• FT

    Levante

    1

    Valencia

    0

  • FT

    Mallorca

    1

    Granada

    2

  • FT

    Athletic

    1

    Osasuna

    0

  • FT

    Barcelona

    2

    Real Madrid

    2

  • FT

    Atletico

    2

    Malaga

    1

SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISIÓN

Camp Nou, Spain

Attendance: 96589

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Barcelona

  • Lionel Messi 31'
  • Lionel Messi 61'

2 - 2

FT

Real Madrid

  • Cristiano Ronaldo 23'
  • Cristiano Ronaldo 66'
  •  

    James Tyler: Good night. Adios!

  •  

    [Comment from leo]
    Wich Chanel is the game

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah, Rog. We should. Thinking Liverpool red, Rog. You OK with that?

  •  

    [Comment from sal]
    where can you watch the game?

  •  

    James Tyler: Cheers, all! Viva los Boot Room! Until next time....

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT. We need to paint this place this evening right?

  •  

    [Comment from Tottenham fan from PA]
    Thanks for another great Boot Room!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: We love being with you. Thanks for coming and enlightening us

  •  

    [Comment from zach from 804]
    As always, thanks a lot for the commentary guys

  •  

    [Comment from Bielsa]
    teams look to be on very even footing, even without puyol and pique involved. Inconsistency from the referee was frustrating, he essentially rewarded madrid for continually committing poor fouls

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    Biggest shock: Ramos and Ronaldo's hair staying in the match for 90 minutes. What fitness.

  •  

    James Tyler: Many thanks, all! Now settle in for the second half of the Derby Della Madonnina at the San Siro, though we must end the Boot Room once more. Pizza supplies are dangerously low.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: We will be back in the boot room for Dumbarton against Hamilton Academics on Tuesday night.

  •  

    James Tyler: As Rog said, find us on the Twitter business. And keep checking ESPNFC.com for all your Boot Room opportunities. The features and writing are great too.

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh, stop. If Real had been rampant, I'd have said so.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Laser pointer man was ineffectual.

  •  

    [Comment from Madrid fan]
    More like real fun beings bias , but thanks anyway

  •  

    [Comment from Stephen]
    After the first 15 minutes I'm happy with a 2-2 tie as a Barca fan

  •  

    James Tyler: Xabi Alonso not being sent off.

  •  

    [Comment from ESPNPressPass via Twitter]
    2-2 final at Camp Nou. What did everyone think?

  •  

    James Tyler: Biggest shock of today?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I love the Barca hymn. One of the great songs in football....
    Follow us on Twitter

    @rogbennett (Messi)

    @jamestylerespn (C-Ron7)

  •  

    James Tyler: Chippy, aggressive, plenty of chances for both teams. Barca was dominant in the final 20 minutes. Had several opportunities to win it. Ronaldo's brace canceled out by Messi's.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: No red cards. Shocker. no saves for Iker. Shocker. Barca happier with the result... a fair result.

  •  

    James Tyler: A real ripsnorter of a game. Really fun viewing.

  •  

    James Tyler: FULL TIME: Barcelona 2, Real Madrid 2.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pedro burns Marcelo for pace down the left, superb through-ball reaches him. Pepe comes across and the Barca man cuts infield and smashes it agonizingly past the far post. Lovely move.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Pedro grazes the post cutting inside onto his left foot...

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Barca! So close!

  •  

    James Tyler: We're in the final 30 seconds of added time. Vilanova time?

  •  

    James Tyler: Looked goalward-bound until Alexis' intervention.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Barca: Pedro has a shot from the edge of the box but it hits Alexis and goes out for a goal kick.

  •  

    [Comment from rogbennett via Twitter]
    Surprising Clasico stat of the night: Casillas has made no saves all night. Valdes just one

  •  

    James Tyler: 2-2 and two minutes of added time to play...

  •  

    James Tyler: Barca patiently seeking an opening.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner taken short. Pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass.

  •  

    James Tyler: Not in the past 5-10 minutes, BCM.

  •  

    [Comment from BCM]
    Ronaldo getting on the ball at all at the end of the game?

  •  

    James Tyler: Xavi shoots but it's deflected over the bar by the wall. Corner for Barca.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan C]
    #MontoyaForAlves2012

  •  

    [Comment from Kumar]
    Being a long suffering Liverpool fan, I hate crossbars

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick, 20 yards out, just to the left of goal. Messi and Xavi over it.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Arbeloa, Real Madrid. Decimates Messi on the edge of the box, sweeping in from the side as the Barca man collected possession.

  •  

    James Tyler: Seemed like all the passes worked for me, JR.

  •  

    [Comment from JR]
    Barca overpassing again

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Crossbar always finds a way to make a big impact

  •  

    James Tyler: Messi, Pedro, Alexis all involved in the smooth interplay. Montoya collects it 20 yards out and wallops it off the bar. Casillas beaten.

  •  

    James Tyler: Montoya slaps it off the crossbar following a fine spell of passing on the edge of the box. My word...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Off the bar...

  •  

    James Tyler: OFF THE BAR FOR BARCA!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I should have this on cut and paste. Alonso a lucky bloke to be on the field still

  •  

    James Tyler: Subdued second half for the Argentine wide man. Amazed Xabi Alonso is going to get the final five minutes in a bid to get a second booking.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR REAL MADRID: Di Maria off, Essien on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Xabi Alonso again with the foul, yet no second yellow.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another foul in midfield. Alexis spins into a tackle and is felled.

  •  

    [Comment from Brad]
    messi wears wondo pajamas

  •  

    James Tyler: 87th minute...

  •  

    James Tyler: Up the other end, a two-on-two break for Barca ends when the wide pass for Messi is overhit. He's dispossessed inside the box trying to cut it back onto his left foot.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Exquisitely poised this game.. Higuan drives the ball into a dangerous place then Messi breaks at the other... both sides swinging wildly and hoping to connect

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Real Madrid: Dangerous right-flank cross is headed clear by Adriano.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. Some magic spray and extra-firm hair gel have fixed the joint in place to minimize discomfort.

  •  

    [Comment from Sanchini]
    Kudos to CR7 for soldiering on with that (obvious) shoulder injury.

