Quick links

La Liga

El Clasico reaction: Messi and Ronaldo take centre stage

The first El Clasico league clash of the season couldn’t separate the sides as Lionel Messi scored twice for Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice for Real Madrid. What are the main issues for either side following the draw?

Barcelona against Real Madrid in any capacity is always a great spectacle for any football fan. The first league clash of the season ended 2-2 with the main star from each side scoring the goals. There are issues for both teams but Barcelona will be the happier as they can now take control of the title race.

Barcelona have been suffering with injuries to key players in their defence. They had to play defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano and attacking midfield player Adriano in the middle of their defence. They coped admirably as they were playing out of position but it left gaping holes in the Barcelona defence which Ronaldo was able to exploit.

Barcelona are sitting top of the table on goal difference so it would seem everything at the club is settled and everyone is happy with the system. However, there were examples in the match at the Nou Camp of Barca players looking incredibly frustrated with the roles they were being asked to play. Cesc Fabregas is the best example as the former Arsenal captain looked furious both on the pitch and off it when he was subbed off in the second half.

There was a slight show of poor discipline from the Barcelona midfield which is rare. Overall the side committed 17 fouls which is one more than their opponents and they managed to have two fewer players booked. The point being that Barcelona cannot let frustration get the better of them in such high pressure situations. Another day and another referee could have seen them with more bookings and possibly a red card which would have left them at a massive disadvantage.

As far as Real Madrid are concerned, they should be happy with a point in a match where many expected them to lose. They attacked and defended well and showed signs that they are getting stronger this season. They looked dangerous throughout and Jose Mourinho seems to have found a system which is working for the side at the moment.

The main worry for Real will be that they did not manage to beat a patched up Barcelona side. It was one of their best chances to beat Barcelona away from home and there would have been high hopes for a repeat of the win at the Nou Camp which they secured last season. They made very few mistakes but when they did they were punished emphatically by the best player in the world.

Ronaldo will be a slight worry for Real Madrid this morning as he seemed to be carrying a shoulder injury through part of the match. He tried a spectacular scissor kick in the Barcelona box which he got wrong before landing heavily on his left shoulder. He looked in severe discomfort afterwards and was regularly clutching the shoulder. Fingers crossed for the Spanish champions that it doesn’t turn out to be a lot more serious than it is.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch