Real Madrid 0-0 Barcelona LIVE: Score and El Clasico latest, Lionel Messi starts, Bale out | Football | Sport

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Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu


REAL MADRID 0-0 BARCELONA

Sunday’s ‘Clasico’ between Real Madrid and Barcelona may have huge ramifications on La Liga’s title race but poor showings in the Champions League mean the fixture is lacking its usual billing as a battle between the two best teams in the world.

Real Madrid lost 2-1 at home to Manchester City in their last-16 first leg while Barcelona drew 1-1 at Napoli, a result which masked a shaky performance and seemed to confirm Lionel Messi’s fears that they are not good enough to win the trophy.

Champions Barca take a two-point lead into the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu after cashing in on a wobble from Zinedine Zidane’s side, who drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo and lost to Levante in their last two league fixtures.

Real Madrid XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos, Isco Benzema, Vinicius.

Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, N. Semedo, Pique, Sergio, Arthur, Messi, Griezmann, Jordi Alba, F. De Jong, Vidal, Umtiti.

  • Quique Setien has won just two of his eight managerial La Liga games against Real

REAL MADRID 0-0 BARCELONA

15: Booked! Those betting on bookings or a red card will be delighted to see a caution inside the opening 15 minutes. Vinicius clips the heels of Semedo, who wasn’t really causing a problem.

Dani Carvajal arrows a cross aimed for Isco but Gerard Pique deals with the danger. Nobody really on top yet, but I suppose the hosts are shading thing.

12: Lionel Messi gets on the ball for the first time this evening. He plays a stylish back heel (yes, I said stylish and I hate myself) to Antoine Griezmann, who promptly crosses it straight out of play.

9: First effort goes the way of Karim Benzema, who watches a Barcelona clearance loop to his feet before blasting over from outside the penalty area.

6: Nice and patient approach play from Barcelona but Frenkie de Jong doesn’t spot the overlapping Jordi Alba, who was totally unmarked. Valverde looks to test Alba’s hamstring in a foot-race and the 30-year-old passes with flying colours.

3: Isco, who was probably Real Madrid’s best player against Manchester City earlier this week, weaves some magic on the left channel before winning a corner. Toni Kroos’ delivery is poor and Semedo clears.

REAL MADRID 0-0 BARCELONA

1: It’s absolutely pouring it down at the Santiago Bernabeu. Pretty horrific conditions for a football match of this magnitude but that’s not the biggest problem.

The biggest problem is this commentator who’s coming out with the weirdest metaphors. “Arturo Vidal would fight a Bengal Tiger in the dark,” supposedly and Sergio Ramos will have “butterflies in his stomach the size of seagulls…”

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Records tumbling…

Well congratulations to everyone’s favourite pantomime villain, Sergio Ramos.

The centre-back picked up his 26th Real Madrid red card in 638 appearances against Manchester City earlier this week. He now boasts the most red cards of any player in La Liga history and the joint-most in the Champions League alongside Edgar Davids.

Once again, excellent work Sergio…

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Key battles – Benzema vs Pique

Benzema lines up in El Clasico for the 37th time, but he has not scored in a league game against Barcelona since April 2016.

He is scoreless in his last five games in all competitions and has managed just one league goal in 2020 – though that was the winner against city rivals Atletico Madrid on February 1.

Real will hope the striker has another big goal in his locker. Looking to stop him will be Gerard Pique, who has shaken off an ankle problem he suffered against Napoli in midweek.

The defender’s last El Clasico league goal came in the same game as Benzema’s, but his main focus will be on stopping the Frenchman tonight.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Team news

No surprises from Zinedine Zidane this evening. No knee-jerk reaction to that Manchester City defeat on Wednesday either, which is probably a good thing.

Midfielder Toni Kroos and left-back Marcelo replace Luka Modric and Ferland Mendy with Gareth Bale among the substitutes.

Barcelona make two changes themselves with Jordi Alba back from a thigh problem to replace Junior Firpo. Arthur also in for Ivan Rakitic.

Yes, yes… Martin Braithwaite is on the bench.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Twitter round-up

TalkFCB: Zidane starting Marcelo over Mendy is the equivalent of Zidane just going for it. Mendy has been brilliant defensively this season, but Marcelo offers more going forward. It’s now over to Barcelona to exploit Marcelo’s glaring defensive lapses that we’ve seen from him this season.

Isaac: Congratulations Barcelona on your win. FFS Zidane! Don’t get me wrong I love Zidane and he’s done so much for the club but I don’t think he should be managing our club. At the end of the season, we should genuinely consider getting someone else in.

