Barcelona v Real Madrid as it happened

Live text commentary as Barcelona beat Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the Spanish La Liga season.

26 October 2013 Last updated at 19:39

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As it happened

  1. 1937: 

    Thanks for joining me today. What does tomorrow evening have in store for you on our European football live text?

    Well Atletico Madrid look to close the gap on Barcelona to one point when they host Real Betis and Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks to continue his amazing run of wonder goals as Paris St-Germain visit St Etienne.

    Throw in a top of the table clash from Portugal between FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon and I'd say it's worth returning to us tomorrow.

    Until then, goodbye.

  2. 1934: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 2-1 Real Madrid
    Carlo Ancelotti

    It's going to be fascinating to see how much criticism Carlo Ancelotti receives from the volatile Madrid press after this game. They've given him a pretty easy ride so far but the selection of Bale and positioning Ramos in midfield were bold, risky moves. Although Madrid improved in the second half, they were very poor in the opening period and Ancelotti is facing some choppy waters.


    Rian Hoskins: Never been Valdes's biggest fan but he has kept Barca in matches. His last season for Barca is turning out to be his best.

  4. 1928: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 2-1 Real Madrid

    Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti's news conference is already over. He said his team played some "good football" and that Gareth Bale's performance was "not bad". The presser was a brief and rather tame affair - tomorrow's headlines might not be.


    Yaw Sarfo: Ramos in a holding role?? No creativity in midfield and no attacking threat from Madrid. Is too early but am sure Mourinho will forever be missed by Madrid's faithful.

    Han Trinnaman: Bale proving that he has made the worst decision of his career!

  6. 1923: 
    Steve Crossman, BBC World ServiceBarcelona 2-1 Real Madrid

    Was it brave or foolish for Carlo Ancelotti to go like for like against Barcelona?

    Johan Cruyff came back to the Camp Nou as manager in 1988 and he brought 4-3-3 with him. By the time he left it was so ingrained within the DNA of the club that it has never left. Pep Guardiola stuck with that principle and now it's sacrilege to do anything else.

    In short, Barca own 4-3-3, everyone else can only borrow it. That includes Real Madrid.

    Hindsight is great but Benzema's introduction did make them looked more balanced, had he started in place of Bale (and had Valdes been less super human) this could have been a different game.

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    Lydia Ngoma: barca vs real? earlier it was more like messi vs ronaldo and now no goals from either #whowouldhaveknown

    Jay: Tottenham should take Bale back on loan even though he wouldn't get into the current team. Double whammy

  8. 1919: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid
    Diego Lopez dives

    One of the most remarkable things about Alexis Sanchez's chip was that Real Madrid keeper Diego Lopez wasn't even outside his six-yard box when the Chilean went for glory.


    Dean, in Winchester: Bale has had no pre-season nor has he had a run of games yet everyone feels justified in proclaiming he'll never show his Spurs form for Madrid. Players take time to adapt. It's natural. Case in point: Olivier Giroud.

    James: The decline of Gareth Bale into the laughing stock of world football is something which gives me an enormous amount of pleasure.

    Bit shady? Are there a lot of Bale haters out there?

  10. 1911: 
    Steve Crossman, BBC World ServiceBarcelona 2-1 Real Madrid
    Barcelona celebrate

    That could just be the start of something very special.

    Alexis Sanchez is still only 24, he looked every inch a potential world beater at Udinese and after a quiet year he's been very effective in the early stages of the new campaign.

    Wouldn't fancy facing him and Chile at the World Cup… or Colombia… or Brazil… or Spain… then there's Germany. I'll stop.

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    Kevin Turner: People forget Bale has just come back from injury. He'll get better. Maybe not 80m worth of better, but better.

    Jawad Kayani: It's too early to talk about Barcelona title because just one bad spell of games will change the whole complexion

    Mashidur Miah: I think Madrid can still pip Barcelona to the title....oh i forgot to mention, im on about Athletico Madrid.

  12. 1906: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid
    Gareth Bale and Neymar

    A lot of the talk before the game was about the two new boys - Gareth Bale and Neymar.

    No doubt which of them came out on top today - Neymar scored and assisted one, while Bale had a frustrating Nou Camp initiation.

  13. 1903: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid
    Alexis Sanchez and Victor Valdes

    Alexis Sanchez will rightly get the headlines tomorrow (or tonight even in this digital age) but without Victor Valdes in goal tonight, Barcelona would not have won this match.

    His saves from Sami Khedira and Cristiano Ronaldo were both fantastic - and at crucial times too.

  14. 1901: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid

    There may have been seven yellow cards at the Nou Camp tonight but it perhaps lacked a bit of the edge of Pep Guardiola-Jose Mourinho matches.

    No eyes were poked, that's for sure.


    Finley: Bale will never be as good at Real Madrid as he was at Tottenham. I think that not only was it a mistake to sell him by Tottenham, but it was also a mistake on the part of Madrid to buy him. He was only going to get better at spurs.

  16. 1858: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid

    Want some facts? It was a rhetorical question if I'm being honest, you're getting them whether you want them or not.

    That is Barcelona's first home win in seven properly competitive Clasicos (Sorry Spanish Super Cup, I'm not counting you).

    They had not won in the last five meetings with Real Madrid in all competitions.

    And they have won each of their last 20 home league games, a run going back over a year. Their last dropped home points? Against Real last October.


    Can anyone stop Barcelona winning the league title? Will Gareth Bale start to fit into the team when he gets a run of matches?

    Can you believe that we have had a Clasico without Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo scoring?

    Where do you rank Alexis Sanchez's goal amongst great past goals between these sides?

    Tweet us using #bbceurofooty, text us using 81111 (but only if you're in the UK and let us know your name) and on our Facebook page.

  18. 1851: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 2-1 Real Madrid

    Deserved victory for Barcelona, but Jese's goal made it the right margin - 2-0 would have flattered the home team after Madrid's strong half-hour at the start of the second period. Their lead over Ancelotti's team in the title race is now six points, and they won't drop many more points than that.

  19. 1849: 
    FULL-TIME- Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid

    Barcelona go six points above Real Madrid in the La Liga table thanks to a just-about deserved win over Real Madrid. There wasn't a lot in it mind.

  20. 1848: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid

    Ninety seconds left for a Real Madrid equaliser but Barcelona have a free-kick in opposition territory and they're playing keep ball.

    Well I thought they were but Lionel Messi pulls the ball back to Dani Alves, whose shot is deflected out for a corner.

  21. 1847: 
    GOAL- Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid - Jese Rodriguez (90 mins)

    Substitute Jese Rodriguez scores for Real Madrid but is it too late? Cristiano Ronaldo plays in the 20-year-old, whose shot isn't great and sneaks under Victor Valdes's body.

  22. 1847: 
    INJURY TIME- Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid

    We're into stoppage time. But it's all a formality now.

  23. 1846: 
    Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid

    ... and how.

  24. 1845: 
    Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid
    Alexis Sanchez

    Think Alexis Sanchez might have proved some of his critics wrong today...

  25. 1843: 
    Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid

    Sami Khedira is played through for Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo is in the centre screaming for the ball. The Germany international ignores him and has a shot of his own but it's saved by Victor Valdes, who has been one of the heroes of the piece for Barcelona today.

  26. 1841: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid

    Scored one, assisted one. It's been a wonderful afternoon for Neymar and he comes off to a great reception as he is replaced by Pedro.

  27. 1840: 
    Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid

    And with seven minutes to go, Barcelona could have sealed the match. Dani Alves nutmegs Cristiano Ronaldo and gets his shot on goal but it's saved by Diego Lopez.

  28. 1839: 
    Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid

    Barcelona defender Gerard Pique starts playing keepy-ups before lumping the ball down field. It's party time now.

  29. 1838: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 2-0 Real Madrid

    Brilliant, brilliant goal from Sanchez. The Chilean was often the scapegoat for the fans when things went wrong last season, but he's started the new campaign in excellent form and certainly has the Nou Camp crowd firmly on his side now. A moment of magic from the wrong South American...

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    Jamaticulus: Easy does it... Sumptuous goal by Sanchez!! Thought Madrid was going to get a point in this game.

  31. 1838: 
    Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid

    That is Alexis Sanchez's fifth league goal in only seven games this season and I can say with some confidence, his best. That will go down as one of the great El Clasico goals, I feel.

  32. 1836: 
    Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid

    There won't be many better goals in any league in the world this season. Talk about a super sub for Barcelona.

  33. 1834: 
    GOAL- Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid - Alexis Sanchez (78 mins)

    What. A. Goal. That, frankly, is ridiculously good. Neymar plays through Alexis Sanchez, who chips the ball from outside the box over Diego Lopez, who was only six yards off his line.

  34. 1833: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Real Madrid bring on Spain Under-21 international Jese Rodriguez for Angel Di Maria. What a chance this would be to make a name for himself.

    Barcelona also make a change, Jese Rodriguez off for Alex Song. Graft rather than probing possibly the name of the game now for Gerardo Martino.

  35. 1832: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    If Real Madrid were to score a leveller now, it wouldn't be undeserved. Victor Valdes has made two world-class saves and of course Karim Benzema has hit the post.

  36. 1831: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    When things aren't going your way, things don't go your way. That was a sensational strike from Benzema and Valdes, for once, would have been nowhere near it, but his barren spell continues - the Frenchman hasn't scored in La Liga since the second game of the season.

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    James Connolly: Madrid are inching towards that equaliser, just one drop in concentration from Barca and they'll be in.

  38. 1830: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid
    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Cristiano Ronaldo has had a quiet game today, that brilliant save from Victor Valdes aside. But he has scored eight goals in his last six trips to the Nou Camp. He's bound to have another chance in him.

  39. 1828: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    That is so, so close for Real Madrid. Karim Benzema picks the ball up and has a go from all of 25 yards out. It's hit so hard but it comes back off the post.

    Barcelona rocking a bit now.

  40. 1827: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Twenty minutes to go...

  41. 1827: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Hello pace. Barcelona's wide speed merchant Alexis Sanchez comes on for Cesc Fabregas. More for Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid to think about.

  42. 1826: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Karim Benzema has his first chance but the Real Madrid striker heads over the crossbar.

