It is one of the most highly-anticipated games in the world of football.
And while today’s El Clasico between Real Madrid wasn’t exactly “a classic”, it ended in dramatic fashion.
Sergio Ramos, not for the first time, came to Real Madrid’s rescue to secure a precious point in the Nou Camp
Sergio Ramos bagged Real Madrid a precious point with a 90th minute equaliser after Luis Suarez had put hosts Barcelona into the lead in the 53rd minute.
Here are five things we learnt from the Spanish clash.
Real’s longest unbeaten run for 28 years
Eyebrows were raised when Zinedine Zidane was handed the job at Real Madrid.
Nobody was doubting his football knowledge or passion for the club, but having your first managerial position at a mega-club such as Madrid is the definition of pressure.
But now the Frenchman has overseen a run of 33 games without defeat in all competition. Zidance is now only one game away from tying with the longest run that was 34 in season 1988/89.
He has also passed Carlo Ancelotti‘s 32-game unbeaten record during his tenure at the Bernabeu.
Never put a winger to mark rival striker
Barca’s opener was scored by Luis Suarez, as he nodded home Neymar’s free-kick in the 53rd minute.
It was a fairly straightforward goal. But the question to ask is how he found the space in such a dangerous area.
The answer? He was being “marked” by Lucas Vazquez. Quite why the slender stock of Vazquez was told to mark such a threat to go was baffling. Suarez was far to clever for his Spanish opponent, a clever nudge saw him power his header home.
Would he have nudged Sergio Ramos or Raphael Varane in the same manner?
Barcelona’s midfield was too defensive
Okay, so with a front three of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, there’s no doubt some steel is needed in the midfield.
But in the El Clasico, Luis Enrique opted for Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Andre Gomes – leaving Barca legend Andres Iniesta on the bench.
It was clear that the home side were missing that little bit of creativity in the first half, so it was a surprise when Iniesta wasn’t introduced as a half time sub.
He arrived on the pitch in the 59th minute – by when Barca were 1-0 up.
Ronaldo isn’t invincible
Cristiano Ronaldo had three shots on goal in the first half, compared to a total of one for the hosts Barcelona.
But his shooting was perhaps wasteful – and this is going by what we have seen over the years by the flamboyant Portuguese striker.
In the second half, he was almost anonymous. As Benzema occupied the central striking, Ronaldo drifted from one side to the other, with little success. The only surprise was that he wasn’t substituted.
Neymar wasn’t his normal self
The Brazilian striker had a superb chance to put Barcelona 2-0 up in the second half, but blazed over from 12 yards out.
The game would have finished with a very different result.
Neymar was off form in today’s El Clasico, and although he got the assist for Suarez’s opening goal, he failed to impose himself on the game.
Neymar had a poor game, by his usual standards, and should have made it 2-0 to the hosts when he blazed a chance over the bar
And the reason for this could be related to the Colombian plane crash that saw most of the Brazilian football team Chapecoense killed.
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