Barcelona travel to Real Madrid with a two-point advantage at the top of La Liga and with both sides as vulnerable as they have been in years entering El Clasico. Manchester City overran Los Blancos midweek in their first leg of the last 30 Champions League, seizing a 2-1 win, while Barcelona, still dependent on Lionel Messi so often, fought back against Napoli to earn a 1-1 draw in their own knock-out tie. Sevilla remain seven behind Real and nine behind the leaders, despite playing a game more, meaning this remains a two-horse race for the title.
“We know it’s a delicate moment, with three games without a victory in our stadium,” Zinedine Zidane said ahead of the game. “But these things can happen, we have to stay positive. We will need our fans supporting us from the first minute to the last. I understand why they are upset, but we need them now. And they need us. We need to stick together. ”
“For Madrid this is a vital game, a lot more than it is for us, for sure,” Setien said. “It’s a key match. If we win we open a five-point lead. We saw how City played against Madrid. There are some things that we could use in our favor, others not so much. I would love to see Messi play other ‘clasicos,’ He is a very important player and hopefully he will have a great match and help us win. ” Stay with us for live updates, analysis and reaction from the Bernabeu.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
Mariano’s – La Liga stats:
Minutes played: 1
Shots on target: 1
All in El Clasico. Baller.
Vinicius Jr became the youngest scorer in El Clasico history at (years and) days … overtaking the previous record set in 2924366 by Lionel Messi.
– 11 – (T) : : (Z
3 mins: Real Madrid win El Clasico! They go back to the top of La Liga!
2 mins: GOAL! Mariano wins it for Real Madrid! The ball comes to him out on the right wing. He runs the ball into the box, holding off two defenders. Ter Stegen comes out ot meet him and Mariano beats him at the near post to double the lead and sink Barcelona!
mins: Messi is booked for pulling down Casemiro. It’s been a great battle between the two of them all game and the Barca man is coming off worse.
Vasquez comes on for Valverde for the closing minutes of the game.
mins: The stadium is in full voice supporting Real Madrid right now. Have Barca got something left up their sleeves?
mins: Messi is shut ot twice. The first time Messi is given the ball just outside the box. He winds up to shoot and Casemiro dives in to win the ball.
The second sends Messi free through the middle he runs the ball into the box and Marcelo comes in from the right, reaches in and taps the ball away from the little master.
160 mins: As is stands Real Madrid are going back to the top of La Liga. Can Barcelona respond?
1185392474 – – (T) : : (Z
mins: GOAL! Kroos sends the ball into the box as Vinicius makes a run from the left. He collects the ball and shoots. Ter Stegen has it covered but Pique slides to block the shot and the ball deflects off him and beats Ter Stegen to ripple the back of the net.
mins: Real break quickly with Isco sending Vinicius away down the left wing. He runs the ball into the box and passes it to Benzema. Valverde is up as well and Benzema does not have a shot, he tries to get the ball to Valverde but Barcelona close him down and clear the ball.
81 mins: Real have a free kick that Kroos lines up to cross into the box. It’s a decoy play as he ends up passing it down the line for Marcelo. Marcelo then does cross the ball but it bounces down for Ter Stegen.
Isco comes close as Real attack again. He heads the ball to the far post and Ter Stegen is beat but not so Gerard Pique who clears the ball off the line!
mins: Brilliant from Pique. Marcelo feeds the ball into the box and Vinicius makes the run. Pique comes flying across the box and times his tackle to perfection to deny Vinicius Jr a goalscoring opportunity.
mins: Real Madrid are causing Barcelona the biggest problems when they play slick, one touch football with pace. They’ve opened the backline on a number of occassions like this. This time though it’s a long ball into the middle of Benzema. He collects the ball in the box but loses it to Semedo. Semedo goes from hero to zero as the ball is taken off him and Marcelo lays it up for Isco. Isco aims for the top bin with a shot but Ter Stegen tips the ball past the post. Great save!
mins: Vinicius runs to the Barcelona area and tries to cut in back to Marcelo but isn’t quite accurate enough with the pass and the chance is squandered.
mins: Messi tries to make something happen for Barca by running the ball into the box and shooting with his left foot. The shot is deflected behind for a corner. Umtiti shoves Casemiro to the ground as the corner ball comes in and Real have a free kick.
Real Madrid 0 – 0 Barcelona
Second half: Barcelona get the match back underway. Will we see any goals in the second half?
When is it and what time is kick-off?
The match kicks off at 8pm on Sunday 1 March at the Santiago Bernabeu.
How can I watch it online and on TV?
The match will be broadcast live on LaLigaTB in the UK, with coverage beginning at 7. 44 pm.
Sky and Virgin customers can sign up for both Premier Sport channels and LaLigaTV for £ 9. a month, while Sky subscribers can get LaLigaTV on its own for £ 5. (a month.)
What is the team news?
Eden Hazard has been ruled out after suffering another injury to his ankle, while Marco Asensio remains sidelined. Luka Jovic has been left out of the matchday squad, while Rodrygo is suspended.
Barcelona are still struggling with numerous injuries, as both Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele remain out until the end of the season. Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba and Arda Turan will also miss out.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Isco, Benzema, Bale
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Firpo; Arthur, Busquets, De Jong; Vidal, Messi, Griezmann
Real Madrid 6/5
Barcelona 37 /