Barcelona v Real Madrid as it happened

Cristiano Ronaldo scores the winner as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 to go seven points clear at the top of La Liga.

21 April 2012 Last updated at 23:03

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As it happened

  1. 2123: 

    So there you have it, the great Barcelona toppled on their own patch by their greatest rivals. Jose Mourinho provided the brains and Cristiano Ronaldo the brio as Real Madrid pulled off a famous victory that all but secures their first league title since 2008. I've enjoyed your company immensely and I look forward to our next meeting. Until then, a very good night.

  2.  

    Josh in Bournemouth via text: "Messi hasn't scored in his last 4 Clasicos, Ronaldo has scored 4 in his last 5... Which one is not a big game player?"

  3. 2116: 

    To the run-ins. Real Madrid play Sevilla (home), Athletic Bilbao (away), Granada (away) and Mallorca (home). Barca are still to face Rayo (away), Mallorca (home), Espanyol (home) and Betis (away). Safe to say something would have to go horribly wrong for Real to lose the title now, but they do have the slightly tougher fixtures and if the two teams finish level on points Barca would win courtesy of their superior head-to-head record.

  4.  

    Saqib Rao on Twitter: "A lot of credit to Jose Mourinho...he has done it again...another league won...he is the special one."

  5.  

    Marc in Swansea via text: "Why all the negativity with Barca? They can't play brilliantly every game, and they've come up against a fantastic defensive performance by Chelsea and the 2nd best team in the world. There's no need to go over the top with criticism."

  6. 2108: 

    Suddenly, Barca's semi-final second leg against Chelsea on Tuesday night just got even bigger. Guardiola's men will be calling on all their powers to avoid going out of two competitions in the space of four days. Should be some match.

  7.  

    Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter: "I'm having a rotten time with my former clubs. Leicester, Everton, Spurs and now Barca all losing. Come on Grampus 8!!"

  8.  

    Matt from Skegness via text: "Barcelona were average. Not Barca average here either, just plain old average. They created so few chances it was quite something. Chelsea couldn't have picked a better time to play them methinks."

  9.  

    Opta Jose on Twitter: "Barcelona have lost back-to-back games in all competitions for the first time since May 2009. Dropped."

  10. 2100: 

    By my reckoning, Jose Mourinho's standing as a manager just went up another level. That was a supreme tactical display by Real Madrid as they set off at a furious pace, took the lead, soaked up waves and waves of Barca pressure and then won the game with a superb counter-attacking goal just when their opponent's guard was down.

  11.  

    Dave Wood on Twitter: "Fantastic to see Barcelona taken down a couple of pegs over the last week. Maybe they are human!"

  12. 2054: 

    Real are celebrating like they have won the title and, do you know what, they almost have. They have inflicted Barca's home defeat in 54 games and now lead by seven points with four league games remaining.

  13.  
    FULL-TIME- Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid
  14. 2053: 

    Ronaldo has been on fire from free-kicks but this one is closer to Row Z than the net. The a low cross from Higuain finds the Portugues, but he shoots high under pressure from Valdes.

  15. 2051: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Just what Real want as Iniesta brings down Arbeloa and Mourinho uses up some more time by bringing on Higuain for Benzema up top. Real are almost there...

  16. 2050: 
    INJURY TIME

    Brilliant block from Sergio Ramos and signs that Messi is losing his cool a bit here as he engages in some verbals with Arbeloa. Barca have a corner but concede a free-kick as Puyol is penalised for a foul on the keeper.

  17. 2049: 

    Nothing is going for Barca at the moment despite the introductions of Fabregas and Pedro. Suddenly Real are enjoying plenty of possession.

  18.  

    Tim Creak on Twitter: "Got a feeling if Barca do lose this, they will be even more fired up for CL and Chelsea will be in for a real hiding 2nd leg!"