  •  

    James Tyler: Heh. I see what you did there.

  •  

    [Comment from bil]
    messi seems almost as good as wondowlowski.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Higuan channels Benzema

  •  

    [Comment from neil]
    As a barca fan i feel like a tie would be a good result for us. La Liga is won on the other games. Not El Clasico

  •  

    James Tyler: Swung teasingly to the back post but Higuain can't keep it in. Wasted.

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick, Real Madrid, wide on the left.

  •  

    James Tyler: Lovely skill by Ronaldo to dance past Montoya, so the Barca B graduate hacks him down on the way past.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's all happening in Le Classique: a brace for Ibra in the past 2 minutes has PSG up 2-1 at Marseille, 15 mins to half time there.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good run by Messi and good vision to spot him on the overlap.

  •  

    James Tyler: Alexis offside again down the left flank. He's been superb as mistiming his runs since coming on.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's biffed deep into the Madrid box and headed clear by Xabi Alonso.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner, Barca.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good defending by Pepe to snuff out the chipped pass intended for Messi.

  •  

    [Comment from Red Card]
    I'm waiting for the right moment, Roger

  •  

    James Tyler: Players on a yellow: Xabi Alonso, Pepe, Pedro, Sergio Busquets. Ozil was booked but is off.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Still eleven versus eleven. Red card has not made an appearance... yet

  •  

    James Tyler: Iniesta fouled in the back by Arbeloa. A nice reducer by Alvaro, there.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Key pass for the equalizer. solid but not spectacular.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nine mins left. Will Kaka turn back the clock for Madrid? Will Messi complete his hat-trick? Better yet, will Cristiano?

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR REAL MADRID: Mesut Ozil off, Kaka on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another offside call against Barca. Alexis this time.

  •  

    James Tyler: Slip of the fingers, Jan. Apologies.

  •  

    James Tyler: 10 minutes left in Barcelona. A classic Clasico?

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Accidentally hit the Caps Lock or are you just that excited about the Milan Derby?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 11 minutes left in regulation

  •  

    James Tyler: Marseille up 1-0 early. Gignac with the goal. 25 mins gone.

  •  

    [Comment from Andy]
    Anything to report on PSG - OM?

  •  

    James Tyler: Pedro offside on the left flank.

  •  

    James Tyler: MILAN IS STILL LOSING 1-0 TO INTER. SAMUEL SCORED IN THE THIRD MINUTE. FIVE MINS LEFT IN FIRST HALF.

  •  

    [Comment from Willie]
    MILAN UPDATE PLEASE

  •  

    James Tyler: Iniesta plays it short. Easily defended.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another free kick for Barca within shooting range...

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Pepe, Real Madrid. He hugs the ref in a bid to prevent the booking but his kick across Alexis wasn't going to go unpunished.

  •  

    James Tyler: Barca counter attack with Messi but the pass to Pedro is off-target. End to end stuff now with 14 minutes left.

  •  

    James Tyler: Di Maria causes some panic up the other end but his cross is well-defended.

  •  

    [Comment from Alek]
    Why is Messi on the pitch? sub-par today

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT. i think Ronaldo has hacked your account

  •  

    James Tyler: Clearly, Lionel Messi is rubbish.

  •  

    James Tyler: Messi puts it wide.

  •  

    James Tyler: Casillas barks at his wall. His gloves are sweating. Nervous.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arbeloa finally called for a foul on Messi after an endless string of ankle nibbles. Another dangerous free kick for Barca. 20+ yards out to the right of goal. Messi spots it. Takes a look.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Free kick...

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Barca! Good work again by Messi to pick out Iniesta inside the box. The Spaniard's cross spins dangerously to the back post but Pepe shanks it out for a corner with Alexis lurking.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think if you're Barca, you go for the win. It's there to be had. It would crush Mourinho's spirit a little, and a wounded Mou is an entertaining Mou.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: With this line-up, they would play the same style of football irrespective. Have to keep hold of it. Possession will keep Real's threat at bay.

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    Does Barca try and kill this last 20 minutes? Or do they want the 11 point lead?

  •  

    James Tyler: He's sipping some electrolyte beverage on the bench. Barca is vastly superior to Ajax, remember. I think if Madrid needs anything, it's a CDM to replace Alonso. He's a second yellow waiting to happen, especially if Messi has more bombastic runs up the middle.

  •  

    [Comment from will]
    Where is kaka. He was so lively against Ajax. Madrid needs a spark. Midifeld looking very tired now.

  •  

    James Tyler: 2-2. 19 minutes left.

  •  

    James Tyler: Thom, the Cynic's Boot Room is two doors down.

  •  

    [Comment from Thom]
    Stunning to have two fabulous teams that are so dependent on two players to score.

  •  

    James Tyler: Think that's true of any team. When able to run at defenses with pace and you have room to run, momentum's on your side.

  •  

    [Comment from Stephen]
    Barca is clearly better when Messi is coming in from deep

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Barca! Good left-flank run by Jordi Alba is rewarded with Messi's outlet pass, but when Messi gets it back from Alba he curls it wide of the far post. Bit of an audacious shot, that, but when you're Lionel Messi you're allowed to try, right?

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan C]
    The Olympics should just hold a Messi V Ronaldo Event

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Messi misses. Dont type that too often. Great move.

  •  

    James Tyler: Just over 20 minutes to go. This one could swing either way. As well-balanced as an Olympic gymnast on the uneven bars.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Big shout for Jersey shore Ronnie.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Is Ronaldo your favorite Ronnie in the world?

  •  

    James Tyler: More attacks for Madrid. Ronaldo's down injured. Seems to have tweaked his shoulder following that bicycle kick.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ronaldo slow to get up...

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Just another Messi-Ronaldo game of H.O.R.S.E. The other 20 players, take a knee.

  •  

    James Tyler: An incandescent game. Mild controversies, stunning goals.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. The Barca offside trap about as effective as the Maginot Line given all the injuries.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan C]
    Nah, Adriano kept him on...

  •  

    [Comment from MUK]
    World Player of the battle!

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    RT @liverayhudson: Messi "as unpredictable as a wasp after a sip of Cuban coffee -- you've got no idea where he's going."

