Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Live Player Ratings for El Clasico
Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Camp Nou in La Liga's first clasico of the 2013-14 season.
Neymar opened the scoring early on, with Alexis making it 2-0 with a deft chip in the second half. Jese pulled one back for Real as the game moved into injury time, but the home team saw out the win in some comfort.
First half analysis:
Barcelona are enjoying too much space in midfield, with Real's Ramos and Khedira unable to get close enough to their rivals to stop them constantly finding Cesc and Neymar in space.
Modric has been peripheral at best.
In attack, Barcelona have seen Neymar cause Carvajal plenty of problems both on and off the ball, with his close control and movement. Both Real centre-backs have been forced to cover down the channels. Messi has been on the fringes of things for Barca, but Cesc is performing his role well.
Ronaldo continues to be Real's best threat, both in buildup play and on the counter, but after a good start Di Maria has faded in his effectiveness. Bale has been uninspiring and lacking in sharpness to get into the game.
Second half analysis:
Real came back into the game and had the better of parts of the second half, but were let down by their touch in the final third—and some bad luck for Ronaldo and substitute Benzema. They out-thought and out-moved Barca's defence and can consider themselves unlucky to an extent, but too often they lacked composure at the vital moment.
In midfield, the result rested with Barcelona all along. Better and more confident in possession, Real at times seemed to have too little idea of what their game plan was to get from middle to final thirds. Positionally and in possession, the home side were more assured.
Already leading after the first half, they could afford to counter-attack after the break, with sub Alexis making particularly good use of that late on.
Messi was as quiet as he's been in these games, but clasico debutants Neymar and Bale enjoyed completely contrasting matches in attack for either team.
Sergio Ramos in midfield did not work particularly well for Real.
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