Wednesday January 30, 2013 Semifinal Finished Bernabéu

Real Madrid 1 - 1 FC Barcelona

  • Varane 81’
  • Fàbregas 50’

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  • Live Commentary

    • Real Madrid
    • FC Barcelona
    • FT That’s probably a fair scoreline. Man of the match award goes to 19-year-old Raphael Varane, a majestic display and a well-deserved goal from the Madrid centre-back. Diego Lopez also did very well on his return to Madrid action.
    • FT And that’s all she wrote. For the first leg. The referee blows up for full-time, and it’s 1-1.
    • 90+3' Two charged down efforts from Madrid. Modric swipes at one on the edge of the area which is blocked, before Puyol throws himself in the way of an Arbeloa effort.
    • 90+2' Corner for Madrid. Very brave defending. Dangerous corner into the middle and Ozil looks to be arriving, alves dives in and knocks the ball inches over the bar. Could have been a bit of an embarrassing moment for him there.
    • 90+1' Barcelona have it in Madrid’s half. Ronaldo intercepts a wayward Messi pass and he strides forward, but he’s brought down by Thiago – who is very lucky to avoid punishment there.
    • 90' Three minutes will be added on in this Copa del Rey semi-final first leg.
    • 89' Arbeloa down, caught by Alves, and they exchange a couple of choice words to one another as they walk away.
    • 88' GOOD SAVE! Super ball forward from inside Barca's half finds Alba, who takes it down and rifles a shot at goal, but Diego Lopez makes a fine save, clawing it over. Iker who?
    • 87' Barcelona seem happy to slow the play down and run out the clock. Madrid had a really dangerous ten-minute spell and could have scored a second.
    • 86' Pedro and Carvalho tangle but there’s no foul given either way. Madrid keep possession but it’s a poor pass from Alonso which is intercepted.
    • 85' Puyol also picked up a booking after that goal – seemingly for dissent.
    • 84' Cesc will make way, after all that, and it’s Thiago Alcantara to replace him.
    • 83' Another free-kick. Modric blocks Fabregas as he plays a quick one-touch pass and that’s a cheap foul to give away.
    • 82' Dramatic clearance from Alves. Essien, who has been causing problems down the right, finds space again and plays a dangerous ball into the centre. Ronaldo is approaching and Alves hacks the ball clear.
    • 82' He kept them in it at one end and equalised for them at the other. Perfectly timed jumped from Varane there, he lept above Puyol and another Barcelona shirt in that area.
    • 81' GOAL!!! No-one more deserving, either, it’s Raphael Varane. His first goal of the season, rising to meet Ozil’s curling cross and Pinto is left with no chance whatsoever. Great moment for the 19-year-old.
    • 80' There’s Messi. Stunning run from the edge of the centre circle and he jinxes through a couple of tackles, before Carvalho dispossess him - and it looks like he did it with his hand. Messi gets the ball back on the edge of the area but Lopez comes off his line quickly and it's a good save.
    • 79' I say that, and Messi puts the ball in the net, albeit from an offside position. Wonderful chipped ball over the defence from Sanchez but it was a good decision.
    • 78' He gets the plaudits when he plays so well so I think Madrid deserve credit tonight – they’ve kept Messi pretty quiet tonight
    • 77' Frustrations building for Madrid. Arbeloa takes the ball from Messi and the ball goes out for a throw – but it’s given for the visitors. It did look like it might have come off the Argentinean last. Arbeola was furious.
    • 76' A woeful pass from Khedira goes straight to Alba. Essien was making tracks down the right there.
    • 75' Another foul. Alonso catches Puyol before Ozil brings the centre back down in the centre circle. Replacement for Barca as Pedro, off the back of that woeful miss, is replaced by Alexis Sanchez.
    • 74' Khedira has a great chance from Essien's cross but he is marginally offside as he stretches to reach the ball.
    • 73' Messi fires wide from just inside the area, Barcelona are going for the throat here.
    • 72' CHANCE! How is this not 2-0? A woeful effort from Pedro, who found himself with acres of room with Madrid pushed so far forward and Barcelona counter. He took one touch, then another, and then another.... one too many as he knocks it wide of the far post
    • 72' It’s a yellow card for Alves, whose spent most of this match being fouled. It’s a cheap foul on Ronaldo, chopping down Madrid’s dangerman from behind.
    • 71' The ball’s at the other end now and Essien finds Modric on the edge of the area, he turns and shoots but it’s blocked by Puyol on the penalty spot.
    • 70' CHANCE! Fabregas should have a second. Alves finds all sorts of space on the right and cuts the ball back across to Cesc, but he can’t keep his shot down and it sails wildly over the bar. He has his head in his hands and so he should, that was a golden opportunity.