  •  

    James Tyler: Simple through-ball up the gut, Cristiano Ronaldo in space and he coolly sidefoots it past Valdes. Lovely run, perfectly timed. Superbly picked out by Mesut Ozil.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ronaldo's second. Is this fixed? Is it?

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: FROM NOWHERE

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR REAL MADRID!

  •  

    James Tyler: GOOD LORD!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ronaldo just attempted a bicycle kick. Whiffed. Landed heavily. Embarrassment ensues

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Thoughts on taking Fabregas off? I thought he played quite well.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    "Messi: as bright as the North Star, only more radioactive"

  •  

    James Tyler: Swung in by Ozil but Ronaldo can't connect on a rather exuberant bicycle kick. And he looks to have winded himself at the same time.

  •  

    James Tyler: Real wins a corner as Ozil's cross is blocked out.

  •  

    [Comment from Kipa]
    Whoever's doing the call on beIN Sport held his "GOAAAAAAAAAL" call for 9 seconds.

  •  

    James Tyler: Better known as going for the jugular.

  •  

    James Tyler: Thinking Iniesta has shifted back to the midfield 3 with Alexis taking up that LW position.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR BARCA: Fabregas off, Alexis Sanchez on.

  •  

    James Tyler: And within moments of entering the fray, Higuain is committing fouls in midfield.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR REAL MADRID: Karim "Ghost" Benzema off, Gonzalo Higuain on.

  •  

    [Comment from Charron]
    Somewhere, Ray Hudson is claiming that Messi invented the free kick. And the internet.

  •  

    James Tyler: Massive screams for a Barca penalty as Pedro is upended in the box.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    This is where Rog notes that that was the worst possible goal for a neutral.

  •  

    James Tyler: Understatement! Though justice served for Xabi Alonso's cynical foul.

  •  

    [Comment from Lorena]
    Real Madrid needs to pick up their game!

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Someone get Ray Hudson's vocabulary a defibrillator.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Best forward scores against the best GK

  •  

    James Tyler: Life support, Aaron. Well, his thesaurus is on life support. Stable condition.

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    Is Ray Hudson still alive?

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    OH MY WORD

  •  

    James Tyler: Top corner striker. Hudson dusts off his "magisterial" remark, as expected. Soars over the wall and past a hapless Casillas.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Enjoy that America. The greatest footballer of our generation. Achieving excellence against one of the best goalies in the world.

  •  

    James Tyler: MARTHA MY DEAR YOU WILL RARELY SEE A FREE KICK SO SWEET

  •  

    [Comment from JamesHMartin via Twitter]
    WOW. MESSI MESSI MESSI

  •  

    Roger Bennett: GOOD GOD

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: MESSI SET PIECE SPECIAL!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR BARCA!!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick for Barca, 25-30 yards out. Central on goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jose Mourinho should consider a sub for Xabi. Essien and Modric both able to play CM, both sitting on the bench.

  •  

    James Tyler: Xabi Alonso with another hard foul on Messi near the edge of the box. Fells him clinically. Barca players engulf the ref, demanding another yellow for Xabi. Nothing given.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ref bottles that one... awful tackle

  •  

    James Tyler: CHIPPY!

  •  

    James Tyler: Two subs for the Blaugrana with half an hour to play...

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm surprised. Alexis Sanchez warming up for Barca.

  •  

    [Comment from Wu]
    BArca's shirts look like a preset gradient in photoshop

  •  

    James Tyler: Promising Real Madrid move ends when Benzema's pass for Khedira has too much mustard on it. Ball gets away from him, Barca breaks.

  •  

    James Tyler: Barca has better shirts, Rog, because they hide grass stains much easier.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Whoa whoa whoa, FCB's new kits are incredible. Love the blend. Real has nothing on them.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good possession in the Madrid third for Barca. Move ends when Pedro's cross glides across the six-yard box, nary a Barca player in sight.

  •  

    [Comment from Stefan]
    Barca's shirts look like a middle school art project

  •  

    James Tyler: And a sub for Benzema is being discussed. Because he's been rubbish today.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another crunching foul by Ozil, though because he fouled Sergio Busquets, I'm unsympathetic.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I love the Real shirts this season. very 1970s. They shade the style points here right?

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Barcelona fans have just discovered the puerile thrill of the laser pointer. Expect to see pet rocks lobbed at Pepe soon.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Laser pointer guy is annoying.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Get your lasers ready...

  •  

    James Tyler: He drills it into the wall.

  •  

    James Tyler: Barca wall sneaks forward, ref halts CR7's free-kick preamble. Fun.

  •  

    James Tyler: Laser pointers consume him.

  •  

    James Tyler: Cristiano Ronaldo sizing up the set piece. Doing his little pre-step routine.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Inter go 1-0 up in the Milan Derby. Old man Walter Samuel doing the business

  •  

    James Tyler: The counter-attack is too speedy for Barcelona and so Busquets scythes Ronaldo about 30 yards from goal.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Busquets, Busquets-ing

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Sergio Busquets, Barcelona

  •  

    James Tyler: Iniesta with a nice run up the middle but his pass for Messi is underhit. Real breaks sharply.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's like jazz, Ian. It's all about the fouls they DON'T call.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Ref trying to not become the story... at some point, non-calls are going to be the story and he will have really messed this match up.

  •  

    [Comment from Andy]
    If that's a penalty, then the Mascherano foul was one.

  •  

    James Tyler: This game has been upgraded from "gentle simmer" to "rolling boil."

  •  

    [Comment from JamesHMartin via Twitter]
    Pepe committed PK on Iniesta, ref was blind on that one.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner, Barca. It's swung in but cleared.

  •  

    James Tyler: Andres Iniesta felled on the fringe by Pepe. Looked like the defender stepped right across the Barca man. No call.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Pepe, pepe-ing.

  •  

    James Tyler: Penalty shout for Barca! Not given!

  •  

    James Tyler: Shimmering skill by Pedro after a lovely through-ball by Mascherano. He spins Marcelo a couple of times but his cross doesn't live up to the standard. Pepe hoofs it clear.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: What took you so long Bll

  •  

    [Comment from bil]
    EVERTON TO WIN LA LIGA!