  19. 2045: 
    YELLOW CARD- Javier Mascherano

    That's more like the Mascherano we all know as he brings down Ronaldo with a wild challenge and picks up a yellow card. Four minutes left.

  20. 2043: 

    Monster Masch! Javier Mascherano tries his luck from 30 yards, but gets underneath the ball and sends it high and handsome.

  21. 2041: 

    ...Real break at a formidable pace as per usual and they have a four-on-three situation. Benzema has Ronaldo in space to his right but opts to shoot, and it's easy for Valdes.

  22. 2041: 

    We are into the last ten minutes and Barcelona's season is on the line. Cue a magic moment from a special player? Alexis tries to squeeze one through to Messi but the move breaks down..

  23.  

    Rishi Verma on Twitter: "There was a time when Cristiano Ronaldo could not score for toffee in games that mattered. Not any more."

  24. 2037: 

    This is football. Thrill-a-minute stuff at the moment with the ball pinging from one penalty area to the other. Ronaldo has now scored in four of the last five el Clasicos.

  25.  

    Max Mclean on Twitter: "Cristiano got handed his script before Messi."

  26. 2035: 

    It's all kicking off out there and Ronaldo is rolling from side to side on the floor after a calsh with Dani Alves. A bit naughty from the Brazilian with replays showing he pushed his studs into Ronaldo's side.

  27.  
    GOAL- Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid (Cristiano Ronaldo 72)

    Amazing, simply amazing. Ozil's pass from the right flank puts Ronaldo through inside the full-back. The Portuguese takes one touch before smashing it past Valdes at the near post. Big game player? I think he may have answered that one.

  28.  
    GOAL- Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid (Alexis Sanchez 70)

    Iniesta's flick finds Tello, who's shot is saved. The loose ball is lashed goalwards and deflects to Sanchez, who scrambles home at the second attempt.

  29. 2029: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Xavi is off and Alexis Sanchez is brought off. Xavi takes the top off a water bottle and hurls it to the ground.

  30. 2028: 

    Better from Barcelona as they move the ball quickly from left to right and Xavi lets fly from the edge of the box and the ball whistles wide.

  31.  

    Luke via text: "If Real Madrid can stifle Barcelona and limit their opportunities, why can't Chelsea, with arguably a better defence?"

  32. 2024: 

    Barca's attacks are breaking down on the edge of the Real box and the men in white are giving a master-class in defending. And with Benzema and Ronaldo lurking upfield there is always a chance they could strike again on the break.

  33. 2021: 

    Alonso clatters into Messi and gets away without receiving a second yellow card. Real desperately need to keep 11 men on the pitch here. Still Barca press and a Xavi-Messi one-two breaks down on the edge of the box. Messi brings down Ramos, who goes down like a sack of King Edwards.

  34.  

    James (Chelsea fan) via text: "Barca were subject to a defensive masterclass on wed and theyre self confidence seems to have taken a little bump, the fast decision-making just doesn't seem to be there tonight. I'm enjoying it."

  35. 2017: 

    More amateur dramatics in the middle as Pepe holds his leg as if he's just been caught by shrapnel. Real are on the ropes at the moment with the ball permanently in their half.

  36. 2014: 

    Dear oh dear - Tello's bad night just got worse! An inch-perfect pass from Thiago plays him into space. He has all the time in the world to pick his spot but spoons the ball a good ten yards over the bar. Jonny Wilkinson would have been proud of that one.

  37.  

    Jay, Liverpool fan abroad, via text: "Watching the game at our hotel bar in Cyprus. Have a Barca fan to my right and a Real fan on my left... hoping I don't have to act as a peace maker at full time!"

  38. 2012: 

    Benzema plays Ronaldo through between the Barca centre-backs, but the flag is up. Ronaldo rounds the keeper and slots home anyway and is lucky to escape a booking.

  39. 2011: 

    Real win the first corner of the half but it's a poor delivery from Ozil and is cut out at the near post. Barca respond with a spell of pressure, culminating with Tello slicing wastefully wide. It hasn't been the young winger's night so far.

