM IST.
And the worldwide audience could be treated to the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale together for the first time this season.
Bale’s injury problems have meant that the trio hasn’t played a single minute together this season.
Barcelona, on the other hand, lost the Spanish Super Cup 5-1 on aggregate to Real earlier this season, but have improved significantly since then.
The Catalans are yet to lose a game in the La Liga this season, and will aim to continue their unbeaten run in what is expected to be a hostile reception at the Bernabeu following the recent election in Catalonia, which saw three pro-independence parties retain an absolute majority in the Catalan parliament.
(With inputs from Omnisport)
First Published: Dec 23, 2017 16:01 IST