    • 69' A rare defensive error from Varane. A sublime El Clasico debut from that young man, he looks set to have a glittering Madrid career. Barcelona fail to capitilise.
    • 68' Good ball ahead from Essien. Arbeola just keeps it in on the right and he finds Ozil, but Essien can’t do anything with the cross and again Barcelona clear.
    • 67' Pique removing a lighter from the pitch. I don’t know if it was thrown at him, but he was winded during that tackle and he looks a little bit uncomfortable.
    • 66' So close again for Madrid. Incredible bit of defending from Pique. Essien plays a dangerous ball across the area and Ronaldo looks certain to score, but somehow the Spaniard gets down and gets the faintest of touches to it. Two contenders for tackles of the season in this game.
    • 65' Fabregas fouled by Arbeloa. Madrid have commited a staggering 15 fouls to Barcelona's solitary one, and that was in the first minute.
    • 64' It’s just so casual for Barcelona. Messi has it at walking pace, and they are threading passes like nobody’s business. Boos echo around the Bernabeu but this is vintage passing football.
    • 63' Substitution Madrid. Benzema is coming off for Gonzalo Higuain.
    • 62' Super work from Alves to keep an overhit pass in play but unfortunately his cross finds no-one. Barcelona keep the ball and Alves finds space on the corner of the area, he hits it first time straight at Lopez.
    • 61' Ronaldo tries to make amends o the right with a jinxing run on the right, but his ball into the centre is cleared away. Carvalho is on his last warning now, too, as he catches Messi on halfway.
    • 60' He’s scored seven goals in his last eight games against Barcelona but that was completely out of character for Ronaldo. You would have bet everything on him scoring there.
    • 60' CHANCE! So close Ronaldo! How has that not gone in? Great play, Essien gets the ball in space on the right and he hits and inch-perfect, curling ball into the middle and Ronaldo has a free header on the far post but he glances it inches wide.
    • 59' Guess whose on the floor again? Alves, of course. Clipped by Arbeloa with Alonso in close company. No yellow cards again.
    • 58' Modric with his first action of the game. Controls well from a loose Essien pass but his pass is woeful – a hopeful punt forward which rolls through to Pinto.
    • 57' Substitution for Madrid. Callejon, the man whose error led to the goal, comes off and former Spurs man Luka Modric replaces him.
    • 56' Offside. Bad decision. Pedro played through by Xavi, and he’s played well onside by Varane.... or so I thought. Jordi Roura was furious with that decision.
    • 55' Super tackle from Varane. I would go so far as to say it was perfect. A great ball forward from Messi catches Madrid out again but the centre back keeps his head and disposses Fabregas as he looks odds on to score.
    • 54' Barcelona once again happy to slow the tempo down. Iniesta plays it through to Messi and he looks for Cesc but it’s a good tackle from Varane and Madrid clear their lines again. Good spell of play from the visitors.
    • 54' Madrid have the ball but do nothing with it. Alves intercepts and gives it to Messi but he loses the ball as well, and we’re back in Barcelona’s half.
    • 53' We’re back underway. Messi, just inside the Madrid half, looks up and plays in Pedro but he is narrowly offside.
    • 52' Looking at the goal again – it’s harsh for Callejon as he’s back all the way defending. But his clearance was really poor, he had all the time in the world, and in the end he did more harm than good back there.
    • 52' Alba is in considerable pain here. He slides in with Essien, who catches his calf with his boot. Nothing malicious from the on-loan Chelsea man there but Alba is down, and he’ll receive treatment.
    • 51' That’s Fabregas’ ninth goal of the season. I doubt he’ll have many easier than that. It was a neat finish past Diego Lopez.
    • 50' GOAL BARCELONA! It’s an absolute gift for Cesc Fabregas. Clearance from Callejon goes straight to the former Arsenal man, who is played onside by the striker, and that’s a simple finish for Fabregas.
    • 49' Iniesta hits a hopeful ball forward towards Pedro but Carvalho knocks the ball away and Lopez claims it.
    • 48' Iniesta very nearly finds Messi with a pass on the edge of the area but Carvalho gets his foot in the way. The ball falls to Fabregas who punts the ball into the area but it is headed clear.
    • 47' Benzema goes close. Barcelona pass it around neatly but they lose the ball on half-way. Ozil has it and feeds the Frenchman the ball on the edge of the area but he fires narrowly over. He needs to hit the target there.
    • 46' Fabregas and Messi get the second half underway.
    • HT Barcelona are first out on to the field and they are followed a minute later by Madrid. We are ready for the second half.
    • HT We've got some Twitter responses. I agree with @mk123mk1, who says "Impressed that Barca didn't score with such Real Madrid defense Varane is doing good too. Hope Madrid wins, but i predict 1-2".