  •  

    James Tyler: Di Maria finds Khedira down the right flank, in behind Adriano, but his cross is easy for the defense.

  •  

    James Tyler: Five frenetic second half minutes already played. Breathless. Manic.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Best comment ever

  •  

    [Comment from Curt]
    When I see a laser on CR7 it looks normal, like CR7 is very very comfortable in a disco

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, they all share the Barca DNA.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Does Martin Inigo Montoya look a lot like Cesc to anybody else??

  •  

    James Tyler: More pressure from Real Madrid. Di Maria's cross is blocked by Adriano for a throw-in deep in Barca territory.

  •  

    James Tyler: Question, Charron: is there a soccer ref's union? There should be.

  •  

    James Tyler: There you have it, folks. A ref hath spoken.

  •  

    [Comment from Charron]
    As a referee (granted, an American referee), that no-call in the box was fair. Ozil tried to play through, not a foul.

  •  

    James Tyler: Anyway, Real free kick following the Adriano hand ball. He plays it wide for Di Maria but Fabregas heads it away.

  •  

    James Tyler: Replay of the Real Madrid foul: did look like Mascherano fouled Ozil in the box a minute ago. Should have been a penalty.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I am watching this on Sky Sport in England. No Ray Hudson. Have you ever noticed, Barca don't seem to play as well when Ray is not commentating.

  •  

    James Tyler: Adriano handball following Casillas' long ball.

  •  

    James Tyler: Deflected shot nestles in Casillas' gloves.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ray Hudson currently having a Messi-inspired seizure. Take an antacid, Ray!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: After he scores. He will you know.

  •  

    [Comment from Rory]
    How soon will Benzema get pulled?

  •  

    James Tyler: No foul called against Barca at the edge of its own box. Contentious. Quick break up the other end by Messi and the Blaugrana but his far post cross is blocked.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: That people keep asking us how they can watch the game. and to post the teams. Scroll up people...

  •  

    James Tyler: Real isn't 3-1 up.

  •  

    [Comment from Eva]
    Biggest surprise of the first half for you guys ?

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: BUT BACK TO THE CLASICO. We're off for half number 2.

  •  

    James Tyler: Inter's already leading the Derby della Madonnina. Walter Samuel scored after three minutes.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Iniesta

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Claire Danes.

  •  

    [Comment from GRACE]
    Who's the third nominee for Ballon D'or?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: FOP Aaron. JT and I are always in the Boot Room. 24/7. There is ALWAYS a Boot Room

  •  

    Roger Bennett: One other piece of halftime entertainment. This Suarez dive is the Gif that keeps on giving: http://bit.ly/R3WMZ5

  •  

    James Tyler: I'll say "probably to most likely." Still to be confirmed.

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    Will there be a Boot Room for the Anitigua/USMNT game?

  •  

    James Tyler: There's more to making a great team than just filling it with great players. Chemistry is vital. Don't think CRon could reconcile his own personality with the collective spirit of Barcelona. Not knocking him as a player, of course. Just that fit is everything.

  •  

    James Tyler: No, I don't. He's a monolith. Wouldn't work at Barca. He'd be another Ibrahimovic there. Disruptive.

  •  

    [Comment from yes]
    I think Messi has better numbers but do you think, James and Rob, that Ronaldo would have better numbers than Messi if he was with Barca

  •  

    James Tyler: Great to see the West Indies win an international title. Was a phenomenal game, too.

  •  

    [Comment from Pierce]
    As we're still ong the break, any thoughts on the T20 final earlier today?

  •  

    James Tyler: Di Maria will actually get one on target, bless. For once.

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    JT, if you were a betting man, who would you lay odds on to score in the 2nd half?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: He's asking them what Pep woud say in this situation

  •  

    James Tyler: "Pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass."

  •  

    [Comment from Keller]
    What's Tito saying to the guys in the locker room?

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm actually shading towards Cristiano Ronaldo to win it, but I'd love to see him lose in case we get a reprise of his sad face during the Champions League draw. To see him lose a nice, shiny award was endlessly entertaining. He went full on Kayla Maroney.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: For those not able to see the action. Here's what it looks like. Kind of:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdg9gkmWsEA

  •  

    [Comment from ltjbr]
    Messi will win, still too much barca love and mourinho uneasiness for C.R.

  •  

    James Tyler: Though sadly, our eyes are fixated, trained, glued to El Clasico. Such is life. We'll have reports from the San Siro later on, mind. Check ESPNFC.com for all that wonderful stuff.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I would pop a couple of pesos on Alonso. if i was a betting man...

  •  

    James Tyler: We've also got the Milan derby about to kick off.

  •  

    [Comment from GRACE]
    Who is more likely to get red carded, as it is seen much in clasicos?

  •  

    James Tyler: You're right. I'm also excellent at maths.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    A draw would still be an 8 point gap.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nah; they'll just make Alexis stand on David Villa's shoulders. Problem solved.

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    Would a January CB buy seem almost necessary for Barcelona now?

  •  

    James Tyler: Been impressed with Xavi in keeping things calm for Barca.

  •  

    [Comment from Bielsa]
    Player of the game so far? The referee?

  •  

    James Tyler: Another good question. You'd think yes given that a draw means a nine-point gap. But October is as good a time as any to really stick one in the eye of one's bitter rivals, as Mourinho did to Vilanova last season.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 96.589 people at the Camp Nou tonight. A quarter of the number of people in this chat.

  •  

    [Comment from GRACE]
    Should Barca consider a tie a win, especially towards the title race?

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from yes]
    Ozil out Kaka in

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd also consider Essien for Xabi Alonso, simply to prevent Xabi getting a second yellow. I feel this one's going to get uglier before a winner emerges.

  •  

    James Tyler: In his stead, the cannier forward, Gonzalo Higuain.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Hunter. we are not watching this either. Making this up...

  •  

    James Tyler: I euthanize Karim Benzema, Rog.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: If you are Mourinho. what do you do to change the flow of the game?

  •  

    James Tyler: Ah, you're too kind, Hunter. We do what we can.

  •  

    [Comment from Hunter]
    Thanks for this guys! Can't find the actual video but this is great to at least keep me informed.