  43. 1825: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    It's a much closer game than in the first half, with neither team on top. Madrid have now got the same personnel and formation they've been employing in recent weeks, and they look much, much better for it.


    Richard in Putney: Bale wasted on the right wing. Perez's transfer plan looking flawed already, already have the best left wing in the world so buy the second best. Then play him on the right.

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    Grant Shipcott: I honestly didn't even realise Bale was playing until he was subbed. Anonymous.

  46. 1820: 
    YELLOW CARD- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Lionel Messi is trying to get away from Marcelo, who just won't let go of him and then ends up riding him like a horse. A yellow card for the Brazilian left-back and a free-kick.

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    anonymo16936269: Bale to Manchester United next summer?

  48. 1819: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    The game is so open and Madrid are starting to look dangerous for the first time. Tata Martino needs to change this and tighten up his team - the pitch is too big at the moment and the visitors are starting to find space. Saying that, it's also available for Barca to exploit. Could well be a goal very soon.

  49. 1818: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Steve Crossman called it two minutes ago. On comes proper striker Karim Benzema and it's Gareth Bale who comes off.

    The ex-Tottenham forward hasn't been at his best today, it's got to be said - yet to complete a 90 minutes for Real Madrid.

  50. 1817: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Adriano is lucky to win a goal-kick there. He tries to shepherd the ball out from Daniel Carvajal but almost concedes a corner in the end after miscalculating it.

  51. 1816: 
    Steve Crossman, BBC World ServiceBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Bale and Ronaldo have been alternating in the central forward role, neither are happiest there.

    How long until Karim Benzema comes on to end the confusion? If it stays like this Ancelotti will have to act. He hasn't scored a league goal since August but the Frenchman is still the best (and only) natural option through the middle.

    Also, this could be Victor Valdes's final Camp Nou Clasico, not a bad way to go out if so.

  52. 1815: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Very little shape or structure to the game in the opening ten minutes of the second half. All rather scrappy. Madrid substitute Illarramendi could change that - he's a classy passer and Ancelotti will be looking for him to dictate the play.

  53. 1815: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes has saved his side again there. Luka Modric plays in Cristiano Ronaldo, who fires in a powerful low shot that looks like it's going in but Valdes pulls off a great save to deny the Portuguese.

    From the following corner, Angel Di Maria has an effort from at least 20 yards saved by Valdes.

  54. 1814: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Real Madrid bring on defensive midfielder Asier Illarramendi for Sergio Ramos, who was running the risk of being sent off.

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    Like a Villas-Boas: Only when they play together can you see the significant gap in quality between Messi/Ronaldo & Bale.

  56. 1811: 
    CLOSE!- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Neymar almost makes it 2-0 there, the Brazilian latches onto a wonderful long ball but his powerful shot from an angle is straight at Diego Lopez.

  57. 1808: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid
    Gareth Bale

    Gerard Pique possibly saves Barcelona there. Real Madrid starting to perhaps look a bit better and Sami Khedira's cross is headed back across goal by Gareth Bale but Pique clears the ball with a convincing header.

  58. 1807: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    How long before Carlo Ancelotti makes changes? He has plenty of viable options: Karim Benzema or Alvaro Morata as conventional strikers; Isco to add thrust and goal threat from midfield; Asier Illarramendi to retain possession in the centre of the pitch. If Barca resume their first-half dominance, he can't afford to leave things as they currently are.


    Maggie: I really want Bale to do well, but I cant help thinking how he could have further improved his game at Spurs. He was flying last season, but this is different, and it's going to be tough for him. Buy him back Spurs - oh I wish!

  60. 1807: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beats Dani Alves on the wing and then tries a ridiculous backheel but Marcelo is about 10 yards away from getting the ball. A wasted chance.

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    Ben Aitkenhead: No place for faint hearts now. Enormous stakes. If Barca pull away it will be crisis mode in Madrid.

    Dale Ryles: Zidane looks like he wants to throw on his white socks and show everyone how it is done.

    Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane is on the bench next to Carlo Ancelotti. Was going to to say he could probably do a job now, but he couldn't really.

  62. 1804: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Sergio Ramos, who has already been booked, brings down Andres Iniesta on the halfway line. He'll be on his final chance now.

    Ramos walks away but things get a bit heated between players on both sides. Getting a bit tasty now at the Nou Camp.

  63. 1803: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    We have our first corner - 50 seconds into the second period. Gareth Bale is the man to win it.

    But it comes to nought.

  64. 1802: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Neymar's goal aside, it's not been the greatest match you'll ever see. But Real Madrid are going to have to go on the attack a bit more now, surely?

  65. 1801: 
    KICK-OFF- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Barcelona get this second half going. Are we going to get 45 minutes to remember?

  66. 1800: 
    HALF-TIME STATS- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid
    Match stats

    The stats show that Barcelona have had more possession, shots and shots on target. No corners for anyone yet though. Have you ever seen a match with no corners?

  67. 1800: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid
    Carlo Ancelotti and Gerardo Martino

    A mixed afternoon so far for the managers. Remember, this is Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino's first season as a manager in Europe and, dare I say, his first major test since his appointment?

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    Shohidur Rahman: Don't understand Ancelotti's tactics. Way too defensive. Ramos looks lost in midfield. Isco has to come on.

