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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

First clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona for a place in the Copa del Rey final

The official blog returns on the night of the clash of the titans. Are you ready?

The tournament's last two champions face each other in the first-leg match of the semi-finals at the Bernabeu, where the Whites beat the Catalans this season in the return-leg of the Spanish Super Cup to take away the title

Only four teams are now in the running to win the Copa del Rey. Real Madrid and Barcelona go head to head tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first-leg match of the semi-final (21:00, Canal+ 1). It will be their fourth clash this season with the aim of getting a place in the final to be held on May 18. For the first time in history, the tournament's last two champions will face each other for the third edition in a row. In their clashes so far this season they have clocked up one win each and a draw. The Spanish Super Cup went to the Whites, and that's the example to follow in order to achieve their objective. The Bernabeu will no doubt help them achieve it in this next Clasico.
The Whites are among the four best teams in the Copa del Rey after overcoming Alcoyano, Celta and Valencia in the previous rounds. They've now reached the semi-finals where they face Barcelona for the sixth time in their history, having beaten them on three of the five previous occasions, including the last in 1993 when the Whites qualified for the final after also playing the first-leg at home. Mourinho will be counting on new keeper Diego Lopez for the first-leg match, but he won't be able to call up Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao or Di Maria. 
YearFirst-leg scoreSecond-leg scoreTie-breaker
1916Barcelona 2-1 Real MadridReal Madrid 4-1 BarcelonaReal Madrid 6-6 Barcelona
Real Madrid 4-2 Barcelona
1943Barcelona 3-0 Real MadridReal Madrid 11-1 Barcelona -
1954Real Madrid 1-0 BarcelonaBarcelona 3-1 Real Madrid -
1959Real Madrid 2-4 BarcelonaBarcelona 3-1 Real Madrid -
1993Real Madrid 1-1 BarcelonaBarcelona 1-2 Real Madrid -

This will be the fourth time the two teams face off this season, in which they've clearly been very evenly matched. Of the three matches that have taken place so far, each team has won one and there was a draw (2-2) in la Liga. It's worth pointing out that Real Madrid took the first title of the season, the Spanish Super Cup, after suffering a 3-2 score in the first-leg and coming back strong with a 2-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu. The stadium will no doubt once again play a key role to the team progressing to the final. 

The standout player in recent derbies has been Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward has scored in the three previous Copa del Rey matches against Barcelona, including the goal in the 2011 final that gave the Whites the title. He has scored seven goals in total in the last six matches against Barcelona and he has had an amazing start to 2013, scoring 10 goals in all competitions, making him the highest goal-scorer in the big European leagues.

SeasonMatchReal Madrid scorers
2010/11 (final)Barcelona 0-1 Real MadridCristiano Ronaldo (102')
2011/12 (quarter-finals first-leg)Real Madrid 
1-2 Barcelona
Cristiano Ronaldo (11')
2011/12 (quarter-finals second-leg)Barcelona 2-2 Real MadridCristiano Ronaldo (68') and Benzema (72')

Barcelona arrives to the Santiago Bernabeu unbeaten so far in the Copa del Rey after having overcome Alaves, Cordoba and Malanga in previous rounds. They defeated the Basque team 0-3 in Mendizorroza and 3-1 in the return-leg. They beat Cordoba 0-2 in the first-leg and later scored 5-0 in the Camp Nou, which is where they had their only draw in the tournament. That was to Malaga in the first leg of the quarter-finals but they secured their way to the semi-finals with a win at La Rosaleda (2-4).

Deputy manager Jordi Roura, who is substituting for Tito Vilanova while he is on leave, will be arriving with 19 players in the touring party, including Villa and Messi. The two are Barcelona's top goal-scorers in the tournament after having scored five and four goals 
Follow the match live @fcrealmadridup

Friday, 12 October 2012

2-2: Honours even in the third Clasico

A brace from Cristiano Ronaldo, who enters the history books having scored in six consecutive matches against Barcelona cancelled out Messi’s two goals.

Alberto Navarro

The third Clasico of the season was animated and exciting. Real Madrid created clear chances and hit the post with a shot from Benzema, but Barcelona, who made more fouls than their opponent, were more clinical in front of goal. Ronaldo, who enters the history books by having scored in six consecutive matches against the Catalans. Ronaldo put Real Madrid ahead and Messi, with the home team’s only shot on goal during the first half, equalised before the end of the first half in which the visitors had been superior. In the second half saw the reverse. Messi scored from a free-kick and Ronaldo scored the equaliser. The third Clasico of the season ended in a draw.
Real Madrid started the match with very clear ideas. Putting pressure on the opponents when they were in possession, the Whites, who were not feeling the combined pressure from the crowd or the home team, dominated and created the better chances in the first half hour. In fact, the first chance fell to the visitors in the form of a Di María shot that went over on 6 minutes. After very little time they created more dangerous chances. A Ronaldo cross to Benzema on the penalty spot who miscued a volley in the 13th minute. In only 15 minutes, Real Madrid had managed to create two chances, while Barcelona had not had a shot on goal and had committed six fouls as opposed to only one by the Whites.