    • HT Barcelona had a whopping 69 per cent of possession in that half. But is anyone really surprised?
    • HT So what did you make of that first half? Tweet me on @natesaund. Madrid arguably look the better side but have only tested Pinto once in that half, with Ronaldo’s early free-kick.
    • HT So it’s 0-0 at half-time, and what a fascinating second half we have in store here. The tempo has been brilliant, with Xavi having the best chance of the half, hitting the bar with a free-kick on 21 minutes.
    • 45 +1 Barcelona keeping the ball in a way only they could manage to do. Iniesta tries to poke it forward but it’s intercepted and cleared away – and that’s the last action of the half.
    • 45' There will be one minute of stoppage time.
    • 44' Pinto again has the ball in his hands. Ronaldo makes some in-roads down the left but his ball into the middle is poorly hit and the Barcelona keeper is there to claim it.
    • 44' Alves on the floor again, he’s double-teamed by Arbeloa and Alonso again. I can really see that blowing up soon
    • 43' Madrid have shaken off that momentary loss of concentration and Khedira has space on the half way line, he hits a hopeful ball forward but Benzema is in an offside position and lets it run through to Pinto.
    • 42' Jose Mourinho was right off the bench after that decision, but he seemed to be telling his players to calm down. Not his usual touchline reaction in these games...
    • 41' And our third yellow card of the night. Callejon seems to push Alba off the ball and gives away a foul, he’s unhappy with the decision and he gets booked for his trouble – that looks like it was for dissent rather than for the foul.
    • 40' Madrid equal to it and nothing is getting past. Alonso and Alves clash on the ball and Arbeloa gives Alves a bit of a shove, and the Brazilian responds in kind.
    • 39' Barcelona have the ball and they are trying to slow the tempo down a bit – they’ve been on the back foot for a while here and they’ll relish the opportunity to pass it around a bit.
    • 38' End to end stuff here. Messi pokes a hopeful pass across goal but Madrid clear and counter, with Alonso plays Ozil through but the chance comes to nothing. The ball comes out to the right and Ronaldo plays another dangerous ball in but Puyol hoofs it clear.
    • 37' Essien again finds space on the right but his cross once again dips into the grateful arms of Pinto.
    • 36' We’ve had a break in play here. Pinto got the wind knocked out of him. What I didn’t mention was the tackle from Alves – inch-perfect from the Brazilian and it prevented a certain goal there.
    • 35' Pinto with a strong punch from the corner. Madrid retain possession and Alonso and Essien link up to find Callejon – his ball across the face of the goal causes all sorts of problems but Benzema just can’t get there.
    • 34' Alonso plays a neat pass to Essien, who has a run at Alba and his cross is deflected out for a corner. Essien has looked dangerous on that right hand side.
    • 33' Alves and Pedro exchange some neat passes on the right as Barcelona look to make a break but eventually the ball is intercepted.
    • 32' Messi stands over the free-kick and beats the wall but his dipping shot curls over the bar and out for a goalkick.
    • 31' Ronaldo not booked, significantly. If he does pick up a booking tonight he will miss the second leg.
    • 30' Messi gets some space and he bursts into the area but he is muscled off the ball by Essien. The ball is cleared but pumped forward again, and this time Alves is caught by Ronaldo and Barca will have a free-kick on the right wing.
    • 29' Khedira puts Jose Maria Callejon through on goal but his first touch just isn’t good enough – if he’d controlled that properly he was in there.
    • 28' This game is really heating up now. Madrid send a few proving balls towards Barcelona’s area but they are all cleared – good pressure from the home side though.
    • 26' CHANCE! Ronaldo puts Benzema through on goal and after teeing himself up he strikes it with his right foot but hits the side netting.
    • 25' Fabregas is put through on goal by Messi but he is – fractionally – offside.
    • 24' CHANCE! Off the line by Raphael Varane. Unbelievable defending from Carvalho – I don’t even know what he was doing there. He dawdled on it and Pedro’s shot is only blocked on the line the backpedalling Varane.
    • 23' Lopez hasn’t been in goal for Madrid for six years and his first action on his return is throwing himself at the feet of Pedro. Good ball through from Xavi but the lofty Madrid keeper bravely comes out to claim the ball.
    • 22' Sami Khedira penalised for a handball but there’s no yellow card, just a free-kick on halfway for Barca.
    • 21' WOODWORK! Xavi clatters the bar with a curling free-kick kfrom the edge of the area. Lopez was well and truly beaten there.
    • 20' Iniesta’s down again and this time he’s got a free-kick, right on the edge of the area.
    • 19' Very nearly an opening for Madrid. Xavi Alonso plays Benzema through with a neat pass but the Frenchman’s cross from the byline just creeps over the head of the rising Ronaldo in the area.