  69. 1755: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Real Madrid were appealing for a penalty after the ball struck Javier Mascherano's hand when he was on the ground directly following Victor Valdes's save.

    Never a penalty for me as it would have been impossible to get out of the way.

  70. 1752: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid
    Lionel Messi and Marcelo

    One (almost certainly intentional) by-product of Messi's positioning on the right wing is that it has restricted the forward runs of the normally rampaging Marcelo. You don't want to go on a storming overlap when it means leaving Lionel Messi unmarked.

  71. 1750:  
    Manchester United defender Rio FerdinandBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    "Andres Iniesta gave the ball away under no pressure.... Sub him NOW as he must be sick!!! Iniesta is the smoothest since Zinedine Zidane!

  72. 1749: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Dominant first half from Barcelona against an opponent whose directionless attacking performance betrays the fact that they have never played with this formation and personnel before.

    Unless the pattern of the game significantly changes, Madrid can only hope they prevent Barca scoring again and conjure a goal through a set-piece or some Ronaldo magic.

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    Dobzilla: Messi & Ronaldo have been pedestrian in this game. Ronaldo has been the bigger culprit.


    So, what did you think of that then?

    Are Barcelona just too good? Or could their questionable defending cost them? Is Gareth Bale up to the task?

    Tweet us using #bbceurofooty, text us using 81111 (but only if you're in the UK and let us know your name) and on our Facebook page.

    El Clasico
  75. 1746: 
    HALF-TIME- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    That was the last incident of the first half. Neymar is definitely winning the battle of the new boys with Gareth Bale.

    Ronaldo and Bale
  76. 1746: 
    YELLOW CARD- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is booked - and it's not for diving.

    The former Tottenham man and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique both go in with high feet but Bale catches Pique's and goes into the book.

  77. 1745: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    That is a brilliant save from Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes. Cristiano Ronaldo puts in a cross from the left and Sami Khedira almost much has an empty net to put the ball into but Valdes just gets his foot across to keep it out.

    I was getting ready to write about a goal there. Great stuff from Valdes but Khedira should still have scored.

  78. 1743: 
    Steve Crossman, BBC World ServiceBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Former Real Madrid defender and 2006 World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro said this week that Madrid would take time to adjust from the "high blood pressure" style of Jose Mourinho.

    They could do with a bit of that now, couldn't they?

  79. 1743: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Although there haven't been many clear opportunities, you feel that Barca are on the verge of creating a goalscoring chance every time they attack. With Madrid, you feel they're on the verge of giving the ball away every time they attack.

  80. 1742: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Lionel Messi has a shot from the free-kick, which is in Ian Woan territory, but unlike Woan it is blocked by the defence and cleared.

  81. 1741: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Lionel Messi wins a free-kick for Barcelona down the right. Pepe did brilliantly to shepherd Messi but Marcelo then tripped him, making Pepe's fine defending pointless.

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    Andy Hall: Something missing from El Clasico so far, no not a Messi or Ronaldo goal, but a bit of Pepe madness.

  83. 1737: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Barcelona midfielder Xavi plays a wonderful lofted ball over the Real Madrid defence but Neymar is offside when he needn't have been. Shame, that pass deserved more.

  84. 1736: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Madrid's attacks are reliant upon the possibility of some individual brilliance from Di Maria, Bale or Ronaldo. Their forward players are too far apart to combine effectively and there's little cohesion - as has been the case for much of the season.

    Barca, by contrast, are keeping the ball much more easily when they have possession. Plenty of time to turn things around, but it's been a very worrying start for Carlo Ancelotti.

  85. 1735: 
    YELLOW CARD- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Barcelona defender Adriano is booked for a hatchet job on Cristiano Ronaldo. A slightly under-hit pass by Gareth Bale gave Adriano a sniff at that ball there so he went in hard. Not that Bale is to blame for the foul of course.

  86. 1734: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid
    Barceloan v Real Madrid

    This is Neymar's ninth La Liga appearance and the 21-year-old now has three league goals since joining from Santos for £48.6m in June.


    Jamie in Cheshunt: Tata Martino carrying on the tradition of sartorially strong Barca managers.

    Steve C in Blackpool: I think Bale is already wearing his ghost costume for Halloween as he doesn't seem to have any presence on the pitch.

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    Matthew12341324: I feel for Bale, he looks like a very expensive fish out of water.

  89. 1733: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano make hard work out of clearing the ball but luckily for them, it is not costly. Barcelona might have all the attacking talents in the world but their defending isn't the best.


    You can have your say on the Clasico by posting on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

    Thabang Manganyi Paledi: CR7 will do wonders.

    Ibrahim Shaw: A year without Christmas is like a year without El Clasico.

  91. 1730: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid
    Barcelona v Real Madrid

    Two bookings inside the opening 15 minutes at the Nou Camp. After Barcelona's Sergio Busquets is booked for a challenge on Angel Di Maria, Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos is cautioned for an elbow on Neymar before the Brazilian gives the hosts the lead. What odds on more bookings to come - or a red?

  92. 1730: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Barcelona forward Neymar takes on highly rated Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane on the left with a bit of skill and trickery. Unfortunately he spent more attention on that than his cross and it's cleared.