  40.  

    Dan via text: "Real Madrid showing how to play against Barca/Spain, high tempo, pressing, not sitting back. Attack the best form of defence."

  41. 2008: 

    I'd be surprised if we don't see Cesc Fabregas soon, especially with conditions akin to Wigan on a Wednesday night. Di Maria wins the ball brilliantly and scampers down the right before throwing himself to the ground.

  42.  

    Capital R on Twitter: "People can hate on Barcelona but they still are the greatest team in the world on a normal day. No other team is close."

  43. 2006: 
    YELLOW CARD- Xabi Alonso

    Absurd decision from the referee as Alonso executes a textbook sliding tackle to dispossess Messi and gets booked for his troubles.

  44. 2004: 

    Barca emerge first onto the rain-soaked pitch, with Messi looking particularly pensive. Barca had 78% of possession in the first half but not a single shot on target. We are under way again...

  45.  

    Nick Welch in Cheshire via text: "So glad Barca's season is imploding. The way everyone bangs on about them makes it seem as though no other team has the right to win anything. 800 passes in a game does not make it exciting for the spectator!"

  46. 1959: 

    Keep the tweets coming in via #bbcfootball, or text us on 81111 (UK). And don't forget to put your name on the texts if you want your cinco minutos of fame.

  47. 1957: 

    Our man Mr Crew makes a great point. The biggest feature of that half for me was the number of times Barca gave the ball away. Real Madrid set a frenetic pace and the Catalans looked our of their comfort zone. I wouldn't put it past them to turn this around in the second half though, would you?

  48.  

    Mike Crew on Twitter:"Think @fcbarcelona gave the ball away more in that 1st half than they have all season."

  49.  

    Paulos Zerezghi on Twitter: "When was the last time Barca lost a Champions League game and a La Liga game in the same week? That's not the Barcelona I know."

  50. 1950: 

    Time to exhale after a breathless first half in the Camp Nou. Jose Mourinho will be delighted to see a plan come together. As things stand, Real Madrid are poised to go seven points clear of Barca with four games remaining. The fat lady is warbling.

  51.  
    HALF-TIME- Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid
  52. 1945: 

    A quick counter-attack from Real Madrid has Ozil galloping into space down the left. Ronaldo is free inside the box but the German's cross is blocked.

  53.  

    Spanish football expert Graham Hunter on Twitter: "Thus far Ramos a key player and performing exceptionally. Coming into midfield, closing Messi and doing so cleanly. Vg. So far."

  54. 1944: 
    YELLOW CARD- Pepe

    Surprise surprise as Real Madrid hardman Pepe goes into the notebook for a crude shoulder-charge on Messi. Agricultural.

  55. 1943: 

    Fantastic football from Barca as the ball is worked through Messi and Xavi to Alves on the wing. His low cross finds Messi, who shoots straight at Casillas, with the flag raised. It's pouring with rain out there.

  56. 1940: 

    All a bit scrappy and error-strewn at the moment folks, like a League Two basement battle.

  57.  

    Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Khedira's goal makes it 108 for Real Madrid this season. 108 goals in a La Liga season is a new single season record. (107 by Real in 89/90)."

  58. 1938: 

    Neat interplay between Tello and Messi leads to Thiago getting teed up for a shot, but his low 25-yarder flies well wide.

  59. 1937: 

    Alves v Ramos - coming to a boxing ring near you. The duo tussle again and this time the decision goes in favour of the Spaniard.

  60. 1935: 

    Barca are using the full width of the pitch to stretch Real to the maximum, but this time it is Iniesta's turn to misplace his final pass as a cross drifts harmlessly wide.

  61. 1933: 

    Messi dances past another couple of defenders and plays a one-two with Iniesta but the little Argentine's final ball is surprisingly wayward. Just watching a few replays of the goal, which rule out any suspicion of a Pepe handball or Khedira being offside before he scored.

