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FC Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid: Stalemate between the top two at the Camp Nou

Daniel Orme in Editorial, General Soccer News, La Liga 18 Dec 2019

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Barcelona and Real Madrid battled to their first Clasico bore draw since 2000 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday evening.

Heading into the match occupying the top two positions in La Liga, the game just failed to live up to the billing as chances were squandered. Gareth Bale thought he had scored a winner as he converted from Ferland Mendy’s bustling run but the linesman’s flag denied the Welshman and Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid as both sides earned a point.

Real spurn chances to lead

After netting in each of his last two La Liga matches, Karim Benzema had the first real chance at the Camp Nou as his shot on the turn was saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Barcelona goal.

Brazilian midfielder Casemiro then went even closer as he leapt highest from a corner, only to see his header cleared off of the line by Gerard Pique.

Real’s excellent start to the game continued to go unrewarded though as they failed to make the breakthrough. First, ter Stegen just managed to clear away a cross before parrying away another effort from Casemiro.

Let offs for Los Blancos

Despite that, Barcelona remained dangerous and could well have profited from Thibaut Courtois’ poor punch that fell to Lionel Messi. As it looked as though the Argentine superstar would score, Sergio Ramos this time got back on the line to clear.

The hosts grew into the game just before the break and should really have been heading into the interval ahead as Messi’s wonderful pass picked out Jordi Alba. However, the defender could not fire the ball home from close range, instead putting his curling effort wide.

Messi also had another chance on the hour as he played a clever one-two with Antoine Griezmann but somehow failed to get any meaningful connection on his shot.

VAR denies Bale

Heading into the final 20 minutes, it was difficult putting a judgement on who was the most likely to tip the balance. Gareth Bale attempted to haul the game in Real’s favour with a fierce drive but could only find the side-netting.

The Welshman did eventually have the ball in the net as he tucked home Ferland Mendy’s cross but a combination of the linesman’s flag and VAR ruled the strike out as both sides departed with a hard-fought draw.

Final Thoughts

On reflection, a point for both sides was probably a fair result. The two sides each had opportunities but on the day, they were both lacking that added spark or inspiration to earn victory. It means that the current five point gap between the two in the La Liga table remains ahead of the final set of fixtures before the winter break.

Match Report

FC Barcelona: ter Stegen (7); Alba (6), Lenglet (6), Pique (7), Semedo (6) (Vidal (6), 55′); de Jong (7), Rakitic (6), Roberto (6); Griezmann (6) (Fati (N/A), 83′), Suarez (6), Messi (7).

Manchester City: Courtois (6); Mendy (7), Ramos (6), Varane (6), Carvajal (6); Kroos (6), Casemiro (7), Valverde (6) (Modric (N/A), 80′); Bale (7), Isco (6) (Rodrygo (N/A), 80′), Benzema (7).

Goals: N/A

Referee: Alejandro Jose Hernandez

Yellow Cards: Rakitic (21′), Suarez (40′), Semedo (45′), Casemiro (66′), Bale (70′), Isco (76′), Ramos (78′)

Red Cards: N/A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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