  93. 1728: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Interesting exchange on the sidelines between Cristiano Ronaldo and his coach. Carlo Ancelotti was trying to make a tactical point and Ronaldo's frustrated gesture in response did not bear the look of a happy man. Rather sums up the feeling that Real Madrid are lacking any threat in attack at the moment.

  94. 1728: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Statisticians Opta: 4 - Neymar has participated in Barcelona's last four league goals in the Nou Camp (three goals, three assists). Star.


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  96. 1727: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Gareth Bale has a proper effort at goal there. We've seen it so many times in his Tottenham days, picks the ball up 40 yards from goal, runs at the opposition defence and has a go from distance. Unfortunately for him, this one flashes over the bar.

    Promising though.

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    Tunde Akere: Neymar, that is the reason Barca paid over the odd to sign him. Fantastic player.

    Harris Ahmed: Bale looks so out of depth.

    Oladayo Akin: I'm not a football tactician, but I don't seem to understand the rationale behind Ramos playing in midfield.

  98. 1725: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Madrid need to get a hold of the game somehow. They are offering nothing in attack and the Ramos in midfield experiment isn't working because Barca are using width to play around him.

    Better spell of possession just now without looking dangerous - they need to build on that.

  99. 1724: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Truly wonderful pass from Andres Iniesta to create that chance for Lionel Messi. Iniesta has been below his best in recent weeks and there was speculation he'd be left out today, but he's looking bright as a button.

  100. 1723: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid
    Barcelona v Real Madrid

    Real Madrid struggling to create any real chances yet. Not looking good for Carlo Ancelotti.

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    Tinashe: Neymar does his bit on his Clasico debut. Over to you then Gareth Bale!

  102. 1722: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Neymar had been the most dangerous player on the pitch in the opening 20 minutes, and that goal will give him an enormous amount of confidence.

    A bit of luck with the deflection, but a huge moment for him. I think it helps Neymar that Messi is playing effectively as a right winger - they are further apart so there's less necessity for the Brazilian to pass to the Argentine at every opportunity.

  103. 1721: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    Real Madrid in trouble here. Lionel Messi is played through on goal, he has a lot of space. An unbelievable amount of space for a player of his talents. But he curls wide.

  104. 1720: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

    What a way to mark your first El Clasico. That's his fourth goal since his near-£50m move from Santos.

  105. 1718: 
    GOAL- Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid - Neymar (19 mins)

    Andres Iniesta plays the ball to Neymar, who shoots from an angle and he SCORES! It took a deflection off Real defender Daniel Carvajal to leave Diego Lopez flat footed.

  106. 1718: 
    Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Barcelona forward Neymar loses a couple of stalkers in white jerseys at the edge of the Real Madrid box with a shuffle or two but his shot is right at Diego Lopez in the visitors' goal.

  107. 1715: 
    YELLOW CARD- Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Sergio Ramos is booked for his second foul in a few seconds. Both midfield enforcers already on a yellow - that's dangerous. Then a loose ball drops towards Bale 25 yards out and he tries a speculative first-time shot that flies well over the top.

  108. 1715: 
    Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Former Real Madrid striker Michael Owen: Gutted I can't watch El Clasico. I hear Bale starts. Not a bad time to make his first major statement.

    At least you have BBC Sport's live text to fall back on, Michael.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbceurofooty

    Holudarey01: El Clasico is the perfect platform for Gareth Bale to show the world that his Spurs heroics was no fluke.

  110. 1712: 
    Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Barcelona's Lionel Messi gets a shot away from 20 yards after nice build-up between Xavi, Fabregas and Neymar. It's deflected harmlessly straight to Real keeper Diego Lopez, but there's our first effort on target.

  111. 1711: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo embarks upon a dribble through the middle and Gareth Bale immediately drifts out to the left, so clearly some tactical flexibility from both coaches today. Ten minutes played and I'm not sure if Bale has touched it yet - not to any effect, certainly.

  112. 1709: 
    Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid
    Tony Cascarino

    Whatever happened to proper strikers like Tony Cascarino?

  113. 1708: 
    YELLOW CARD- Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is booked for a lunging challenge on Angel Di Maria, provoking a chorus of whistles from the home fans. It's a free-kick 35 yards from goal, right of centre. Di Maria whips it in but there's a foul in Barca's favour.

  114. 1706: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Real Madrid's first attack ends with Angel Di Maria over-hitting a cross beyond Gareth Bale. Strange to see the Welshman playing as a striker.

  115. 1705: 
    Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Barcelona 'striker' Cesc Fabregas has the game's first shot from 25 yards, but it's deflected wide by his own man, Neymar, who was offside anyway.

  116. 1703: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampBarcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Messi is now out on the right wing, with Fabregas back in the middle. Could be a bit of flexibility between those two today. No goal threat from either team in the opening three minutes.

  117. 1702: 
    Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Pepe now back in defence alongside Raphael Varane, with Sergio Ramos in midfield. Cesc Fabregas is playing on the right wing. Neymar concedes the game's first free-kick with a foul on Brazil team-mate Marcelo.

  118. 1700: 
    KICK-OFF- Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

    Real Madrid get the game under way. Pepe is in the centre of midfield and Gareth Bale playing as a central striker.