Rohm: Ok, so this Barcelona XI is possibly the best line-up we have available. Braithwaite is new and he may not be able to cope with the pressure of Clasico while you can’t throw Fati in a game like this. Vidal is only there because of his work rate. Let’s see how this unfolds.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Exit talk

This is the second moment of reckoning for Zinedine Zidane this season after a heavy defeat by PSG in September and a loss to Mallorca in October left him fighting for his job.

The team responded by tightening up their defence and going on an unbeaten run of 21 matches, although Zidane warned last month that it would only take a couple of bad results for him to be back in the firing line.

“I said if we lost two games I would get criticised and that is what is happening. All I can do is keep fighting with my players,” he added. “My players are the best around and we’re going to try and turn things around. It’s a delicate situation but we’re going to try and win something.”

Surely it would be madness to get rid of the Frenchman at this stage of the season – but I wouldn’t put it past Florentino Perez and the gang…

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Delicate time – Zidane

Zinedine Zidane has said his side are in a delicate situation as they prepare to host arch-rivals Barcelona tonight.

“This is a delicate time for us because we have not won the last three games in our stadium, but we know things like this can happen and we have to keep a positive mindset,” Zidane said. “We will only come out of this situation by staying strong and by not listening to what people say about us.

“We will need our fans on our side from the first to last minute. I can understand why our fans are upset but we need them and they need us and at the very least we will give everything on the pitch.”

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Bit weird, innit

Strange to have an El Clasico missing so many big players.

We have no Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio, Luis Suarez, Rodrygo or Ousmane Dembele on the field tonight. Looks like it’s all down to substitute Martin Braithwaite to provide the X-Factor, right?

Key battles – Ramos vs Messi

Well how could it NOT be?! The veterans of dozens of Clasicos will do battle once again.

Messi has scored 26 goals in 40 appearances against Real and has netted three times in his last three league trips to the Bernabeu.

Defender Ramos has four goals and three red cards in his 45 El Clasico appearances.

He was dismissed against City in midweek and will need to remain disciplined if Real are going to stop Messi and Co on Sunday.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

The starting XI…

Wait no longer, the team sheets have arrived folks. Lionel Messi is partnered by Antoine Griezmann up front while Karim Benzema leads the line for Zinedine Zidane’s side. Gareth Bale on the bench… again!

Real Madrid XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos, Isco Benzema, Vinicius.

Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, N. Semedo, Pique, Sergio, Arthur, Messi, Griezmann, Jordi Alba, F. De Jong, Vidal, Umtiti.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Mind games?

Barcelona coach Quique Setien believes Real Madrid are under greater pressure than his side heading into tonight’s “Clasico”, which could go a long way to determining who wins the Spanish title.

Barca have lifted eight of the last 11 La Liga crowns and go into Sunday’s game at the Santiago Bernabeu with a two-point lead over Real, who are smarting from consecutive defeats by Levante and Manchester City.

“For Real Madrid this game is vital and much more important than it is for us. It is a key and decisive game for them, it’s also important for us but perhaps not as important,” Setien said.

“It could be a very important day, a victory would give us a lead of five points but in these games the past is quickly forgotten about. I expect a very close game, we’ll see who deserves to win it more.”

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

Evening…

Welcome to our LIVE coverage of Real Madrid vs Barcelona from the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Everton vs Manchester United – DONE

Tottenham vs Wolves – DONE

Aston Villa vs Manchester City – DONE

Now, time for the final course on our metaphorical menu of football as Real Madrid host Barcelona tonight as the top two teams in LaLiga go toe-to-toe in El Clasico.

Zinedine Zidane’s side held a three-point lead over Barcelona at the top of the table two weeks ago but defeat by the Catalans would leave them five points behind them with 12 games remaining.

Huge clash in Spain tonight and I’ll be with you every step of the way. Standby for some rather interesting team news and line ups…

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE: Score and latest updates from Clasico clash at the Bernabeu (Image: GETTY)

REAL MADRID vs BARCELONA

Sunday’s ‘Clasico’ between Real Madrid and Barcelona may have huge ramifications on La Liga’s title race but poor showings in the Champions League mean the fixture is lacking its usual billing as a battle between the two best teams in the world.

Real Madrid lost 2-1 at home to Manchester City in their last-16 first leg while Barcelona drew 1-1 at Napoli, a result which masked a shaky performance and seemed to confirm Lionel Messi’s fears that they are not good enough to win the trophy.

Champions Barca take a two-point lead into the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu after cashing in on a wobble from Zinedine Zidane’s side, who drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo and lost to Levante in their last two league fixtures.

Both sides head into the game with their own selection issues, with Madrid light on forwards due to the absence of Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard and Rodrygo.

Barca, meanwhile, need to fill holes all over the pitch, with Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez all injured and Gerard Pique facing a battle to be fit.



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