Sparks fly when Barcelona and Real Madrid go head to head. This time, those sparks ignited a fire. Playing two games in less than a week proved to be more than enough familiarity to build up a fighting amount of contempt.
These two world football heavyweights have been doing battle in the Spanish Cup. They fought to a 2-2 draw in the first one, and the second seemed like it was heading towards the same score. Then, with this game nearing the 90th minute, Lionel Messi once again came to Bareclona's rescue with a late and deciding strike to push the score to 3-2.
And that is when things started to get ugly.
Cesc Fabregas, who'd made his highly-anticipated Barcelona debut just minutes earlier, was taken out by a viscous scissor kick by Marcelo. And that pushed the growing tension in this match right over the edge. Players almost instantly began pushing and shoving. The pitch was overtaken by chaos, and there was nothing the refs could do about it.
The unmistakable ugly low of this altercation came when Real coach Mourinho went after one of the Barca assistants. Mourinho came up on the coach's blindside and gouged his eye. He is certainly now facing a hefty suspension.
His suspension isn't going to be the only one from this lengthy altercation.
While neither of the following two players will likely face a suspension, it was interesting to see Xavi and Casillas in a very heated exchange. Their anger goes to prove the bitterness of this rivalry. It can bring two players, who recently won a World Cup together, inches away from coming to blows.
The fight diminishes what was, up to that point, a brilliant start to the 2011 Premier League season. One thing is for certain: There is no love lost in this feud.