The regular football week-end in Europe came to its end with a sweet dessert. In frames of the 33rd round of the Spanish La Liga another El Clásico took place - Real hosted Barcelona at home arena as the leader of the championship and the main challenger for a champion’s title.
This match demonstrated all that could have pleased any football player and at the end the victory was won by Catalans - Lionel Messi whose face was hurt in the first half had scored a winning goal on last seconds.
Both coaches didn't surprise with first XI and let out those for whom all were waiting. The inability of Neymar to take part in this match (he earned 3-match disqualification) was the main reason of fans’ disappointment. Barcelona till last moment did all to cancel it, but it was useless - the law is the law. Thus extremely unstable Paco Alcacer who hasn’t yet paid back €30 million which were paid for him to Valencia last summer had to substitute the Brazilian in the attack line.
But Zinédine Zidane, unlike Luis Enrique has better squad situation - the French expert could count on all key football players, except for injured center backs Varane and Pepe but Nacho proved to be the reliable fighter and made worthy unit in defense with Sergio Ramos. The royal club has some concerns about Bale who has just recovered from an injury and was still feeling some discomfort, but Madrilenians took risk having included the Welshman into the first XI and lost because Gareth had received a trauma recurrence already during the first half.
meeting began under the rules of Real. Madrilenians had taken a ball
under the control at once and began to probe into the defenses of
Barcelona in order to find some weak points. The first controversial
point had occurred on the second minute of a match when after a cross
made from the right wing Ronaldo forwarded a ball past Umtiti and
later he felt that he touched a leg of the Frenchman and fall dawn-
the referee didn't give a penalty kick. He considered that the
Portuguese could not fall in this episode.
Having withstood an attack of the opponent, the Catalans took away a ball from their gates and a game was leveled. For a long time any dangerous moments didn't occur, and the first half ended only with an unpleasant game episode in which Marcelo had kicked Messi's teeth with an elbow, having guaranteed him a quick visit to the dentist’s office, and also a game with a cotton tampon in a mouth until the end of a first half in order to control bleeding.
And at the end of half an hour of a game time in a first half there happened a lot of important episodes. At first the Madrilenians had scored successful corner kick. After standard cross the Catalans turned a ball away the penalty area, but Marcelo appeared on rebound and made a goal post cross where Ramos punched in a post, but Casimiro was the football player who scored a goal. However, Barcelona wasn't shocked by this failure, and the score was evened very quickly. Messi who seemed to be so devastated after this failure had unexpectedly lifted in spirits and at rushed through the center into a penalty area of the opponent, deceived two opponents and then he left no chances for Navas to rescue the gates - 1:1.
ending of a first half was marked by a tasty long ranger from Modric
after which ter Stegen had to save his team, and also the surprising
missed shot of Messi who didn't kicked a goal a goal box. Just before
a halftime whistle Casimiro had violated the rules on Messi, and
Catalan football players began to attack the referee demanding to
punish the Brazilian with the second yellow card and to leave Real in
minority, but Alejandro Hernández has the nerves of steel and
closed ear to all aggressive words.
The second half began very actively - both teams demonstrated their intentions to win. The excellent long ranger was made by Kroos who forced ter Stegen to pull out a ball from the gates corner. Soon after Benzema headed a goal in the gates of their opponent but kicked the goalkeeper. Catalans answered with their chances - the pass from Alba went to the center of penalty area on Alcácer, but the pass wasn’t strong and Navas cleared a ball with his leg in the field, and then Piqué after a corner kick dangerously punched the header but Navas dragged a ball after his kick.
In the middle of a second half it was Cristiano Ronaldo who answered with his “wonderful” failure - after Asencio had passed a ball over the gates. For such a failure Real could have been punished by Suarez who kicked a ball from a right wing of penalty area but Navas had managed to help his team due to difficult save. Practically each attack of the teams was coming to an end with a shot on gates and often these kicks were dangerous. It was clear that the game won’t end with the score 1:1 and one football player will eventually help the team to move forward at last. Ivan Rakitić became that lucky player-he made a brilliant shot under the left post from the penalty area.
The furious Real had rushed to the attack to change this situation but the team wasn't able to score a return goal. And one of counterattacks of Barcelona had ended with a dirty slide tackle made by Sergio Ramos against Messi - the Argentinean had managed to save his legs and to avoid severe injury but this didn't save the captain of Real from the red card.
It looked like Real had nothing to do. Barcelona had rushed to end the opponent and it seemed that rather Catalans will score the third goal, than Real will even the score. Practically all were nervous, except Zidane who was very quiet. He called up James Rodríguez, slowly gave him instructions and the football player returned to the field. And the Colombian became the savior of the royal club. He appeared to be in due time and in the right place shortly before the match end having closed a pass from the left wing made by Marcelo.
Real had rushed to pull out a victory, but on the last minute of added time Real had missed the counterattack, and a pass on Messi ended with a shot from the penalty area into a lower left corner - 2:3. Barcelona is aggravating a fight for a championship title in La Liga, being evened with Real on points, but the team has one more match left.