  62.  

    Daily Mirror chief football writer Oliver Holt on Twitter at the Nou Camp: "Absolutely brilliant from Messi. Darting run, beautiful reverse pass to free Xavi, who pulls shot wide."

  63. 1930: 

    Real get the ball in the Barca half for the first time in a while but Ozil's cross is too long for Ronaldo at the far post and the move breaks down.

  64.  

    Oliver Rhodes on Twitter: "With all his experience it's a poor error from Puyol. Valdes not trusting his defence either, flying out the blocks. Calamity."

  65.  

    Steven in Aberdeen via text: "Hate this argument Ronaldo never shows up in big games. Simply not true. Has 3 goals in 4 games against Barca this year. Also has been phenomenal this season in La Liga."

  66. 1928: 

    A superb pass from Messi puts Xavi clear on goal, but his first-time side-footed shot is deflected wide off the thigh of Casillas. The Spain midfielder should have equalised there, and he knows it.

  67. 1927: 

    Dani Alves is doing his best Didier Drogba impression - rolling around on the ground as if addicted to the feel of grass on his shirt. He went down under a challenge from Xabi Alonso.

  68. 1925: 

    Barcelona are very much on the front foot at the moment in a game being played at Premier League pace. But Real Madrid are holding firm at the moment and Xavi hasn't find his range yet, his latest effort to slot Messi through missing the target by a distance.

  69.  

    OptaJose: "8 - Barcelona have conceded eight goals at corners in all comps this season, four of them against Real Madrid. Route."

  70. 1921: 

    Tello displays his pace once again to jink inside from the left flank before shooting wide of the near post from the edge of the area. Then Ronaldo finds space in the box, but drags his shot from a tight angle across the face of goal.

  71.  

    Paul Alec Johnson on Twitter: "Real Madrid will now spend 74 minutes defending. It's the way Mourinho plays."

  72. 1920: 

    Real are already surging forward in search of a second goal. This is an incredibly open game given what is at stake. Barca threaten but Messi's through-ball is cut out by a diving lunge from Xabi Alonso.

  73.  
    GOAL- Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid (Sami Khedira 17 mins)

    Mayhem in the Barca backline as a Di Maria corner finds Pepe at the far post. His header is saved one-handed by Valdes but Puyol hesitates with the loose ball at his feet and Khedira scrambles it home.

  74.  
    YELLOW CARD- Sergio Busquets

    Busquets trips Ronaldo as he skips clear down the left and becomes the first name in the referee's notebook.

  75. 1914: 

    It's starting to get tasty out there as Xavi flies in on Sergio Ramos and somehow earns a free-kick to Barcelona. Messi's delivery is poor and it cut out by the first man. Then Tello is played in down the left and does brilliantly to get a shot on goal, but he's flagge offside.

  76. 1912: 

    Benzema's turn to break beyond the defensive lines, but he is slow to take the ball down and after cutting inside the defender, his low shot is easily saved by Valdes. Then, at the other end, Messi's pass is just behind Iniesta, but his improvised flick sails wide.

  77. 1910: 

    Alves is almost in again after a through-ball from Thiago, but the linesman's flag thwarts him this time. That was a close one, but correct decision. Carrying on from OptaJose's theme, Messi has not scored in his last three Clasicos. Dearth.

  78.  

    OptaJose: "13 - Messi has only scored more goals against Sevilla (14) and Atletico (18) than he has against R Madrid (13) in all competitions. Scourge."

  79. 1907: 

    Alves intercepts a dreadful square ball from Pepe and bears down on goal, but Casillas is out quickly to smother any opportunity. Electric start.

  80. 1906: 

    Real go close, as Ozil swings over a corner from the left and Ronaldo's looping header is tipped over the bar by Valdes. The header deflected off Puyol's mane and it was a smart save from the Barca keeper.

