The first El Clásico of the 2019-20 La Liga Season was to be played back in October. However, due to security concerns, the match was postponed till today. Despite the delay, the atmosphere around the match was as intense as it was supposed to be. For many football fans, the match is an early Christmas present.
Coming into the match, both teams had 13 points from 5 matches. Their last game before the El Clásico ended in draws. Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw by Real Sociedad. Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia. Karim Benzema saved the Los Blancos by scoring through the penultimate touch of the game.
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Sergi Roberto, Rakitic, De Jong; Messi, Luis Suárez, Griezmann.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Casemiro, Valverde, Kroos, Isco; Bale, Benzema.
One of the most notable omissions was Sergio Busquets from Barcelona’s squad. Initially on the starting XI, the player was substituted to the bench. The reason for the omission from the starting XI was that Busquets was unwell. Madrid’s Eden Hazard missed the match due to injury.
The first half was all about Real Madrid’s attacking prowess. Barcelona continuously found themselves defending a Madrid attack after attack. Madrid almost went ahead but for Pique’s goal line clearance. Despite the possession, Barcelona remained entrenched deep down in their half. The best opportunity for Barcelona came from Messi’s pass to Alba, who could not find Suarez. Another sublime pass from Messi to Alba ended up in a goal kick as Alba could not finish. Before the end of the 1st half, Lenglet got into the referee’s book for a late challenge on Isco.
The second half started with the same intensity as the first. Both teams played attacking football. The first real chance of the 2nd half came to Messi. Griezmanm squared the ball to Messi, who could not get a decent shot in. It was a rare miss from the Argentine. However, replays showed Griezmann getting his hand onto the ball before passing to Messi. In the 68th minute, Bale hit the side netting after a pass from Valverde.
The Camp Nou fell silent in the 72nd minute as Bale scored the first goal after a pass from Mendy. However, the referee called for offside. A review by the VAR showed that Mendy was a fraction offside. Afterwards, both teams attacked. However, they lacked motivation in front of goal. 5 minutes of extra time were also not enough to see a goal.
A Goalless Draw
The 243rd El Clasico ends in draw. Barcelona and Madrid both have 36 points from 17 matches. But Barcelona is atop the table because of their better goal difference. Barcelona host Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou on Saturday. On the other hand, Real Madrid will be taking on Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu on Sunday.