El Clasico Liveblog!

It’s the game we have all been waiting for, El Clasico! Join us in the liveblog with your host Vj!

Barça starting XI: VV, Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Neymar and Messi

Barça bench: Pinto, Puyol, Montoya, Song, Sergi Roberto, Pedro and Alexis. Bartra and Tello don’t make the squad.

By blitzen

Canadian, cule, corporate wage slave. Came late to the beautiful game, but fell under FCB's spell in 2006 and never looked back.


  1. Was Messi even playing today? Kevin will have a fieldday.

    Finally. Finally. Finally, a victory in a big match.

    1. wow…impossible we fans are! He was not fully fit, worked his socks off in the dying minutes. Yes his passes were a bit off, but those weren’t easy ones either. We should be thankful that we have others how to step up when the little man has an off day. What a goal from Lexus! Love you TATA!

    2. This was precisely what we got Neymar for – for situations like these when Messi isn’t at his best. And he delivered. It helps that Alexis did something we have always known he has in him but never had the confidence to execute successfully in previous seasons.

      They still had way too many chances for my taste but we missed some good ones too, and in the end a win is a win.

    1. LOL!! Me too – I couldn’t sit still – just kept pacing back and forth.

      Great game by the boys – special nod to Don Andres!

    2. Same here, I can’t tell you anything but the final score. It was a blur of alternately drinking beer and trying to unclench my interlocked fingers. Tomorrow – tomorrow I will be able to reflect on it after I watch it at least once, but for now it’s just

      Visca Barça!!!

    3. Really? Clasicos has always been high tempo matches… Even before Mourinho came along. It seems that both teams didn’t take it seriously as in commit 100%, end to end stuff.

      Today felt more like a tactical battle but on a slow pace. Ramos going off early and Alonso’s injury might play a huge part in this too.

    4. I LIVE my Barcelona matches because for a long time I couldn´t watch them.

      Memory comes later, tactical analysis comes later. The next day. Today is a blurry memory of screaming and jumping for joy, the surprised discovery that the beer stein is empty and there’s still an eternity to go. The ages of praying for a lack of mistakes before a corner or a white counter, the relieved exhaling of the breath unknowingly held. The sore throat.

      Appreciation and applause for the way the match was played will come, but not today. For now it´s just the agony and the ecstasy. Or as some ignorant infidels call it,


    5. same here buddy….but in the end i had more of the beer than the clasico…..
      Visca Barça…..

  2. With all admiration to Neymar and Adriano, Valdes is my MoM. Excellent saves.

    If Alexis substitution had occured a couple of minutes earlier, we might have had another goal there. Cesc was too slow.
    I thought, the whole team looked tired by 70 minutes or so.

    And also, a big thank you to Mallenco. I was quite scared about him.

    1. Agree with your special mentions.

      One thing I would like to add though because I already see SOME Messi criticism, Messi might look poor tonight because he lacked goals or assists but when was the last time you see him work so much for the team for the past 2-3 seasons?

      This is probably one of the handful of matches where he worked so hard defending.

      sMasch… sMasch was my flop of the match.. I don’t want to ruin the win. I’ll save it for another day..

    2. Messi looked totally exhausted by the end. But I don’t think it’s because he worked hard (though he did work hard to recover balls), he looked not 100% fit from the beginning. And that’s not criticism, it’s just how it is

    3. My comment on Twitter before Messi took the free kick was to wonder when the last time was that we saw him completely sweat-soaked, looking like he was putting out 100 percent. I don’t think he is 100 percent, even now, and he accepted the sacrifice that Martino asked him to make by playing on the RW, knowing that it would shift the balance of their defense, and give the other attackers space.

      He wasn’t our best player on the pitch today, but he was one of the most influential. Hats off.

    4. These go together. If you’re not 100% every effort takes a lot more out of you. Full of admiration for the wee man tonight. An amazing shot that Kxevin talked about. Shows you what it means to him. Just wonder if it has cost him injury wise though. I’d be tempted to give him a place on the bench next week and build him up.