  81. 1904: 

    Andres Iniesta works some space on the left and swings over a cross to the far post but it's beyond the reach of Alves. When Barca are on the attack it's pretty much a 2-3-5 formation with the full-backs as wingers.

  82.  

    Jack via text: "Ronaldo never shows up in big games, hopefully will change tonight but don't see it happening. However, Barca are vulnerable at the back, too close to call."

  83. 1902: 

    Dani Alves puts in an early reducer on Ronaldo as Real Madrid make the very early running with Benzema involved in a promising attack.

  84. 1900: 
    KICK-OFF

    Football fans the world over, I would like to inform you that We Have Lift-off.

  85.  

    OptaJose: "11 - There have been 11 players sent off in the last 12 Clasicos, eight for Real Madrid, three for Barcelona. Rowdy."

  86. 1859: 

    The players emerge to an incredible mosaic of blue, red and yellow in the stands. Hands are shaken, positions taken up. A ball will soon be kicked to get the 219th el Clasico underway.

  87. 1857: 

    Warm embraces in the tunnel between the two players, with Sergio Ramos particularly touchy feely with the opposition. The Nou Camp is packed the rafters. Let's play ball.

  88.  

    OptaJose on Twitter: "9 - The most points a side has been behind the leader in La Liga and still won. Barca were 10pts behind on Mar 12th. Impossible?"

  89.  
    BBC Sport's David Ornstein

    "Thiago may be something of a surprise selection for Barcelona tonight, but the 21-year-old has already made 21 appearances this season and knows his team-mates inside out given that he is another La Masia graduate. He was actually born in Italy but grew up in Spain and has represented them at every youth level. Interesting fact? He is the son of 1994 World Cup winner Mazinho - the third member of the three-man baby-rocking celebration involving Bebeto and Romario in Brazil's quarter-final victory over the Netherlands."

  90.  

    From Leroy in Oxford via text: "Though Real's defence looked very shaky against Bayern with Ramos diving in, they did look dangerous on the long ball with Ronaldo and Benzema. Could be useful against a weak Barca central defence with no support from attacking Alves."

  91. 1849: 

    Ten minutes to kick-off. How's the pre-match prep going at home? Anyone thinking that the title is already in Real's hands whatever the result tonight should think again. Real have a very tricky trip to Athletic Bilbao's San Mames stadium on 2 May, and Manchester United fans know only too well how good Marcelo Bielsa's men can be on their day.

  92.  

    Oliver Rhodes on Twitter: "Barca usually target Marcelo, but, with Coentrao playing, may choose to switch play to Tello. His pace could trouble Arbeloa."

  93. 1844: 
    BBC Sport's David Ornstein

    "What a night this promises to be for Christian Tello. Making only his second start in La Liga, the 20-year-old winger will not have played a bigger match in his young career. Tello is Barcelona born and bred, a product of the famous La Masia academy and a Spanish youth international. He made his Barca debut as a substitute at Villarreal in January and has already scored three goals for the Catalan giants."

  94.  

    Gordon Baisley on Twitter: "I've taken Real Madrid to win at 5-1. Yes, a poor record against Barca recently but great odds for any game involving Mourinho."

  95. 1839: 

    Guardiola's record in Clasicos since taking over at Barca is superb. He has won nine, drawn four and lost one against his club's greatest rivals. His one defeat - last year's Copa Del Rey final when an extra-time header from Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the trophy for Mourinho's men.

  96.  

    Gareth McDonald on Twitter: "Surely Kaka should be getting a game, one of the best players in the last 10 years and can't get a game."

  97. 1833: 

    Thanks Jk, I suppose there is a fair chance of a red card tonight too. Including Mourinho's time at Chelsea and Internazionale, 11 of his players have been sent off in 20 matches vs Barcelona.

  98.  