  •  

    James Tyler: But both Ronaldo and Messi have been on a gentle simmer thus far. Neither dominant though both clinical with their respective goals.

  •  

    James Tyler: As such, I reckon this could swing voters a little.

  •  

    James Tyler: They tend to say that it's what you do lately that has an impact. Same as in the Oscar race. Later movies stick out in the memory.

  •  

    [Comment from GRACE]
    How muh weight does this game to win Ballon D'or?

  •  

    James Tyler: Don't think this game plays to Alexis' strengths. Song should get some minutes in due course, also.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Villa will join the fray eventually. Maybe for the booked Pedro.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Absolutely... Spain showed that in EURO 2012. If an opponent cannot touch the ball, they cannot hurt you.

  •  

    [Comment from yes]
    Barca passing is their best defence

  •  

    [Comment from Bielsa]
    Do you see Alexis or Villa being more likely to come on in the second half?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: @rogbennett (me)

    @jamestylerespn (ray hudson's scriptwriter)

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Send us your thoughts -- or you can tweet us

  •  

    Roger Bennett: First 15 minutes, Real seemed set to score everytime they went forward. Then Barca remembered they could do "that passing thing" and Real have barely threatened.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jose Mourinho might rue the moment that Benzema hit the post with the goal at his mercy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Barca's backline looks hilariously prone to mistakes but so far, Real has yet to truly capitalize.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Been a fun one, this.

  •  

    James Tyler: HALF TIME: Barcelona 1, Real Madrid 1. Barely a spare second of time added.

  •  

    James Tyler: Just two: Pedro and Xabi Alonso

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 2. both in the last ten minutes.

  •  

    [Comment from tim]
    toitlet, how many red cards do you expect with the game getting increasingly physical?

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    How many yellow cards have there been? 5? And Pepe has none of them??

  •  

    James Tyler: Laser pointer on the ref after another agricultural foul by Mesut Ozil. Comes in heavy on Messi after whiffing on his first tackle.

  •  

    James Tyler: GETTING CHIPPIER.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Madrid starting to show signs of frustration. Been chasing the ball for the last 10 minutes. Real may need to consider a midfield switch

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Barca! Busquets with a lovely ball down the left flank, Iniesta makes a steaming run inside the box but the ball gets away from him.

  •  

    James Tyler: A Scholesian lunge from Alonso.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Xabi Alonso, Real Madrid. Comes in late and from behind in midfield as Xavi artfully spins off him in possession. Catches Xavi's leg and breaks up a possible counter-attack.

  •  

    James Tyler: He's struggled to get into the game. time on the ball is at a premium.

  •  

    [Comment from Andy]
    Ozil looking less sharp than usual.

  •  

    James Tyler: Reminder: Barca has an EIGHT-POINT lead over Real Madrid in the league table. These points will be crucial in the long run.

  •  

    James Tyler: Di Maria fouled by Jordi Alba who quickly trots away from the scene.

  •  

    James Tyler: Five minutes left in a chippy, whistly first half. Enjoying this greatly.

  •  

    James Tyler: Those that like Star Wars Episodes 1-3 vs. those that vastly prefer Star Wars Episodes 4-6? Just kidding -- no-one liked Episodes 1-3.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean]
    Edward Norton vs. Mark Ruffalo?

  •  

    James Tyler: McDonalds v. Burger King?

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan C]
    or FIFA 13 vs PES 13

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Pedro, Barcelona. Goes in with a high foot for a long pass, didn't see the defender sliding across and thus plants his cleats in a Madrid thigh.

  •  

    [Comment from makahaunited]
    For those of you who can't envision a viper fighting a mongoose, imagine iPhone fanboys vs Samsung fanboys

  •  

    James Tyler: To summarize: Barca with a makeshift back four pressured early. Sweet strike by Ronaldo to open the scoring. Then Benzema hit the post, Di Maria missed the rebound, and within minutes, Messi nails the equalizer after a couple of lucky bounces.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Only Benzema and Iker have touched the ball less than Ronaldo for Real. Just 14 touches.

  •  

    [Comment from ESPNPressPass via Twitter]
    Apologies to all, the account was momentarily hacked by a delusionally bitter Barcelona fan - Alves hurt!

  •  

    James Tyler: Foul called on Jordi Alba. He nudged Arbeloa in pursuit of a ball down in the left corner. Madrid RB went down gently but ref whistles regardless.

  •  

    James Tyler: Xavi can't find Messi at the top of the box but Benzema gifts Barca a throw-in on the left flank.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: For those who aren't watching the game, it looks very much like a Viper fighting a mongoose

  •  

    James Tyler: Real Madrid is getting all 10 outfield players behind the ball. Even Di Maria/Ronaldo/Benzema getting back to do their part.

  •  

    [Comment from ESPNPressPass via Twitter]
    So far there have only been two shots on goal in El Clasico ... both goals

  •  

    [Comment from A]
    Exactly Rog. Mid needs to control game so backline isnt exposed so much

  •  

    James Tyler: Some rather pretty passing by Barca in midfield to elude the likes of Benzema in pursuit. Long pass to set Pedro free down the right is disappointingly overhit.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This is more like Barca. Pinging it around. Not necessarily moving it forward. But if Real can't get the ball, they cannot hurt them

  •  

    James Tyler: 10 minutes to half-time. Game brilliantly poised. Oddly, I think if this gets scrappier, it plays into Barca's hands.

  •  

    [Comment from tim]
    pretty easy to picture infinity... i think of an eight then turn it sideways

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassages]
    Ronaldo's hair - done by the same guy who used to do Aaron Lennon's eyebrows

  •  

    James Tyler: Mascherano comes in two-footed on Cristiano Ronaldo. Luckily doesn't make much contact but an obvious foul. Xabi Alonso swings the free-kick in but Xavi clears it acrobatically.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan C]
    Oh and for those who can't watch the game, i suggest buying or playing FIFA 13 or play FIFA 12 to catch the jist of what you're missing.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: You can go mad trying to work that one out. Like trying to mentally picture infinity

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    I can't decide between Ramos and Ronaldo who has better hair.

