One of the biggest games in all of sports is the clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona, called El Clasico, which happens at least two times a season. On Saturday, Real Madrid hosted Barcelona in the first clash of this season.
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There were numerous story lines heading into the match up. There is the regular Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi match up, the eternal who is the greatest debate. There is the return of Luis Suarez from a suspension for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup.
Suarez was the first to make an impact on the game, setting up an early goal for Neymar thanks to a spectacular cross from one side of the field to the far edge of the box. Neymar was able top bring the ball down and across the box past a couple of defenders for the early goal.
The Barcelona attack continued to generate chances thanks to the stellar play of Luis Suarez in his debut for the club. It looked like Suarez had set up a Lionel Messi goal but they couldn’t convert the opportunity.
Cristiano Ronaldo was looking for a penalty early in the game, but wasn’t given one when he dropped to the ground after a challenge in the corner of the box. Eventually Real Madrid got a penalty thanks to a handball from Barcelona defender Gerard Pique. A low pass into the box from Marcelo was blocked by a sliding Pique, but the ball hit his hand.
Ronaldo stepped up to the spot to take the shot and buried it on the right side of the goal, with Barcelona keeper Claudio Bravo going the other direction.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Real Madrid was finally able to get their first lead in the game thanks to their second goal. This one came off a corner kick that found an open Pepe at that far post about seven yards out, who headed it into the back of the net.
The Real Madrid onslaught continued just over 10 minutes later, thanks to Isco out hustling Andres Iniesta. He fought for a ball along the touchline and came away with it and passed into the center of the field. From their Ronaldo and James Rodriguez worked it to Karim Benzema who then scored a goal to extend their lead to 3-1.
By the 72nd minute, Barcelona had used up their three substitutions.
Barcelona continued to push and attack, but couldn’t get through the Real Madrid defense. On a few occasions the Barcelona attack left them open to the counterattack from Real Madrid. Benzema was screaming up the left side of the field and had Cristiano Ronaldo in the middle and it looked like a fourth goal was in the works but Ronaldo tried to make a final pass that couldn’t get through past a Barcelona defender.
As the game would down, it looked like Real Madrid and Barcelona were ready to just let the clock run out and Real Madrid got a big 3-1 win at home.