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16.04.2011
» Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona. CR7 and Messi score by penalty kick

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both scored their goals by penalty kick. CR7 and "La Pulga" showed they are taking the Pichichi fight very seriously, but more important than that, Real Madrid showed a tremendous tactical flexibility to adapt and fight Barcelona's tiki-taka. For the first time in the season, there seems to be a side that can actually beat Barça.

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The "Clasicos World Series" game 1, ended with a 1-1 draw, with both mega stars scoring a goal each. Lionel Messi scored for the first time against a team coached by José Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo scored for the first time against Barcelona. The Spanish League title seems more than settled and all attentions are now focused on the Copa del Rey final next Wednesday and the UEFA Champions League semifinals. One Clasico played, three to go.

The first match of the four Clasicos we'll witness in the next 18 days had it all. From good football, to controversy, emotion, passion and goals. Different styles clashed at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid showcased Spartan discipline against Barcelona's touch football and tiki-taka style.

José Mourinho studied Pepe Guardiola's Barcelona in depth like it was predictable and decided the best option against the "Blaugrana" would be to use three defensive midfielders, one of them being Pepe, whose main duty was to mark Leo Messi. Real Madrid didn't have much possession during the first half as expected, allowing their opponent to have the ball in order to fall in their trap. The Merengues intended to steal the ball swiftly and use their speed to counterattack, taking advantage of Cristiano Ronaldo speed. The first chance in the first 45 minutes was a header from Raul Albiol, close to the half-time.

The match changed completely in the second half and the key moment in the game, happened around the 51th minute, when Raul Albiol challenged David Villa, late inside the box and a penalty was awarded to Barcelona. The former Valencia player and Spanish defender was sent off with a red card and Lionel Messi defeated Iker Casillas, scoring a goal to a José Mourinho team for the first time on his career. Cristiano Ronaldo would also write history some minutes later in the game.

Real Madrid spirit did not break. Being one man down, José Mourinho was forced to make changes and decided to bring on Mesut Ozil to add pace to the game. The German midfielder gave his team more possession and helped it control the game. Barcelona started to feel more pressure, both from Real Madrid and the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

Real Madrid were awarded a penalty in the 80th minute when Marcelo was tackled late by Daniel Alves inside the box, but the referee forgot to show the Barcelona defender a booking that would have been his second in the match and would have therefore forced him off the pitch. Cristiano Ronaldo pulled rank and netted the equaliser, scoring for the first time to Barcelona on his carrer.

The match intensity got very high in the final minutes. Real Madrid worked hard to score a second strike and Sami Khedira came close with a shot from outside the box that Victor Valdes managed to grab. David Villa also had a chance to score the winning goal for Barça, but he failed to control the ball inside the box. In the end, Real Madrid earned a draw that felt like a moral victory and could represent the psychological and motivational boost that this team needed in order to beat Barcelona in the decisive matches upcoming. It may start by having an important effect on the team for Wednesday's Copa del Rey final.

On a side note, Lionel Messi showed a negative attitude during the second half, after kicking the ball towards Real Madrid fans in the crowd, leaving Pepe and the stadium fans very furious and angry with him. Cristiano Ronaldo in the other hand, wasn't involved in any incident this time and was even very close to score another goal in a freekick that hit the post.

Remember that you can watch Real Madrid vs Barcelona livestreams, for the Copa del Rey final, online here on ronaldo7.net next Wednesday. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to play from the start.

 

Sources: ronaldo7.net/realmadrid.com

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