    • 18' Mesut Ozil finds some space down the right wing but there are instantly three Barca shirts round him – he’s muscled off the ball by Alba.
    • 16' Iniesta goes down under an Arbeloa challenge but there’s no free-kick or card – play continues but Barcelona easily regain possession.
    • 16' Two bookings in the opening 15 minutes. A sign of thing to come?
    • 15' YELLOW CARD! Ricardo Carvalho. The former Chelsea man goes in clumsily and his high foot nearly catches Fabregas. Free-kick on half-way for Barca.
    • 14' I’ve lost count of how many passes it’s been here. When Alves finally tries to make something of it out wide his cross is deflected and Madrid clear their lines.
    • 13' Xavi and Iniesta linking up well in the middle as Barcelona look to make an attack once again. They’re in no rush.
    • 12' CHANCE! Lionel Messi now on his own in the Madrid half. Gets support and Iniesta plays a perfectly weighted ball through for Jordi Alba but the left-back fires well wide from an unmarked position. Superb work from Messi and Iniesta
    • 10' Madrid are giving Barca space to play and Fabregas finds some space in the middle and plays the ball through to Messi, but he’s a good few yards offside – he fires wide anyway.
    • 9' The corner comes to nothing for Real Madrid as it’s headed clear. Madrid haven’t let Barcelona play so far but they are starting to find a bit of a rhythm here.
    • 8' CHANCE! Pinto once again comes to Barcelona’s rescue. It’s another hopeful Essien cross and it seems to take a deflection which very nearly creeps in. Corner ball.
    • 8' On-loan man Michael Essien hits a hopeful ball into the area from deep but there’s no one there and it’s too easy for Pinto, who gathers.
    • 7' Long ball forward from Diego Lopez is contested by both Carlos Puyol and Benzema but the ball rolls through to Pinto.
    • 6' Xavi Alonso deflects a Andres Iniesta pass and it very nearly puts Lionel Messi through on goal, but the ball is smothered by Madrid. That’s the first time the Argentine has had the ball at his feet this evening.
    • 5' Alves has limped off but he looks like he will continue after a bit of a treatment on the sidelines.
    • 4' Barcelona finally get the ball and Dani Alves is brought down on half way by Alvaro Arbeloa– he’s still down and eventually the Catalan side knock the ball out of play.
    • 3' CHANCE! Ronaldo gets his free-kick up and over the wall but it’s a good save from Joe Manuel Pinto, who parries it away and Karim Benzema just can’t reach it. The tone has been set by the hosts here already.
    • 2' Cristiano Ronaldo causes problems early, getting the ball on the left wing and cutting inside – and he’s felled by Gerard Pique on the edge of the area. That’s an early yellow card for the Spaniard.
    • 1' And it’s Real Madrid to kick off – going from right to left. Both sides are in their traditional colours.
    • 20.00 Assistant manager Jordi Roura continues to fill in for Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova on the sideline. The players are out on the field and we are about ready to get underway.
    • 20.00 You can get involved tonight on Twitter - who is your money on? Can Madrid continue their recent resurgance? Tweet me on @natesaund and I'll post the best comments
    • 19.55 Some stats for you. Real Madrid are unbeaten in 31 games in all competitions at the Bernabeu, but have won just one of their last eight home games against Barcelona.
    • 19.55 It’s been a tale of two seasons so far for these two sides – everything has gone perfectly for Barcelona while Real Madrid seem to be a team in turmoil. Jose Mourinho’s days in the Spanish capital seem to numbered – with Madrid trailing Barcelona by 15 points in La Liga, he might just see Copa del Rey as a last opportunity for silverware.
    • 19.50 Pepe (ankle) is also out for Madrid , while Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao and Angel di Maria are out through suspension. Barcelona, on the other hand, have a clean bill of health, and recall Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas – all of whom were rested for the La Liga clash against Osasuna.
    • 19.45 New signing Diego Lopez makes the first appearance of his second spell for Los Blancos - edging out Antonio Adan to replace injured Madrid captain Iker Casillas (broken hand), who misses his first El Clasico since May 2002.
    • 19.40 TEAMS: Real Madrid: Diego López, Essien, Varane, Carvalho, Arbeloa, Khedira, Alonso, Özil, Callejón, Ronaldo, Benzema...... Subs: Adán, Marcelo, Albiol, Modrić, Kaká, Higuaín, Morata//// Barcelona: Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas, Pedro, Messi, Iniesta. Subs:..... Valdes, Mascherano, Song, Adriano, Thiago, Alexis, Villa.
    • 19.35 Good evening and welcome to one of the great footballing occasions – El Clasico – as Real Madrid host Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final at Santiago Bernabeu.
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