Thursday, April 28, 2011

Champions League Semis: Real Madrid vs Barcelona Recap (1st Leg)

0 – 2
Real Madrid vs Barcelona

Barcelona was back with a vengeance scoring two away goals in the 1st leg of the Champions League Semifinals.  So here’s the update on the el clasico series (click here for recap, stats, etc on the 1st two el clasico matches):

el clasico I – La Liga (Apr 16): Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid
el clasico II – Copa del Rey (Apr 20): Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid
el clasico III – Champions League Semis leg 1 (Apr 27): Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona

All the CRonaldo vs Messi debates? Well, Messi shows them who’s boss as he scores the two goals of the match (scoring 11 goals in 11 Champions League matches and scoring on each of his last four visits to the Bernabeu).   “Another Messi master class,” according to the commentator.  His 1st goal breaks the 67 minutes of deadlock when he converted a brilliant cross from Ibrahim Afellay.  His 2nd goal was from a 20-30(?)-yard run, eluding four Real Madrid players then beating Iker Casillas with a right-footed shot to score.  As the commentator said, it was “Delightful!”  Can I just say that Messi is well marked man?  Whenever he has the ball 2-4 Real Madrid players flock to him. 

cute cartoon showing who won the Messi-CRonaldo debate in this match
from goal.com
Messi master class
photo from eufa.com
It was another enjoyable tiki-taka football from Barca with them ending the match with a 72% ball possession and 482 passes completed while Real Madrid only had 127.   All the passing frustrated CRonaldo during the 1st half, as he ran around in a circle trying to dispossess the ball from Barca, eventually throwing his hands up in defeat.

tempers flare in this very intense match
photo courtesy of ibtimes.com
The game was full of the tension and you can feel the pressure as tempers flared causing the game to stall twice in the 1st half as a brawl was about to erupt between the two teams on the field.  Then during half-time, both teams went at it again as they made their way to their locker rooms.  I couldn’t tell how it started as the camera only started to capture it when there was already a lot of pushing and shoving but apparently it started from a confrontation between Seydou Keita and Alvaro Arbeloa they left the field, Barca's substitute keeper Jose Pinto ended up with red card from the scuffle.  During the 2nd half, things started to get ugly again when Pepe got sent off from challenging Dani Alves.  This makes it the 4th consecutive time a Real player gets a red card in a game against Barca, I guess Real kept their “practice” of ending a match with 10 men.  Jose Mourinho got so heated up about this and Carles Puyol was seen trying to calm him down.  But Mourinho ultimately sent off to the stands after he sarcastically clapped and showed a thumbs up to the fourth official.  The look on his face when he was made to sit on the stands… priceless! Btw, they that challenge on Dani Alves looked like it hurt like hell, he was stretcher off the field.  I hope he doesn’t end up with an injury from this match, he got battered in this game, taking a lot of knocks.

the look on Mourinho face
photo courtesy of Getty Images

Mourinho sent off to the stands
photo courtesy of totalfootballmadness.com
Real Madrid played a very aggressive game (in the physical sense), there was Marcelo stepping (or was it more of a stomp?) on the leg of Pedro, Adebayor hitting Busquets on the face, hard tackles and challenges, etc.

Pepe sent off
Trivia: Pep Guardiola never lost a match at the Santiago Bernabeu, amazing right?

Jersey Watch: nobody asked for Messi’s jersey after the game.  I’d ask for it if I was there :P

After the match: sighting, Puyol walking around with a ball on his belly, inside his jersey.  He had an outstanding performance in this match. He seemed to be playing across the whole defence, helping out whenever his colleagues at the back made a mess of things.  I’m glad he was fit enough to play, Barca really needed his presence in this game.

Messi, simply sublime
Click here to read the Match Preview 

Aggregate Score:
Real Madrid: 0
Barcelona: 2

Here are numbers:
Real Madrid

Barcelona
0
Goals scored
2
3
Attempts on target
8
5
Attempts off target
3
4
Saves
3
1
Corners
1
3
Offsides
1
17' 9''
Possession (time)
43' 23''
28
Possession (%)
72
28
Fouls committed
36
18
Fouls
22
3
Yellow cards
2
1
Red cards
1
70.5
Passing Success
91.7
23
Tackles
18
60.9
Tackles Success
66.7
54.7
Territorial Advantage
45.3
                                                                                       
Goals:
            67th, and 87th minute – Leo Messi (Barcelona)

Yellow Cards:
            Arvalo Arbeloa (Real Madrid)
            Dani Alves (Barcelona)
            Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
            Javier Mascherano (Barcelona)
            Emmanuel Adebayor (Real Madrid)

Red Cards:
            Jose Pinto (Barcelona)
            Pepe (Real Madrid)
            Jose Mourinho (not exactly Red Card but sent off to the stands)

More great articles on the match here:

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