NEWS
Sunday October 7 2012
Messi & Ronaldo level Clasico

Double strikes from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo made sure that El Clasico finished all square on Sunday evening.

The record-breaking duo hit efforts in both halves, as the two teams had to be content with a point each.

As Barcelona opted for Adriano at centre-back, it was perhaps no surprise that the visitors' had the better of the opening exchanges – Angel Di Maria fired a shot over from distance inside five minutes, and generally dominated possession.

It wasn't long though, before the Blaugrana got into the swing of things, and could have opened the scoring as Andres Iniesta's cross was almost poked in by Messi.

As expected, the game was becoming a genuinely end-to-end encounter. But it was Jose Mourinho's side who went ahead on 23 minutes. A pass from Karim Benzema found Cristiano Ronaldo on the left-hand side of the area, and the Portugal international smashed the ball past Victor Valdes at his near post.

Benzema should have made it two moments later, but his effort from close range hit the post. Tito Vilanova's side however, were not going to roll over that easily, and equalised on 31 minutes.

A cross from the right by Pedro, and a defensive mistake by Pepe, saw Messi tap in to make it 1-1 going into the break.

The Catalan club came out after the interval, and took the game straight to the capital side. Messi was making some of his trademark runs, and Xavi was proving metronome-like in the middle of the park.

And it was one of those fleet-footed dribbles that saw Barca go in front. The Argentina international skipped past Xabi Alonso, but the former Liverpool man could only slide in and concede a free kick on the edge of the Madrid area. The diminutive forward dusted himself off, and fired in a shot past Iker Casillas.

Ronaldo was not going to let his goalscoring rival take all the limelight though, and fired his own equaliser five minutes later. Mesut Ozil slipped in a through ball, and the former Manchester United man was there to stroke home from 12 yards.

The Basque side continued to control the ball, and almost won it at the death, but Pedro could not finish from the edge of the area.

 

Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid

Scorers: Messi 31, 62 (B); Ronaldo 23, 67 (RM)

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves (Montoya 28), Adriano, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas (Sanchez 68); Iniesta, Messi, Pedro

Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Alonso, Khedira; Ronaldo, Ozil (Kaka 81), Di Maria (Essien 88); Benzema (Higuain 63)

Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro

Football Italia website