  119. 1700:  
    German Bundesliga

    Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola saw his Bayern Munich side come from behind to defeat Hertha Berlin 3-2 to remain top of the Bundesliga, one point ahead of Dortmund.

    Adrian Ramos gave the visitors the lead before two goals by Mario Mandzukic and another from Mario Gotze put the hosts in control. However, Anis Ben-Hatira's effort made it a nervy ending for the Bayern.

  120. 1700: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou Camp

    Final thought before kick-off: there have been so many selection decision for both managers, we've not even mentioned the fact that Spain's captain and all-time leading appearance maker, Iker Casillas, is on the bench. So many storylines...

  121. 1659: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou Camp

    As the players come out to the traditional Barca anthem in one of the rain showers that had been forecast, supporters around the Nou Camp are holding up placards to spell out the words "Força Tito!" in a mosaic around the stadium, as a message of support to former boss Tito Vilanova who was forced to resign through ill health during the summer.

    An impressive sight and a touching gesture for a man who has not been forgotten. Kick off nearly upon us…

  122. 1658: 
    Cristiano Ronaldo

    An ominous sign for Barcelona fans, when Cristiano Ronaldo scores in the league for Real Madrid, they don't lose (84 wins and six draws).

    And he has scored in his last six trips to the Nou Camp in all competitions...

  123. 1658:  
    German Bundesliga, German Bundesliga
    Schalke v Borussia Dortmund

    One Real Madrid player has already scored today. Nuri Sahin, who is on loan at Borussia Dortmund, netted to help his side to a 3-1 win at rivals Schalke. Midfielder Sahin doubled the score after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given his side the lead.

    Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller appealed to fans who threw fireworks onto the pitch before saving a Kevin-Prince Boateng penalty. Max Meyer scored for Schalke, Jakub Blaszczykowski adding Dortmund's third.

  124. 1655: 

    Remarkably, Barcelona have not won in the last five El Clasicos in all competitions. If Real Madrid were to win tonight, it would be three in a row for the capital side for the first time since 1979.

    But Barca have won every home league game since the 2-2 draw with Real over a year ago, a run stretching 19 matches.

  125. 1651: 
    Jonathan Woodate

    Spanish football journalist Sid Lowe hopes that Real Madrid will not take the same approach with Gareth Bale that they took with fellow Brit Jonathan Woodgate, who had an injury-plagued time in Spain.

    "My biggest concern is we see a repeat of what happened to Jonathan Woodgate. Early on in Woodgate's career, Real Madrid signed him knowing he was injured and that he wasn't ready," he tells BBC World Service.

    "There was an enormous amount of pressure put on the medical staff by the club to get him playing because he'd been expensive.

    "He came back when he wasn't ready. I think they've learned from that and won't pressure Bale back."

  126. 1650: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou Camp

    As ever, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will have a big role to play in deciding today's outcome. Messi is alongside Real legend Alfredo Di Stefano at the top of the all-time Clasico goalscoring chart, with 18 in 25 games, while Ronaldo has scored on each of his last six appearances at the Nou Camp.

    Last season's La Liga meeting here ended as a 2-2 draw with Messi scoring both for Barca and Ronaldo doing likewise for Real; it would be a big surprise if at least one of them doesn't get onto the scoresheet today.


    Tom McWhirter: Keep an eye out for heroic, yet useless runs forward from Pepe in central midfield (in between the minor assaults)

  128. 1648: 

    Barcelona have a big name summer signing of their own, with Brazil striker Neymar joining from Santos for a comparatively paltry £48.6m.

    He has scored three goals in 13 games and says: "The Clasico is the most important game for any player.

    "It's the match every player wants to play in. It's the game where each player wants to play his best football.

    "I think the anxiety is the same before any match. I understand that we're talking about a very important Clasico but I think that butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling is the same before any game."

  129. 1645: 
    Gareth Bale

    So how has Gareth Bale got on at Real Madrid since his low-key move to the Spanish capital?

    After recovering from a foot injury, he scored on his debut in a 2-2 draw with Villarreal. A substitute appearance followed against Galatasaray before another few days out injured with a thigh injury.

    He played in the 1-0 defeat by city rivals Atletico, Real's only league defeat of the season, before another three weeks on the sidelines.

    However two substitute appearances in the past week, against Malaga and Juventus, and boss Carlo Ancelotti says the boy from Cardiff is now match fit.

  130. 1643: 
    David Villa

    Back in November 2010, in Jose Mourinho's first Clasico, Barcelona hammered Real 5-0 with David Villa scoring twice.

    Excluding games in the Spanish Super Cup, their version of the Community Shield, Barca have failed to win a home game against Real Madrid since - a run of six matches.

  131. 1640: 

    That's nothing Andy, you should try an Oxford v Swindon match some time.

  132. 1639: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou Camp

    Just to follow on from the history lesson (16.23), shortly after British TV coverage is allowed to start you'll hear an emotional chant ring around the stadium: "In - Inde - Independencia…"

    It's a chant that Barca fans always bring out after 17 minutes and 14 seconds over every half, referencing the year (1714) when Catalonia was annexed by Spain. Fair to say the chant will be somewhat louder than usual today.