  •  

    James Tyler: Getting a bit chippy now.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arguably a foul on Pepe as he was nudged in trying to leap for the header.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Messi v Ronaldo. Spy v Spy

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Alves substitution was due to injury. it was not tactical.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan C]
    THE MESSI V RONALDO GAME HAS BEGUN.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Every piece of menace that Barca have mustered has come down that right flank from Pedro.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Pedro onside, his cross pings off two Real defenders and Pepe whiffs on his clearing header allowing Messi to tidy up. Fortuitous in the extreme. But Barca fans will care not.

  •  

    James Tyler: Something from nothing! Couple of lucky deflections in the box and Messi is there to pounce on the loose ball and hammer it past a flailing Casillas.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: A goal from central casting. Team game. But the two stars grab the early plaudits.

  •  

    James Tyler: Messi!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: MESSI

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR BARCA!

  •  

    James Tyler: You have some, Drew? Can you share?

  •  

    [Comment from Drew]
    Best way to watch the game - Anime-puppets. Hands down.

  •  

    [Comment from ESPNPressPass via Twitter]
    Dani Alves makes an early exit. Vilanova putting the blame on him for that Ronaldo goal?

  •  

    [Comment from Gary]
    This is the least nerve wracking clasico in memory for me, I expected this. Barca not investing in a new CB ( Song!?! Why!?!) was going to be their undoing

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Marlin Montoya comes on. Makes world commentators thank god for google.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR BARCA: Dani Alves off, Martin "Inigo" Montoya on. Well, then.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Claymation. fingerpuppets. Or Bein Sport.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    please how i can see the game

  •  

    James Tyler: Already, a sub imminent for Barca. Dani Alves is hurt.

  •  

    James Tyler: 27 minutes gone. Tito Vilanova could use a drink.

  •  

    James Tyler: *ALMOST*

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    It's almost like Barcelona have no Centerbacks.

  •  

    [Comment from Curt]
    This might end up in a blowout

  •  

    James Tyler: Will Real regret such profligacy?

  •  

    James Tyler: Pulled apart to allow Benzema a wide-open shot. Valdes helpless on both.

  •  

    James Tyler: Barca's ramshackle back four being undone by fundamentals: direct passing and clever off-the-ball runs.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Real Madrid's passing movement is exquisite right now. Teaching Barca a lesson

  •  

    James Tyler: First, Benzema scoops a close-range, unmarked shot onto the post and Di Maria shanks the rebound wide with the goal at his mercy.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesHMartin via Twitter]
    6 straight clasicos Ronaldo has scored, Benzema and Di Maria both denied.

  •  

    James Tyler: Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema conspire to miss from close range!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Post to the rescue.

  •  

    James Tyler: HOW DID THAT NOT GO IN

  •  

    James Tyler: It was totally unnecessary by Marcelo, but it worked out. Funny how that happens.

  •  

    [Comment from Pierce]
    Beautiful passing! I was wondering where Marcelo was going with his back heal, but that ended superbly!

  •  

    James Tyler: Valdes culpable for not covering his near post.

  •  

    James Tyler: It was a lovely little chain of possession, indeed.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Best thing for neutrals that goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt K]
    A little Tiki Taka from los merengues

  •  

    James Tyler: CAT IS AMONG THE PIGEONS

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from JamesHMartin via Twitter]
    Oh, man, Ronaldo scores and Phil and Ray are just going nuts. #lovetheclasico!

  •  

    James Tyler: His first real mention around the box. Marcelo's showboating backheel at the top of the box sets up for Ozil. He finds Khedira, who spins off his defender and finds Ronaldo on the left side. First time shot blasted to the near post and Valdes can't keep it out.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Drifting in from the left from almost the same place Benzema screwed it well wide...

  •  

    James Tyler: It's Cristiano -- who else?

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR MADRID!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ronaldo

  •  

    James Tyler: One too many pass ruins a promising Barca move. Real breaks sharply and takes three passes to get it up the other end. Good run by Pepe to get upfield but he's denied by Adriano.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: your imagination

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    please can you tell me where watch the game

  •  

    James Tyler: Anything in quotes is from the legend, Ray Hudson.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Really opening up now

  •  

    [Comment from Pierce]
    Are these all real quotes from the commentator? I can't understand a word of what is being said, but if true, these blokes put Joe Buck to shame!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Pedro down the right. Iniesta fires over. Warning shot. Barca starting to buzz.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Barca! Lovely play down the right. Pedro to Cesc to Iniesta at the top of the box and he bends a good shot narrowly over the bar.

  •  

    James Tyler: 20 minutes gone. Three good chances for Real Madrid to open the scoring.

  •  

    James Tyler: Barca's lack of height/presence on set pieces was a pregame concern. Now it's an in-game nightmare. Potentially.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner is served up wonderfully for Sergio Ramos and he plants his unmarked header wide of the mark. Had half a goal to aim at from 12 yards out. Valdes rooted to the spot "like a ficus," says Mr. Hudson.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesHMartin via Twitter]
    Ramos -- that should have been a goal right there #clasico

  •  

    James Tyler: Should have been 1-0!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ramos powering in... Jonny Evans like.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Real Madrid!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Corner. Real test this

  •  

    James Tyler: Good play by Arbeloa to cut out another teasing through-ball. Real breaks quickly, Khedira gets it wide right and wins a corner off Jordi Alba.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Tough question: Caillas would look amazing if his was made of pleather.

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    Rog, which GK kit is better?

  •  

    James Tyler: Cesc Fabregas will be key for Barca today. His work moving forward is well-known, but he'll have to be sharp when Real is in possession. So far, so decent enough from Fabs.

  •  

    James Tyler: Both teams still sparring lightly.

  •  

    James Tyler: See, Rasheed, it's a tricky one to call. Barca with more of the ball, Madrid with more of the menace around the penalty area.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    RT @liverayhudson: "Xabi Alonso can open a can of salmon over fifty yards with that wonderful right foot of his."

  •  

    [Comment from rasheed]
    Barcelona is dominating the match and a that's a fact

  •  

    James Tyler: 15 minutes gone.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pepe seemingly injured. I didn't think that was possible. He'll walk it off, I'm sure.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pepe's down after a foul.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Lets hope it is just a laser.