Real Madrid were very comfortable on the pitch. They were their passages of play and they soon got their deserved reward. In just six minutes they had three very clear opportunities. The first, a headed shot from Ramos from a corner, went a few inches over the Barca goal in the 19th minute. The second chance ended with a goal following a piece of play in which Real Madrid strung together ten passes in arriving in the home team’s area and was worthy of the outcome. Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Di María, Marcelo and Özil were involved in the move that in which the ball ended up with Benzema, who played through Ronaldo with some great vision in the area. The low shot from the Portuguese surprised Valdés at his near post in the 23rd minutes. It is the sixth consecutive match in which the Portuguese has found the net against Barcelona. 0-1 and the second nearly came two minutes later but Benzema’s shot hit the post and then a mistake from Di María missed the rebound.

Inside half an hour, the league champions had five chances, either hitting the post or stopped by Valdés. Barcelona, meanwhile, only had one long distant shot from Iniesta in the 21st minute, but on their first shot on target they brought the match level. It was a bouncing ball that arrived in the visiting team’s area and Pepe attempted a clearance but misjudged his jump to set free Messi who beat Casillas in the 31st minute. 1-1, which is how the half finished. It was unfair to the Whites who were much superior.

Two more goals, one for each team, in the second half
Mourinho had little to change at the break. His team dominated in the Nou Camp and the Whites were close to backing-up their superiority in the first passage of play in the second half. Özil went into the area and passed Mascherano with a beautiful spin, but was taken down in the area by the Argentine in the 46th minute. Delgado Ferreiro said no penalty. The match was exciting and the fight for the ball in midfield was titanic. More chances were created and in the 60th minute Barcelona went ahead in an isolated piece of play. Messi was tripped outside the area in front of goal and he put his free-kick over the wall for second goal.

Everything turned against Real Madrid, but this team has always shown throughout its history its built-in resilience. In the Camp Nou there was no exception. Özil set Ronaldo clear and the ruthless Portuguese scored from the one-on-one in the 67th minute. The Portuguese’s first brace against Barcelona and tenth goal in the last five matches. The Catalans’ home crowd wanted to give their team strength, but it was Higuaín, who had replaced Benzema in the 61st minute, who had the opportunity to put Real Madrid back ahead with a shot from a difficult angle that Valdés stopped in the 77th minute. Both teams kept going until the end a Montoya shot hit the crossbar, but the record of the matches between the two sides this season (a win for each and a draw) reflected the equity on the scoreboard. The third Clasico of the season ended in a draw.


  • 1V Valdésundefined
  • 14J Mascherano
  • 2Dani AlvesSubstitution Off
  • 21Adriano
  • 18J Alba
  • 6Xavi
  • 16S BusquetsYellow Card
  • 8A Iniesta
  • 4F FábregasSubstitution Off
  • 10L MessiGoalGoal
  • 17PedroYellow Card


  • 19M MontoyaSubstitution On
  • 7D Villa
  • 15M Bartra
  • 25A Song
  • 13Pinto
  • 28Sergi Roberto
  • 9A SánchezSubstitution On
 Tito Vilanova

Real Madrid

  • 1I Casillasundefined
  • 4S Ramos
  • 17Á ArbeloaYellow Card
  • 3PepeYellow Card
  • 12Marcelo
  • 14X AlonsoYellow Card
  • 22Á Di MaríaSubstitution Off
  • 6S Khedira
  • 10M ÖzilYellow CardSubstitution Off
  • 7C RonaldoGoalGoal
  • 9K BenzemaSubstitution Off


  • 5Fábio Coentrão
  • 19L Modric
  • 20G HiguaínSubstitution On
  • 8KakáSubstitution On
  • 15M EssienSubstitution On
  • 13A Adán
  • 18R Albiol
 José Mourinho

Monday, 1 October 2012

5-1: Goal-fest and fourth straight victory

The first Ronaldo hat-trick of this season, taking him to a three match scoring streak, a goal from Di María and another from Pepe turnover the scoreline against Deportivo.