  133. 1638: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou Camp

    A fair few dignitaries in the VIP seats today, as you would expect. Artur Mas, the president of Catalonia is amongst them, along with former Barca star Deco and legendary Italian striker Cristian Vieri.

    CSKA Moscow president Evgeni Giner is also here - it would be interesting to ask him a few questions this week…


    So, who's going to win today? Is Gareth Bale up to the challenge? Cesc Fabregas as a possible striker?

    Tweet us using #bbceurofooty, text us using 81111 (but only if you're in the UK and let us know your name) and the Face Book.

  135. 1633: 

    Football journalist Sid Lowe says El Clasico dominates the Spanish football landscape in a way no English game does.

    "It sometimes feels like the entire year leads up to the Clasico, not just the days.

    "I think it's a genuine danger for Spanish football. Madrid and Barcelona's dominance is damaging the other clubs. It's problematic.

    "There's a focus on the Clasico eight weeks before. Once they get the fixture list everybody says 'there's the two games that matter'," he tells BBC World Service.

  136. 1632: 
    Nou Camp

    The game today is of course at the magnificent Nou Camp. Sort of like a Spanish Kenilworth Road if you will.

  137. 1630: 
    Barcelona fan

    I wonder who that lady supports...

  138. 1629: 

    Still half an hour to go until the game so here is a bit of reading list for you. Non-essential of course, just like my old university course.

    Our man Andy West, who is at the Nou Camp today, has been looking at the respective starts of Neymar and Gareth Bale.

    You can read our preview of today's match here.

    And, want to see a picture gallery of previous El Clasicos? Of course you do. Warning - includes pictures of a pig's head. And a smug-looking Cristiano Ronaldo.

  139. 1626: 

    Juan Castro of Marca, a Madrid-based newspaper, thinks Barcelona can take a huge step towards the title today, but that a win for Real Madrid would not have as much significance as they would only level things at the top.

    "I think if Real Madrid win, nothing is decided - it will be a new league. If Barcelona win, it's still a long league, but it's a great mountain to climb as not many points are lost by either side," he tells BBC World Service.

    "The situation is different with Neymar and Bale. Neymar is more integrated, has had more time in the line-up for Barcelona.

    "He's playing at home so he'll have a positive ambiance. Bale has been injured and not in the line-up so much. I think anyone can win. Barcelona and Real Madrid both have some doubts, they are not playing well. Barcelona have more of a chance because they're at home."

  140. 1624: 

    Some Spanish journalists have been talking to BBC World Service in the build-up to this game. Unlike the English national media (no sniggering please), a lot of their Spanish counterparts are openly biased towards one of the two sides - so first the thoughts of Barcelona.

    Ernest Macia of Catalunya Radio says: "Barcelona v Real Madrid is like a cup final.

    "I think Neymar and Bale need time. Neymar has shown he is potentially one of the best footballers in the world and can adjust to the Barcelona style. It is obvious with the way Real Madrid play on the counter-attack Bale will be useful.

    "There's a lack of confidence from Barcelona in the fluidity and passing the ball."

  141. 1623: 

    So why is El Clasico seen as somewhat of a political grudge match?

    Barcelona is part of Catalonia, a region of Spain where pro-independence feelings go back centuries, and the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s strengthened animosity between Madrid and Barcelona.

    The Catalan regional government was eventually overthrown by General Franco, who suppressed political opposition as well as Catalan autonomy, language and culture.

    General Franco was seen by a lot of Barcelona fans as favouring Real Madrid, with the view that his influence had an outcome on games.

    I bet you weren't expecting a history/politics lesson. Next week, the Reformation.

  142. 1621: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou Camp
    Press box

    This press box will be packed today - a total of 705 media professionals from 30 different countries are attending the game.

  143. 1619: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou Camp

    Fascinating team selections by both managers, especially Carlo Ancelotti who has taken a huge gamble by selecting Gareth Bale, three central defenders and playing without a recognised striker.

    We now know the 11 Madrid players, but how they will play is very much open to question. Ronaldo or Bale through the middle? Back three or Pepe/Ramos in midfield?

    The only question mark with Barca is whether Fabregas will play as a central striker with Messi towards his right.

  144. 1617: 
    Steve Crossman, BBC World Service
    Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho

    Both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola were asked in their pre-match news conferences whether or not they'd be watching El Clasico later.

    They're different in almost every way so it's no surprise that they gave contrasting answers…

    Chelsea boss Mourinho said: "I don't care. If you ask me who I want to win, I would like someone to win (Real Madrid) but I'm not going to lose my tranquillity of Saturday before an important game. I'm going to have dinner with my family and I'm going to sleep."

    Bayern Munich chief Guardiola joked when he was asked about the big game whether the reporters meant the Ruhr derby between Schalke and Borussia Dortmund. "I hope that the referee will finish the match in time so I can drive home very fast and watch both matches," he added.

  145. 1615: 

    Spanish football journalist Sid Lowe has been talking to BBC World Service this week and here's what he had to say.

    "Without a doubt it's the biggest rivalry in world football. I'd be tempted to say it's the biggest rivalry in world sport. There's not another one with same symbolism or power as this. Added to that they may be the best two teams in the world.