  •  

    James Tyler: Think I just saw a laser pointer aimed at Xabi Alonso's forehead? That's not nice.

  •  

    James Tyler: Guest, welcome to Ray Hudson-ville, population: all of us.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    "makes a baboon's backside of it" - bein commentators on benz

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Rubbish. Worse than rubbish. It was Jermain Beckord-esque

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Shocked that Ronaldo isn't screaming at him for missing that so badly.

  •  

    James Tyler: Rubbish snatched shot by Karim Benzema in the box.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Oh Benzema.

  •  

    James Tyler: Busquets gets a verbal warning from the ref for tugging Di Maria's shirt to prevent a Madrid counter-attack.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Everyone asking when the game kicks off... it did. Do you think we are just making this stuff up? Madrid starting to attempt a sustained spell of possession. Barca playing on the break.

  •  

    James Tyler: Half-chance for Barca! Lovely play by Fabregas to sneak in behind Arbeloa. Messi makes a sharp near-post run but Pepe reads it well and muscles in to intercept.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Lost of cheap concession of possession. Game is a bit like watching Wigan play Reading. With better hair product.

  •  

    James Tyler: 10 minutes in. Good deep cross by Dani Alves from the right, no Barca players can reach. Iniesta keeps it in on the left but move breaks down again.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ozil must do better. Promising break down the right side with Ronaldo steaming upfield ahead of him, but Dani Alves reads the through-ball well and shepherds it back to Valdes, who then clears.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: MAGIC JOHNSON is in the Nou Camp. The Spanish commentator pronounces it "Majeeec Jonestown"

  •  

    James Tyler: Though Madrid has had less of the ball, you sense they detect blood in the water. Only two attacks in first 8 minutes but both caused mild panic in Adriano & Co. Their defense will be a 90 minute work in progress.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Mourinho is reminding himself to take his suit to the dry cleaners after the game

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Has anyone played this game on FIFA 13 today? Scores please

  •  

    [Comment from will]
    mourinho's notebook..... i like turtles

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Marcelo lifts one over the back four. Madrid probing. testing.

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    Mourinho probably is writing down the wine he wants at halftime.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nice idea by Real Madrid: Marcelo lofts one over the high Barca back line, but Ozil can't reach it.

  •  

    James Tyler: Typical 4-3-3 but with a real menagerie of a back four. Adriano and Jordi Alba in alongside Mascherano and Dani Alves.

  •  

    [Comment from Gary]
    So what's the barca formation looking like? I'm not at a tv yet, ugh Bein

  •  

    James Tyler: First shot of the game: Angel Di Maria blasts one from 35+ yards... it drifts high over Valdes and the Barca goal.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Di Maria blasts over. Mourinho scribbles furiously on his pad. What do you think he is inking?

  •  

    James Tyler: 6%

  •  

    [Comment from MUK]
    What do you think are the chances that Pepe doesn't get booked today

  •  

    James Tyler: A busy opening five minutes. Barca trying to play keep-away as per usual. Jordi Alba makes a fine run behind Arbeloa but Adriano's raking long ball down the left flank skids out for a throw-in.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Just you me and JT, Curt

  •  

    [Comment from Curt]
    How many people inhere?

  •  

    James Tyler: Is there an extra S in there, Diosco?

  •  

    [Comment from Diosco]
    Let's not have an El Scrapico please?

  •  

    James Tyler: Busquets with a fine chase-tackle on Ronaldo down the left after Barca's flowing forward move broke down near the edge of the box.

  •  

    James Tyler: MESSI WATCH: His first touch after fine play by Fabregas in the middle. Amounts to nothing. And so the Blaugrana keep-ball begins...

  •  

    James Tyler: Barca's had maybe two touches all game. Sergio Ramos fouls Pedro in midfield to give them a third.

  •  

    James Tyler: Unfrozen caveman lawyer.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan C]
    Comments on the new dani alves beard style?

  •  

    James Tyler: Di Maria tries to switch play to Ronaldo on the left but Barca survives.

  •  

    James Tyler: Real getting into it early down the right flank.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: WE ARE OFF...

  •  

    [Comment from Colin]
    It's even bigger than Superbowl Sunday

  •  

    [Comment from Jason]
    Personally I can't stand Ray Hudson and his homer attitude toward Barcelona and the fact that Bein TV doesn't give a damn about it and continues to use his moronic commentary anyway. Same goes for you Barcelona/City bandwagoning homers.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan C]
    I feel like this is superbowl sunday in spain

  •  

    James Tyler: Hudson: "It's going to be like a ride on Space Mountain for 90 minutes."

  •  

    [Comment from Simbaneuta]
    Let's get rrrrready to Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrumblllllllllllleeeee

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Messi Hat trick??:) yes please

  •  

    James Tyler: Captains shake hands, exchange pleasantries. Warm hugs and photo opportunities, now ready for battle.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Barca in the huddle. Ozil praying. Xavi and Iker at the cointoss. One for the ages....

  •  

    James Tyler: Mascherano and Adriano.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Here's the best of Ray Hudson, Iker Casillas catches that one as cooly as if he was was the illegitimate offspring of Clive Owen and Daniel Craig...

  •  

    [Comment from Matt]
    Who are Barca's CB's? Mascherano and Busquets?

  •  

    James Tyler: Messi the better solo game, Ronaldo's side to win.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Who do you think will have a better game, Messi or Ronaldo?

  •  

    James Tyler: Hudson: "It's as if Christmas has come early."

  •  

    James Tyler: I will try, TMLP. Though seeing it typed cannot possibly live up to the magical Magpie.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Players are in the tunnel... for those of you not watching live... this is about to go on so use your imaginations...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp5vLVBF77Y

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassages]
    Request from those without the match live - can you transcribe the best of Ray Hudson today?

  •  

    [Comment from Matt K]
    The way these teams look, it appears as though Madrid will dominate set pieces because Barca looks like a smaller side. Also, Madrid should be able to play some nice counters (assuming they get the ball) but you have to think that Barca is much weaker in the back than in recent years. Think when it was alves, pique, puyol, and a healthy abidal. That back 4 allowed the front 6 to be so dynamic.

