Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona
Wednesday saw Real Madrid play their third Clasico against Barcelona as well as Madrid reduced to ten men for the third time in three matches. First it was in league play when the Whites played without Albiol for more than 40 minutes. Di Maria was then sent off in the closing minutes of the Copa final. And tonight in the Champions League, Pepe headed to the showers following a harsh red card that tilted the outcome of the match as well as the tie in Barcelona’s favor. Despite the poor performance by Mr. Wolfgang Stark, Real Madrid will travel to Barcelona next week in a show of courage. This club is noted for its ability to make the impossible possible. This is Real Madrid and with this spirit it will travel to the Camp Nou in an attempt to turn around a tie that many might consider hopeless.
The first half opened as most predicted. Madrid gave Barcelona room to work with and possession of the ball in search of a steal or a counter for Di Maria or Cristiano to steer towards Valdes. Guardiola’s men played quite conservatively and despite the possession were unable to find open looks on Casillas. Villa and Xavi had chances to give the visitors the lead, but the forward’s shot sailed wide and Iker got a hand to the midfielder’s strike. A shot from distance by Cristiano troubled Valdes, but the keeper cleared as best he could.
Ozil was replaced by Adebayor after the restart in search of more offense and a go-to guy in attack. As Real Madrid closed in on Valdes’ box and Barça appeared to be losing steam, the referee stole the spotlight by harshly sending Pepe off with a direct red card on 61’. Mourinho’s prediction once again came true and Real Madrid were again reduced to ten men against Barcelona.
Mourinho was then sent off as well and Real Madrid fell back in an effort to maintain the clean sheet. Barcelona, who had yet to get a good look on goal, began to dictate the tempo and Messi put the team on his shoulders and scored two goals for Guardiola and company. The Argentine capitalized off an assist by Affelay for the first, and with the Whites having no answer against a numerically superior team, Messi knocked in the second following an individual play. The first leg of the tie came to a close 0-2 forcing Real Madrid to pull off a miracle during their visit to Barcelona.
The composition of players
Real Madrid : Casillas, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Albiol, Marcelo, Alonso, Pepe, Diarra, Ozil (Emmanuel Adebayor 45 '), Ronaldo, Di Maria.
Barcelona : Valdes, Dani Alves, Pique, Busquets, Puyol, Xavi, Mascherano, Keita, Pedro (Ibrahim Afellay 71 '), Messi, Villa (Sergi Roberto 90').