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02.03.2013 » Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona. The defeat of the tiki-taka!

Sergio Ramos taking off his captain armband, during the goal celebrations of Real Madrid vs Barcelona, from a clasico in 2013

Real Madrid earned their second straight win against Barça this Saturday afternoon, in a 2-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabéu. Karim Benzema got the opener on the 6th minute of the first half, but saw Lionel Messi levelling things up still inside the first 20 minutes of the game. Cristiano Ronaldo was left resting on the bench until the 58th minute, but jumped in still in time to see Sergio Ramos getting the late winner, with a brilliant header from a Modric's corner-kick.

Tiki what? Real Madrid has beaten Barcelona by 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu and doesn't seem to be intimidated anymore with the Blaugrana's trademark "tiki-taka" gamestyle. As expected, José Mourinho left several key players resting either on the bench or in the stands, as it has been the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, who would only still join the game deep in the second half. Karim Benzema broke the deadlock on the 6th minute, after meeting a good cross from the canterano Álvaro Morata. Lionel Messi equalised the Clasico in the 18th minute, but Sergio Ramos put his side again on the lead, late in the second half, as he headed a ball past Valdés after a nicely taken cross by Luka Modric. The next chapter in the Merengues campaign is that huge 2nd leg clash at Old Trafford: Manchester United vs Real Madrid, scheduled for next Tuesday (March, 5). Confidence levels couldn't be any higher than they are now...

Cristiano Ronaldo photos in Real Madrid vs Barcelona
Real Madrid
2-1 Barcelona goals and highlights:

José Mourinho knew this Saturday's match was far less important than next Tuesday's Champions League game against Manchester United. With that in mind, the Portuguese coach preferred to spare most of his key players, and went into this Clasico with some sort of a 2nd tier line-up. The biggest changes were Essien playing in the right-back spot, while Pepe, Modric and Kaká formed the midfield trio. As for the attack, Callejón and Morata took the wings and Benzema played as center forward. Barcelona didn't rotate their team as they don't have any mid-week game in a few days (they will only meet AC Milan the following week), and apart from Xavi who picked up an injury in last Tuesday's match at the Camp Nou, only Puyol and Fabregas from the usual starters lot, actually began the game on the bench.

Morata's natural position (center forward) was filled by Benzema, forcing the Spanish youngster to play in a spot at one of the wings, in order to make it to the line-up. It was precisely from his feet that the Merengues built the play that led to the first goal. The 20-years old forward took on Daniel Alves on the left, before getting enough space to cross into the far post. His pass met Karim Benzema free of marking, who was left with the simply task of tapping the ball in, and to beat Victor Valdés for the first time on the afternoon.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuaín on Real Madrid bench against Barcelona, in La Liga 2013

Barcelona had most of the ball possession in this Clasico, just as everyone knew they would. Their trademark passing gamestyle was not really allowing them to create many goalscoring chances and one of the few exceptions ended up resulting in the equaliser. Lionel Messi escaped Sergio Ramos marking after a great through pass by Daniel Alves, then went face to face against the Real Madrid captain and blasted a shot into the back of the net, tying the game with still plenty of time left to be played.

The Blaugrana would end the game with a 67% ball possession stat, but as mentioned before, few were the times when they actually looked to be the superior side on the pitch. As seen in previous Clasicos, Barça's "tiki-taka" didn't seem to upset much Real Madrid players, who held back at their own half with patience, waiting for the right time to counter and catch Barcelona off guard. Mourinho kept Ronaldo resting until roughly the first quarter of an hour in the second half, but as he brought in the Portuguese super star, the game got its pace changed from that point onwards.

The final result was set in the 82th minute, in a period where Real Madrid was already creating several good chances to beat Valdés, with Cristiano Ronaldo and his classic free-kicks in particular evidence. However, it would be from a corner-kick on the left side took by Luka Modric, that Sergio Ramos brilliantly deflected the ball with his head, allowing Real Madrid to regain the lead and applying the final blow to Barcelona. The Merengues captain elevated over Gerard Piqué on the first post and beat Valdés without even allowing him to put his hands on the ball. 2-1 for Real Madrid and the certainty that the gap between the two sides on the Spanish League "La Liga" was cut to 13 points, with still 12 games left to be played.

Coming next, a thrilling Manchester United vs Real Madrid live encounter at the Old Trafford, with Cristiano Ronaldo on top form and the promise of an electrifying game for this UEFA Champions League second leg.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid players all piled up on each other, after a goal against Barcelona, in 2013

Real Madrid line-up vs Barcelona:

Goalkeeper: Diego López
Defenders: Fábio Coentrão, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Essien
Midfielders: Pepe, Modric, Kaká
Attackers: Callejón, Morata and Benzema

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Real Madrid
vs
Barcelona
2
Goals
1
14
Shots
5
7
Shots on goal
2
4
Corner kicks
1
21
Fouls commited
19
4
Yellow cards
7
0
Red cards
1
33%
Ball possession
67%

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against his former team Manchester United, on March 5, 2013, at Old Trafford and for the UEFA Champions League. You can watch Juventus live stream, Manchester United vs Real Madrid, PSG vs Valencia, Aston Villa vs Manchester City and Tottenham vs Arsenal, all matches provided from our soccer live section.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Manchester United
kick-off time (05-03-2013):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+8: 02:45
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-1: 17:45
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 11:45
Beijing (China) | GMT-7: 11:45

Sources: ronaldo7.net / realmadrid.com / goal.com / huffingtonpost.co.uk

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi go head to head in Clasico Real Madrid vs Barcelona, in 2013

The Santiago Bernabéu full packed, during a daylight game of Real Madrid vs Barcelona, in 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo elevating higher than Sergio Busquets, in Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona, for the Spanish League 2013

Álvaro Morata showing his joy and happiness, after Real Madrid goal against Barcelona, in 2013

Karim Benzema celebrating his opener in Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona, in 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo being bitch slapped by Gerard Piqué, during a soccer game between Real Madrid and Barcelona, in 2013

Sergio Ramos header goal, in Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona, for La Liga 2013

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