  3. That was a great game! jesus!

    My only complaint is the EPL fans at the sports bar I sometime go to for the big matches. They never stop complaining about La Liga. Either the referring, the ‘diving’, or the lack of quality. It’s very aggravating! It’s not like we all watch EPL games and complain about about them. I just don’t understand, especially when it’s Americans talking.

    Sorry, but I needed to rant/preach to the choir!

    Anyway, great game. I loved the look on Carvajal’s face when Neymar scored! Alexis’ goal was fantastic! Pure joy. Great officiating. Martino must have told the boys to foul as much as possible, it seemed to work really well. And Iniesta! Jesus, easily his best match this season.

    Força Barça!

  4. Martino: “Referee? As I’ve done until now, I’m trying not to talk about the referee, and more so when the other coach already did so.”

    Martino: “Song subbed on? It was indeed a defensive sub, unless I now want to make you believe he’s a playmaker. Wanted to regain midfield.”

    i love his pressers!

  5. Before I watch the match a second time in the comfort and peace of my own man cave, a thought:

    This comment, from 86ed (and yes, it is a direct comment to you):

    Was Messi even playing today? Kevin will have a fieldday.

    Finally. Finally. Finally, a victory in a big match.

    It is hostile, mean-spirited and serves absolutely nothing. The constant negativity is one thing, but now it’s personal with the allegation that I am somehow waiting for Messi to make an error. As the old adage goes, “If you’ve nothing nice to say, say nothing.”

    I think the space would benefit. Just once. Just once, try to be positive, support the team and not call into question everything that it does, every failing. Endeavor not to be the constant and consistent voice of doom.

    Most of all, do not ever suggest that I have a pro or anti bias against any player on this club. You know better. And if you don’t, you should go back and check your history in the form of posts, before you make such a suggestion.

  6. For being such a talent, Ronaldo can be such a petulant little boy at times. He’s tough to watch. Glad I’m not a RM fan.

    1. Those have been some of the best moments in Classicos over the last 4 years – Cristiano jumping up and down with his hands in the air and a look of complete disgust and desperation on his face.

    2. My personal favorite remains Ronaldo trying to press single-handedly the Barcelona defence, waving his arms like a big white bird and then with a look of desperation on his face shouting at the rest of the Real team, who were cowering behind the central line. I don’t remember exactly, I think it was one of the legs of the Champions semi, but the image is burned in my mind.

    3. That never gets old! (And in fairness, I have every sympathy with CR7 there, even as I am laughing at him. At least he was trying!)

  7. Having had a necessary if swift kip I can now start to enjoy this result. I’d forgotten how good this feels !

    Felt like a strange match while watching it and I’m not sure why. Maybe I am missing Mou ?

    Loved the pics of Puyol consoling CR7 at the end and refusing to let him get wound up.

    1. Meant to add that it’s nice to see Ini being appreciated in England as well as up here in Scotland.

      Tw Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd): “Is Iniesta the smoothest player these days?! No jerking or stuttering in possession! Smoothest since Zidane!”

      Yup. 🙂

    2. Here is what felt weird about it: It was an ordinary, excellent match of football between two of the best teams in the world. No kicking, no biting, no surrounding the ref or wailing. There were fouls, but nothing crazy. The players decided it.

      RM players will say that Mascherano fouled Ronaldo in the box. Shoulder to shoulder for me. Our players take a lot of those and lose.

    3. The truth is that it was more of a elbow+knee to back than shoulder to shoulder.

      But if that’s a penalty, then Neymar should have had half a dozen penalty calls this seasons and he got none.

      Plus there was Elche. And Malaga. And Juventus. And last year’s Classico when Adriano was not given a clear penalty. And so on, and so on…

  8. Ok, some initial thoughts after the game has been absorbed.

    – I made a prediction before the game, that Barca would take it 1-0 or 2-0. Even though Almost every journalist and pundit out there including BFBers called for a draw or EE atleast to score. Why wouldn’t they? Perfectly reasonable as they have scored in every 13 clasicos since the Manita. But I sensed that this game would be a showcase of how we have gotten less naive and stronger defensively rather than attacking prowess. From the trend I’ve been seeing, I knew Tata’s priority would be to control the game and be practical where a Pep led team would have gone out to entertain, “show a good account of ourselves”, be ruthless and so on… This man Martino has different set of values and you know what, I like them. This game was an interesting tactical battle where we gave the ball to EE at times and waited. Yes, you heard that right.