Alberto Navarro

Real Madrid again proved they are on a charge and they had to come from behind following Riki’s opening goal from the visitors’ first and only shot on goal. The first Ronaldo hat-trick of this season, who is now on a three match scoring streak in official matches, a Di María goal and a goal from Pepe neutralised the Galician team and gave Real Madrid their fourth consecutive victory, third in a competitive match. The Whites broke their opponents unbeaten away run and gave Deportivo their seventh consecutive visit to the Bernabéu without getting a point. The Whites enjoyed the match on the field and meant that their their fans enjoyed the match seeing their team dominate and scoring the most goals in a competitive match this season.
Mourinho decided to put Modric in charge of the game. He was accompanied by Khedira and Özil in a previously unused Real Madrid midfield combination. The Whites’ coach’s bet was totally justified, based on the result and the way that the Whites played. Nevertheless and although the Whites had the first chances of the match it was Deportivo who struck first. An undeserved reward for the visitors who pushed forward for their first and only chance. Exceptional individual play from Riki from the Real Madrid academy who beat Casillas in a one-on-one with a subtle chip in the 16th minute.

The home team’s local reaction was swift. In fact, the Whites only needed 22 minutes to turn around the score board. Mourinho changed the positions of Cristiano Ronaldo and Di María and both were involved in the first three Real Madrid goals. The Argentine had a chance for the first on 18 minutes in a one-on-one but it went over. Five minutes later he played a key role in the play that brought about the equaliser. “El Fideo” Di María came up against Manuel Pablo and went past him at speed and when he got into the area he was clearly tripped by the Galician’s defender. Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored in his third consecutive official match, scored the penalty in the 23rd minute. 1-1 and all to be played for.

Ten minutes later the Portuguese had another opportunity to score following a great pass from Khedira, but Aranzubia displayed his great reflexes and stopped the Portuguese’s powerful shot. Real Madrid kept trying and their commitment was rewarded in the 38th minute. An impressive Modric pass with the outside of his right foot left Di María in front of the goalkeeper. The Argentine’s shot hit the post but he was first to react to the rebound and scored the second with a header from the goal line. The Whites were not satisfied with that lead and before half-time scored a third, Cristiano Ronaldo’s second. The Portuguese took advantage of an Aranzubia deflection following a shot from Ramos and got in front of the whole of the visitors’ defence and put the ball in the net with his head in the 44th minute. Real Madrid took an unassailable lead in the match and were enjoying themselves on the field as were their fans with the three goals in 45 minutes.

Home team dictated enjoyable second half
Mourinho rewarded Kaká for his spectacular hat-trick in the Santiago Bernabéu Trophy and him on in place of Özil after the break. If in the first half, Deportivo only had one chance, in the second the Galicians were nowhere to be seen. It was 45 minutes dominance by the home team that showed that the team is still hungry for success. Xabi Alonso, who replaced Modric who was applauded as he left the field, and Benzema, who came on for Higuaín joined Real Madrid party. The Spanish international had the chance to score from outside of the box in his team’s first attempt with him on the pitch. The fluidity and elegance of the play deserved a better finish. Marcelo, Di María, Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo were involved and following two back-heel passes the ball got the man from Tolosa who found Aranzubia with his shot in the 58th minute.

It was the build-up to their fourth goal of the night. A free-kick taken by Xabi Alonso and then a Pepe header who got in front of the defence ended with the ball in the back of the net in the 66th minute. The first goal this season for the Portuguese international and the sixth player from his team to score. There was still time for the fifth and last, which was to complete the total for the most goals scored in a competitive match this season. Kaká, very active during the time that he was involved kept making a good impression and provoked a penalty following a hand ball from Evaldo in the 84th minute. Ronaldo converted it and scored his first hat-trick this season and closed out a match in which his team once again proved they are on a clear upward trend. The fourth consecutive victory was testament to that.

Real Madrid

  • 1I Casillasundefined
  • 4S Ramos
  • 2R Varane
  • 3PepeGoal
  • 12Marcelo
  • 10M ÖzilYellow CardSubstitution Off
  • 19L ModricYellow CardSubstitution Off
  • 22Á Di MaríaGoal
  • 6S Khedira
  • 7C RonaldoPenaltyGoalPenalty
  • 20G HiguaínSubstitution Off


  • 21J Callejón
  • 9K BenzemaSubstitution On
  • 8KakáSubstitution On
  • 17Á Arbeloa
  • 13A Adán
  • 14X AlonsoSubstitution On
  • 18R Albiol
 José Mourinho

Deportivo de La Coruña

  • 1D Aranzubiaundefined
  • 3EvaldoYellow Card
  • 5Zé Castro
  • 24C Marchena
  • 2M PabloYellow CardSubstitution Off
  • 14A Aguilar
  • 10Juan DomínguezSubstitution Off
  • 4Álex Bergantiños
  • 16Bruno Gama
  • 9Pizzi
  • 11RikiGoalSubstitution Off


  • 25Nélson OliveiraSubstitution On
  • 18J CamuñasSubstitution On
  • 15LaureSubstitution On
  • 6Aythami
  • 13G Lux
  • 8André Santos
  • 21J Valerón
 José Luis Oltra