Barcelona Win El Clasico In Style
Despite the worst possible start to their evening, Barcelona recovered from conceding an early goal to beat their arch-rivals Real Madrid at the Bernebeu and to claw back three precious points in the La Liga title race. The two footballing giants are now neck and neck (although RMFC have a game in hand) with a second El Clasico to be played in Camp Nou later in the season.
On a wet night in the capital things couldn't have started any worse for Barcelona. Seconds after kick off, goalkeeper Victor Valdes played a bread-and-butter clearance straight into the path of Di Maria who immediately swept the ball back into the box. It cannoned off Busquets, allowing Ozil to shoot. Again Busquets got in the way but this time the deflection fell to Benzema just 6 yards out and the striker needed no formal invitation to bang home El Clasico's fastest ever goal.
When Barca, after a slow start, did manage to claw themselves into the game, inevitably it was the mercurial Messi in the centre of things. Riding white-shirted challenges from every direction the Argentine played a perfect ball to Alexis, who steered a similarly sublime finish into the left hand corner of the goal to make it 1-1, with 30 minutes played.
There were chances at both ends, with Ronaldo guilty of missing two sitters, before Barcelona took the lead with a little help from Lady Luck. Xavi's long range shot took a horrid deflection of a defender that completely fooled Casillas and just edged inside the post.
Barca's third though was a thing of beauty. Alves was allowed much too much time and space on the right to float in a trademark looping cross, which the onrushing Fabregas did well to get his head onto, finishing at the far post. A special goal with which Barcelona marked their continuing superiority over their old rivals!
...and just to rub salt in the wounds of Madrilenos, Barcelona's second team, RCD Espanyol also enjoyed the sweet taste of victory at the weekend at the expense of Madrid's second best outfit, Atletico Madrid, notching up a 4-2 win.