    – Valdes was amazing. I don’t know what we are going to do without our Puyol/Xavi between the posts. Yes, he means that much. But then, he could have saved that last shot. I dont care. Messi screwed my prediction with that giveaway right at the death.

    – I don’t know what to make of Messi’s game. The guy clearly isn’t fit. Where a lot of people saw him work his butt off, for some reason I kept thinking why isn’t he accelerating at all, even in front of goal. Still, It appears he played an excellent tactical game.

    – Alexis! I’ve been one of his fans right from his purchase, through the tough spells and am extremely happy for him for an utter golazo.

    – N E Y M A R.
    This name clearly is meant to be remembered. All the signs point to a dazzling career. That he chose to play for us is something we should appreciate.

    – BUT! this clasico was certainly played at a lower tempo than the previous editions. Whether that was down to two new coaches trying to understand spanish football and testing the waters, or simply the lack of a negativity filled Mourinho atmosphere, we’ll never know, But I suspect it was a bit of both.

    – Ancelotti complaining about the Ref. If the ref had done his job properly, EE would be 11 points behind us now. Still, I’ll take the 6 and sleep well tonight.

    – Girlfriend, you’re gonna get some loving!

    1. Excellent comments…

      I’m surprised those who wanted to see Song and Busquets haven’t said anything.

      Messi did his part.. he should had a goal but at least he didnt sulk and stand around just waiting for the ball. It may not have been a Pedro/Alexis defense effort but he was great tactically.

      Valdes is our best keeper choice ever (at right up until this point in our history) After Paris haters should wake up and smell the roses.

      Btw… Anyone noticed how good Dani can be defensively (maybe not one-on-one always but with space today he was good…surprizingly)

      Iniesta was, as Kxevin rightly predicted, our controller today. Awesome player.

      People criticize Masch, but if all our all defenders drop off players and wait (besides Puyol and maybe… Bartra) who’s gonna rush attackers’ movement and make them think twice… who’s gonna bring the heat. I love Masch’s fear factor… sorry but that’s an important part of great defending (i.e. the FEAR factor) for me just as it is with being a great attacker.

      I’m gonna stop leave something else for someone else to say.

    1. Alexis played big – not just the beautiful goal, but the constant hustle he provides.

      Wonder if RM is missing Ozil? Kind of surprised Isco didn’t get in.

    2. Moment Alexis came on, everything changed because of his movement and pace (which Cesc just couldn’t supply). The defence started back-pedaling, the lines stretched. It was as if someone turned off the power unit of the RM team.
      Good tactics from Tata parking the bus and playing the counter-attack. But I think he’s now learnt you can’t counter-attack with Cesc on the forward line.

  9. Definitely a weird line-up by Ancelloti. What was he thinking. Except for 15-20 minutes in the second half we completely controlled the game. That miss from Messi in the first half…if that vent in we would have witnessed another manita.
    My few cents about our play/ers.
    Great tactical awareness from our players, especially Busi. Iniesta was great in the first half, like he had to prove something, but vent missing in the second half. Dani, Adriano, Ney, Xavi were immense. It was a great team victory, and i enjoyed the game.
    The penalty on ROnaldo was a 50/50 call, it was up to the referee. But so was the tackle from behind on Cesc from Pepe.
    Messi did a lot of defensive work, yes, but as i always seek for perfection from our players, i do feel he could have run more. Maybe it’s the fact that he still isn’t 100% fit to play the entire 90 minutes.
    Ney was Ney…if he remains humble as he is now, only the sky is the limit.
    All in all, a great feeling i’m having, but no love for me tonight to my lady, we are in the last 3 months of the pregnancy. 😀

  10. Excellent game, if strange – for fair parts of the game, M*drid were keeping possession while Barca defended when it is almost always the other way around. They didn’t quite park the bus (and I doubt they can) but the usual quest for possession was definitely given up this game.

