Jan 31, 2013

Barca -1 , Real Madrid - 1

The first Clasico of 2013 ended in a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernebeu in the first leg of Cop Del rey. Early in the first half Cesc put us ahead at the start of second half but Varane equalised for Madrid with ten minutes left on the clock. We do go into the second leg at home with an advantage of an away goal. But we would have loved to take the win. We did really have some serious chances but failed to take any. In the end a 1-1 is a fair result as both teams fluffed a host of chances to score in a fast paced encounter.Jordi Roura went with a very much expected line-up with Pinto, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Cesc, Pedro, Messi and Iniesta. Valdes, Mascherano, Adriano, Soong, Thiago, Alexis and Villa started in the bench. Real Madrid had Diego LLopez, Essien, Varane, Carvalho, Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Ozil, Khedira, Callejon, Benzema and Ronaldo. in the starting eleven.

In the 1st minute itself we saw how dangerous Real Madrid could be on counter. Alves lost the ball in the middle and before we could wink Ronaldo unleashed himself onto the box, Pique brought down him at the edge of box. Pinto made a brilliant save off the free kick. In the 9th minute Pinto had to make another save after an Essien cross was deflected off Alba into the goal. In the 13th minute we had our first chance when Iniesta lifted the ball over the defense onto a running Alba, but he could only hit wide with a cross cum shot attempt. Alves was having a worst start giving away possession every time he touches the ball. In the 19th minute Ronaldo came close to connecting his header to a Benzema cross after we lose the ball again. In the 21st minute Xavi hit the bar with a great free kick from just outside of the box. In the 24th minute Xavi wasted a clear chance after Carvalho gave passed the ball to Cesc in the box, Pedro squared teh ball to Xavi but his shot was cleared off the line by Varane. In the 27th minute Benzema hit the sidenetting on another counter after we lost the possession in middle. In the 36th minute Dani Alves have to make a last ditch block to stop Real Madrid from scoring. Real was pressuring us well in the middle of the pitch and we were getting really uncomfortable whenever we were in possession. The first half was played at very high pace, maybe too pacy for our liking. We needed to slow down a bit but was unable due to teh pressure Real Madrid exerted in the middle.

In the 47th minute Benzema shot just high over the ball after he did well to hold off a Puyol challenge. In the 50th minute Cesc Fabregas made it 1-0 after he latched onto a Messi lay off. Messi played a beautiful ball spotting Alba's run from the left, Callejon did well to track him and clear it. But unfortunately the ball went in to Messi again who palyed Cesc through(Cesc was played on by Callejon who was in no position to comeback after that trackback). In the 56th minute Cesc was played through with a long ball, but Varane did really well to clear the ball off Cesc's grasp. In the 58th minute Mourinho brought in Modric for Callejon. In the 60th minute Ronaldo miss a golden chance when he headed wide infront off an open goal from an Essien cross. That was a close escape for us. In the 63rd minute Alves tested Lopez with a shot on the goal. Mourinho immediately brought in Higuain for Benzema. In the 66th minute Pique made a brilliant sliding tackle to deny Ronaldo. In the 70th minute Cesc Fabregas shot high over the bar after Alves squared the ball back to him. In the 73rd minute Pedro break in a counter from Real Madrid counter but could only hit wide. In the 76th minute Pedro was taken off for Alexis Sanchez. In the 81st minute Varane equalised with a header after he rose to connect a ball into box from Ozil. In the 85th minute Roura brought Thiago for Fabregas. In the 88th minute Xavie released Alba on the left, lopez made a brilliant save to deny our left back.

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