This will be the first El Clasico without both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo since November 2005.
FC Barcelona are in debt and without form on the pitch with their manager, Ronald Koeman, under consistent pressure, though that is to be expected.
The Catalans are eighth on the La Liga table after eight games; having scored 14 goals and conceded eight though they have lost just once the same as Real Madrid.
Can Koeman engineer a win that will guarantee he continues as a manager or will Ancelotti’s team apply the stab that will send him out of the Nou Camp?
Stay with PREMIUM TIMES for live updates.
Kick-off is 3.15 pm
The starting 11 for Barcelona and Real Madrid have been revealed. Sergio Busquets captains Barcelona in his 41st El Clasico appearance with Gerard Pique making it 38 while Karim Benzema will captain Real Madrid in his 37th appearance.
Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Oscar Mingueza, Eric Garcia, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba; Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pablo Gavira; Sergino Dest, Memphis Depay, Ansu Fati
Real Madrid XI: Thibaut Courtois; Lucas Vasquez, David Alaba, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy; Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos; Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema
Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two most successful Spanish teams. In La Liga, Barcelona have 72 wins to Real Madrid’s 75, with 35 draws.
With Zinedine Zidane in the manager’s seat, Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 on April 10, 2021. The two goals came from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos while Oscar Mingueza scored for Barcelona.
In the current squads, Benzema tops the El Clasico top scorers’ table with 10. Messi scored 26, while Ronaldo on 18.
|UEFA Cup/Europa League||0||2|
|Copa del Rey||31||19|
|Supercopa de España||13||11|
|FIFA Club World Cup||3||4|
|UEFA Super Cup||5||4|
|Cup Winners' Cup||4||0|
3:15-We are underway at Camp Nou. Barcelona kicked off.
2 mins – Ansu Fati goes down in the Real Madrid box; no foul.
5 mins – Sergio Busquets fouls Toni Kroos. Freekick awarded to Real Madrid
10 mins – Barcelona with the early pressure, midfield organisation, and pressing that is keeping Real Madrid back in their half.
13 mins – Vinicius wins the first corner of the game
16 mins – Barcelona with 52% of ball possession but they have given away more fouls
20 mins – Vinicius believes he was fouled by Mingueza but his protests fall on deaf ears
24 min – Vinicius Junior is ruled offside after a through ball from Benzema
25 mins – What a miss from Sergino Dest! One on one with the goal at his mercy, the American blasts wide over the bar
28 mins – Another offside on Real Madrid. This time on Benzema.
30 mins – Memphis Depay tries a worldie from almost 35 years. Miles over the bar
32 mins – GOOOAAL – El Clasico first-timer, David Alaba smashes a left foot shot past Rer Stegen. The former Bayern Munich defender instigated the counter and finished it. 1-0 to Real Madrid
35 mins – Gerard Pique heads just wide. That was a chance!
38 mins – Eric Garcia’s shot deflected for a corner kick
40 mins – Another counter almost results in another goal but Casemiro handles in the box to relieve the pressure on Barcelona
44 mins – Ansu Fati with a great shooting chance in the Real Madrid box but his shot is blocked by Militao
First Half Analysis: Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid
Barcelona started better-pressed Real Madrid but as soon as Carlo Ancelotti’s team settled and took control of the game through Modric, Kroos, and Casemiro. Vinicius has been the danger man-using the ball with speed and skill. Sergino Dest should have given the Catalans the lead but he wasted his chance while David Alaba created and took his.
Real Madrid protected their lead through intelligent ball movement and denial of space whilst bossing the game even though ball possession has been shared. Referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez has been good; letting the game flow.
Ronald Koeman will look to change something in the second half, especially Fati’s position. The youngster operated as a false No.9 in the first half.
Second half begins
Philippe Coutinho is on for Mingueza
47 mins – Eric Garcia is checked for a high foot on Vinicius Junior.
49 mins – Ansu Fati shoots on target, but Courtois comfortably saves.
55 mins – Ferland Mendy shoots but Marc-Andre ter Stegen makes the save
65 mins – Barcelona re taking more risks but Real Madrid still bossing ball possession
72 mins – A dismal miss from one of the world’s best marksmen. Karim Benzema with a wonderful chance to double his side’s lead but he manages to miss when it was a glaring opportunity.
74 mins – Sergino Dest booked for a foul on pushing Vinicius
77 mins – Barcelona are putting in the crosses but Courtois and the Real Madrid are easily mopping up
80 mins – Ferland Mendy is shown a yellow card for time wasting
82 mins – Federico Valverde and Pique receiving treatment on the pitch
86 mins – The game is fractured with players getting injured and being treated on the pitch. This is not helping Barcelona’s quest for an equaliser.
90 mins – Thibaut Courtois receives medical attention on the pitch
92 mins – 72nd-minute substitute Federico Valverde is injured and has to be replaced by Daniel Carvajal.
94 mins – It is a second goal for Madrid as Marc-Andre ter Stegen can’t hold Marco Asensio’s shot and Lucas Vasquez pounces on the rebound
97 mins – Substitute Sergio Aguero scores to reduce the tally but Barcelona don’t have any more time to rescue this.
Game Over: Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti’s men retake the top spot in La Liga with 20 points from nine matches. Barcelona are eighth with 14 points.
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