El Clasico – january 2013 Real Madrid – Barcelona 1-1

The first leg of the Copa del rey ended all square.

 

 A depleted Real Madrid came out of the blocks flying in front of their home fans and created most of the early chances. Gerard Pique's tackle on Cristiano in the first minute resulted in a free kick which was acrobatically tipped out by Pinto.

Real continued to push forward and had chances to open the scoring with chances for Karim, Cristiano, Ozil and Khedira. Xabi Alonso, Callejon and Khedira hustled hard to stop Iniesta, Cesc and Xavi from settling.


Barcelona took  a foothold into the game late in the first half and created a number of chances. They came back with the same momentum in which they had left at the break. However it wasnt a tiki taka move that made the chance for the opener. Instead it was a mistake from Jose Maria Callejon that allowed Cesc to beat the offside trap and beat Diego Lopez.


Some last ditch defending mostly from Pique denied Cristiano Ronaldo a number of chances to level. The leveller came late in the game from French teenager Rafael Varane who was having an outstanding match. He made some great tackles notably  goal saving ones like when he was one on one with Leo Messi and later with Cesc Fabregas. He gave a composed  man of the match display despite some blunders from centre back partner Carvalho. He bailed the Portuguese out of jail with a last ditch tackle after a short back pass put Barca through on goal.
 
Varane had this to say about after the game "Im happy with my work, for me its a dream having scored a goal against Barcelona in the Bernabeu at just 19 years old. I dont think I even realise what I've done. The goal leaves the tie wide open,  we are prepared to win at the Camp Nou."



Mesut Ozil was at the heart of most attacking play for Real Madrid and came a very close second in the man of the match stakes.

Micheal Essien also gave a great performance at right back and went forward a lot, nullifying the attacking threat of Jordi Alba.


On the other wing Dani Alves did all he could to get Cristiano a yellow card that would have  made the Portuguese miss the next leg at the Camp Nou. He wasn't doing anything to get booked, after some strict orders to not get booked.

Alves and Xavi both complained about the lack of yellow against Cristiano. I think Cristiano should be flattered really.

 


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