    Hopefully people won’t only talk about the Ronaldo penalty and forget the other crucial decisions (Cesc, Neymar) which went against us.

    Great team effort, can’t really single someone out. Very happy about the win. The Alexis goal was unreal…

    1. The last two years it was us with the possession all the time and them scoring on the counter and from set pieces.

      They added Bale, which makes them even more deadly on the counter.

      So of we had done the same thing as before, the results would likely have been the same.

      However, RM have repeatedly demonstrated that if you take away the counter from them, they run out of ideas. So it made perfect sense to move our lines back and not let them counter. Aside from the Benzema shot, all the chances they had came from us losing the ball and allowing them to counter at speed.

      Tata is not a blind follower of the ideology, and that’s a good thing.

  11. Quick thoughts:

    – Eating my words. Messi on the right worked out brilliantly against a RM set up to clog the middle of the defense.

    – Ney’s goal was actually beautiful once you realized he actually nutmegged Pepe

    – Masch/Ronaldo incident was a 50/50. Pep kicking Cesc was a clear penalty. The Adriana “handball” hardly worth mentioning. Ramos should have seen red in the first half already. Merengues will cry about the ref, but that is because they are used to having matches called in their favor.

    – Speaking of Mascherano, he had a terrible 2nd half.

    – Busquets was the best midfielder out there today.

    – Lexus’s golazo reminded me of Romario. Possibly even one of the top ten Clasico goals. Really happy for him.

    – Etremely satisfied that we weren’t afraid to foul the sh*t out of these m*****f*****s. To today we gave us good as we received. First time in a long time I have seen us do that against M*drid.

    1. Unless I´m mistaken, Neymar nutmegged Pepe AND Carvajal. Double nutmeg and a goal.

      Dani Alves also made a sweet nutmeg during the end of the match(Was it on Ronaldo?), no goal unfortunately.

      Messi – from the little clear memory I have from this match, Messi played more as a kind of a Damocles sword on the right, a constant menace against Marcelo and also ran and pressed, and defended a lot more than usual. I loved it. This is what defines the great player – his role was to turn attention away from Neymar, Iniesta and Cesc/Alexis.

      In a way his behavior on the field reminded me of a description of the 1970 World cup final: (quoting from memory)”Pele led his marker like a puppy – and Jairsinho, Tostao, Gerson and Alberto rushed in the resulting boulevards.”

    2. The truth is Neymar was incredibly lucky to get this shot through so many legs. 19 times out of 20 this is blocked or deflected.

      But this is the difference between someone like Neymar and other players – he is good enough to pull off pretty much anything he can think of and he knows it so he has the confidence to try that shot. Pedro would have turned and passed it back to midfield.

      I was really mad Dani didn’t score after he nutmegged Cristiano. This would have been replayed on highlight reels forever.

  12. What a match winner from alexis..maybe on of my favorites of all time. What a goal to win a classico!

    1. It was unbelievablely sweet. But I still rate Messi ‘s chip over Casillas at the Camp Nou many seasons back higher, the one where Cannavaro ran himself into the post.

  13. Tata won the tactical battle (except for playing Cesc on the forward line, but maybe he felt he had no choice). Ancelotti wanted to win it with his speedsters (Ronaldo and Bale) to Tata parked the bus. Only flaw in his plan was that you can’t counter-attack with Cesc. In fact, only reason that RM got back into the game in second half was because they didn’t respect our counter, with Messi getting boxed in in the middle (and maybe not totally fit) and Neymar the only real outlet. Alexis comes on and its a completely different game.

    1. Cesc was was part of why we won the tactical battle. Our midfield diamond caught them completely off guard and made Ancelotti’s lineup useless.

  14. Dat Alexis goal!!! What a beautyful goal.
    Dat VV’ saves. Didn’t look good on Jesés goal though.

    I hope Tata will find a proper solution for the decrease of the offball workrate particulary from the Midfieldplayer.
    Song is a step in the right direction as he added the needed composure later on.
    But thus far Chapeau tó Tata outsmarted and outcoached Carlo.

    I had laughed about Ancelotti’s decision to play Ramos as DM but not every defender is a Philip Lahm Carlo 😉

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