    "You can't avoid the politics. These are clubs that are infused by their political and national significance, by what they mean to people beyond the field of play.

    "This rivalry is far more than just a football match."

  146. 1613: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampTEAM NEWS

    Huge team news from the Nou Camp: Gareth Bale starts. Karim Benzema makes way, with Cristiano Ronaldo presumably playing through the middle while Bale and Angel Di Maria occupy the flanks - although manager Carlo Ancelotti could ask Bale to play centrally as well.

    Enormous opportunity for the Welshman… but enormous pressure as well. Ancelotti has also selected Raphael Varane in place of midfielder Asier Illarramendi, presumably so Pepe or Sergio Ramos can play in a defensive midfield position, although it could be a back three.

    And Dani Carvajal has been preferred to Alvaro Arbeloa at right-back, with Ancelotti perhaps mindful of the roasting Neymar gave Arbeloa in the Confederations Cup final.

  147. 1613: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou CampTEAM NEWS

    Barcelona's team has been confirmed and Cesc Fabregas starts, most probably as a central attacker with Lionel Messi shifted towards the right wing - although he'll obviously drift inside for the majority of the game with Dani Alves raiding the flank. Gerard Pique will play alongside Javier Mascherano in the centre of defence. Carles Puyol is on the bench.

  148. 1611: 

    Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cesc Fabregas start for Barcelona. Gerard Pique is in the team after a hamstring injury scare.

  149. 1609: 

    Massive news from the Nou Camp. Gareth Bale replaces Karim Benzema in the Real Madrid starting line-up.

    Full team news to follow from Real.

  150. 1607: 
    Andy West, European football writer at Nou Camp
    Gerardo Martino

    Managers Tata Martino and Carlo Ancelotti were both in a relaxed mood at yesterday's news conferences.

    Martino joked he'd like to be able to field 12 players so he could fit Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas into the same midfield, while Ancelotti raised some smiles by quipping he's delighted to be managing Real because it means he won't have to buy the game on pay-per-view television.

    But beneath the gentle humour, both men know they are under serious pressure.


    It's all very well and good me sat here blabbing on but it's time for you to have your say.

    Who do you fancy to win today's big game? Do you think Gareth Bale should start? Will Lionel Messi and Neymar click in the biggest day of their fledgling relationship?

    There are several ways you can give us your thoughts. A letter would take too long and, to be honest, I wouldn't have much use for it when it arrived next week, so probably best to use digital means. Tweet us using #bbceurofooty, text us using 81111 (but only if you're in the UK and let us know your name) and on our snazzy Facebook page.

  152. 1605: 
    Steve Crossman, BBC World Service

    Marca's website today goes with the headline, "The greatest show on Earth".

    "More than one billion euro worth of budgets, Messi vs. Ronaldo and Bale vs. Neymar - duals from another planet."

    Their speculative line-ups suggest all four will start at Camp Nou.

  153. 1604: 
    Gareth Bale

    So are we going to see Gareth Bale from the start today?

    Well yesterday boss Carlo Ancelotti said: "I'll see what happens in training (on Friday evening) and then I will make the decision to put him in or not.

    "It's the fault of the press officer, to organise a press conference at 3pm! I have to do the training and (Friday) is very important to decide. If we had been training before the press conference, you could know.

    "It's true that he didn't have an easy time and he's worked hard. He used the (international) break to improve his condition, and, in my opinion and his opinion, he is ready to play from the start.

    "He's ready. We're going to see the best of Bale now."

  154. 1601: 
    Lionel Messi beats Cristiano Ronaldo

    Some phenomenal players have played in previous Clasicos - Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano, Romario, both Ronaldos.

    But tonight one man could eclipse them all. If Lionel Messi scores, he will overtake Di Stefano (18) as the top scorer in Clasico history.

    And he's only 26.

  155. 1600: 
    Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

    A rivalry that encompasses a Civil War. Perennial title rivals. The two best players in the world. The most expensive player of all time.

    This is no ordinary match.

    This is Barcelona v Real Madrid.

    This is El Clasico.

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League Table

Spanish La Liga summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Almería 0 0 0
No movement 2 Athletic Bilbao 0 0 0
No movement 3 Atlético Madrid 0 0 0
No movement 4 Barcelona 0 0 0
No movement 5 Celta de Vigo 0 0 0
No movement 6 Córdoba 0 0 0
No movement 7 Deportivo de La Coruña 0 0 0
No movement 8 Eibar 0 0 0
No movement 9 Elche 0 0 0
No movement 10 Espanyol 0 0 0
No movement 11 Getafe 0 0 0
No movement 12 Granada CF 0 0 0
No movement 13 Levante 0 0 0
No movement 14 Málaga 0 0 0
No movement 15 Rayo Vallecano 0 0 0
No movement 16 Real Madrid 0 0 0
No movement 17 Real Sociedad 0 0 0
No movement 18 Sevilla 0 0 0
No movement 19 Valencia CF 0 0 0
No movement 20 Villarreal 0 0 0

European Football

Ronaldo, Robben and Messi_Getty European Football

Live coverage, news, scores, fixtures, results and tables from La Liga and Europe's top leagues.

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