    Jk on Twitter: "Those line-ups look tasty but surely the betting on the match is mostly about who gets booked 1st, Ramos or Mourinho?"

  99. 1830: 

    More cracking stattage. This is the 219th El Cl\u00e1sico in all competitions. Both clubs have won 86 times, and if Barcelona win tonight, they will be leading the head-to-head series for the first time in 80 years.

  100. 1828: 

    Now to those famous foes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the jewels in two very valuable crowns. The deadly duo are tied on 41 league goals for the season, while Messi has 63 in all competitions to Ronaldo's 53. Choosing between them is like quibbling over whether to test drive a Ferrari or a Maserati, but our new man Ben Smith is a picky fellow, and he's had a crack, with a little bit of help from former Chelsea and Barcelona strike Eidur Gudjohnsen.

  101.  

    Ethan Porter on Twitter: "I can't see Madrid winning with Xavi, Ineista and Messi playing. And Barcelona always had one eye on the Clasico at Chelsea."

  102. 1823: 

    It would be a brave man to bet against Real Madrid scoring tonight. Seven days ago, Karim Benzema smashed in Real's 107th league goal of the season to make them the join highest-scoring team in Spanish football history. Barca have just the 96 goals from their 33 matches, but have won all of their last 11 league games and are unbeaten in 54 matches at home in all competitions.

  103. 1822: 

    So Barca make two changes from the team beaten at Chelsea, with exciting youngsters Tello and Thiago given a chance, while Real are unchanged from the site beaten in Munich.

  104. 1818: 

    If you can summon the energy whilst stretched out on the chaise longue, why not send us a text or tweet with your thoughts, hopes and fears on tonight's game, or even a suggestion on what else we might find at Hotel el Clasico? The text number is 81111 (UK), while you can tweet the commentary via #BBCfootball or tweet me @samsheringham.

  105.  

    OptaJose on Twitter: "Real Madrid have taken just one point from seven league matches against Barcelona in the Pep Guardiola era. Wall."

  106. 1815: 
    LINE-UPS

    Looks like the Barca rumours were true but the Real ones were a herring of the red variety, no doubt instigated by Jose Mourino himself. Here are the confirmed line-ups:

    Barcelona: Vald\u00e9s, Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Thiago, Iniesta, Messi, Tello.

    Real Madrid: Casillas, Pepe, Ramos, Khedira, Ronaldo, Benzema, \u00d6zil, Xabi Alonso, Coentr\u00e3o, Arbeloa, Di Mar\u00eda.

  107. 1813: 

    Amazingly, given the pedigree of these sides, both Real and Barca come into the game off the back of a defeat. On Tuesday, a late Mario Gomez goal saw Bayern Munich down Madrid 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, and on Wednesday Didier Drogba scored from Chelsea's only shot on goal as the Blues beat Barcelona 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

  108. 1811: 

    The early rumours emerging from Spain are that Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is bringing in Thiago and Cristian Tello for Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez, while Jose Mourinho is going for Kaka and Marcelo instead of Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao. Confirmed teams as soon as we get them.

  109. 1807: 

    This is the sixth Clasico of the season, and arguably the most important, with the destination of La Liga at stake. With Real Madrid four points clear of their great rivals with five games of the season remaining, Barcelona desperately need a win to keep their title hopes alive. A draw would suit Real down to the ground, so will we see coach Jose Mourinho at his most pragmatic tonight?

  110. 1804: 

    Yes folks, this is the ultimate football-lovers treat. A chance to escape from the stresses and strains of supporting your team and simply delight in the skills of the finest footballers on the planet. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Karim Benzema and co, the floor is yours.

  111. 1800: 

    Tonight, my friends, we're staying at the Hotel el Clasico, an establishment with such grandeur, class and style that they've had to add another star to the ratings system. We've only got an hour until show time so check into your suite, bubble up the Jacuzzi and send the butler for some champagne and caviar. This could well be a very enjoyable evening indeed.

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