  •  

    James Tyler: Barcelona XI (4-3-3): Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Adriano, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Fabregas, Pedro
    Subs: Pinto, Montoya, Bartra, Song, Sergi Roberto, Alexis, Villa.

    Real Madrid XI (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi, Khedira; Di Maria, Özil, Cristiano Ronaldo; Benzema.
    Subs: Adán, Coentrão, Kaká, Essien, Albiol, Modric, Higuaín

  •  

    James Tyler: XIs again...

  •  

    James Tyler: To all asking: the game is broadcast LIVE on BeInSport in the USA. If you don't have the channel, I can't help you. Sorry. Our glistening prose will guide you through. Promise.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: How many of you are watching this live?

  •  

    James Tyler: 5 mins from now. But who knows. Mourinho might eye-gouge the ref and we get a healthy delay.

  •  

    [Comment from Joseph]
    When does it start?

  •  

    James Tyler: Bit dodgy that, Rog. The people demand a prediction!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I never try and predict Barca v Real Madrid. This game has its own ecosystem.

  •  

    James Tyler: I still say Real wins. 2-1. All goals in first half for maximum nail-biting tension.

  •  

    James Tyler: Barca is still Barca. They'll look to dominate possession, which should nullify any questions about the defense. But will it happen?

  •  

    [Comment from ESPNFC via Twitter]
    Clasico #barca, #real chat starts now with @JamesTylerESPN and @rogbennett tinyurl.com/9uq3yuz

  •  

    James Tyler: Not true. But you'd be mad to overlook the potential problems/hilarity.

  •  

    [Comment from Jose]
    Seems Roger and James are not giving Barca much of a chance in this game the way they are talking.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd agree, Will. There's something to be said for the continuity of Xabi/Khedira in the middle.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Who do you think is most relieved Song is not starting? Barca fans or Song?

  •  

    [Comment from will]
    Sami Khedira is consistently Real's most important midfielder. Xabi can only be Xabi with Khedira playing up to his potential

  •  

    James Tyler: Ronaldo has license to drift. Adriano is starting at LCB alongside Mascherano. Expect the Real front four to use all their tricks against this lot, Bryan C.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Would love to be a fly on the wall in the Real Madrid locker room right now. What do you think is going on there? I imagine Jose Mourinho going through his stretching routine to prepare for a couple of "speed onto the field" knee slides

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan C]
    TIME OUT RB. Isn't Ronaldo playing left...which means its Alves's man, right?

  •  

    James Tyler: Mildly surprised, but I think Vilanova favors the mobility of Adriano. That and Song is a card magnet.

  •  

    [Comment from Ben GFOP]
    Are you surprised Song isnt starting, think barca could use a bigger body back there

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point, Rog. They used essentially 17 players all season last year. And it showed down the stretch.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Barca's squad has always been thin. Watching Ronaldo run at Adriano for the first time may be the most telling moment of the match.

  •  

    James Tyler: Such is life for Jose Mourinho: 20 amazing players and can only use 11 at once. What a shame. Poor lad.

  •  

    James Tyler: Because you're forgetting Sami Khedira, another formidable metronome in a deep midfield role.

  •  

    [Comment from MUK]
    Modric plays deeper anyways. Why not Ozil in front of him and Alonso?

  •  

    James Tyler: They have good academy/B guys who aren't yet ready to break through. Or Vilanova doesn't trust them yet.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    How can Barca be so deep in the midfield, and have no other CB's besides Puyol & Pique?

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from Diosco]
    This match will end in a 4-2 Barcelona victory. And I'm a Real Madrid fan...

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Ozil's still in the lead there. More dynamic moving forward. And the job is his to lose. The Modric signing was curious to me given that Madrid's strength is the heart of midfield, and we've already seen Michael Essien get some minutes in a holding midfield role.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Going to be very interesting watching Ozil in this game... Sid Lowe with an excellent piece in the Guardian about the frustration he and Ramos have experienced under Mourinho...

  •  

    [Comment from Wu]
    What's your take on the Ozil and Modric competition? Has Mourinho found his preference yet?

  •  

    [Comment from burbank]
    Anyone willing to bet on how many times JT types "pass pass pass pass pass pass pass..."

  •  

    James Tyler: I think it's a case of easing him back into things slowly, gently. Plus, a wonderful second-half option should the game still be tight or should Barca need a goal, Gayatri.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: a backline so bad, Rio Ferdinand would fancy his chances of a start if he was in the vicinity of the Nou Camp....

  •  

    [Comment from Gayatri]
    Why do y'all think Villa isn't starting yet? I think he's earned it no?

  •  

  •  

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Both of us have splurged our Spanish for the rest of the afternoon... lets get on with the football. Magical game ahead...as Vilanova admitted: "There is never a favourite when Barcelona and Madrid play against each other.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'll say Real shades this, simply because a. it's more fun and dramatic that way with regard to the La Liga title and b. LOOK AT BARCA'S BACKLINE.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan C]
    Score prediction JT?

  •  

    James Tyler: Hola, Rog. Bienvenidos!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Buenas tardes JT.

  •  

    James Tyler: Bit harsh, that!

  •  

    [Comment from Diosco]
    R.Madrid XI - Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Ronaldo

  •  

    James Tyler: Kick-off is 1.50pm ET, roughly. Still slogging through the pregame hype.

  •  

    James Tyler: So the Barca formation could/most likely is a 4-3-3, but it could be seen as a 3-4-3 with Adriano/Alves flanking Mascherano. Doubtful though. Seems quite suicidal.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's on BeIn Sport in the USA. Apologies if your cable companies have failed you.

  •  

    [Comment from Raj]
    is there anywhere we can watch this game on TV in the US?

  •  

    James Tyler: No such drama for Mourinho, who'll presumably bring it all himself throughout the game.

  •  

    James Tyler: Meanwhile, Real Madrid looks as settled and expected as ever. Mourinho making peace with Sergio Ramos and slotting him back into the heart of defense.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, if the whole "pack your XI with midfielders" gambit worked for Spain at Euro 2012, who's to say it can't work here?

  •  

    [Comment from Gary]
    Either a stroke of genius or a debacle for the ages, come on Tito

  •  

    [Comment from DanThomasESPN via Twitter]
    Right then Barca v Real Madrid on ESPN in the Caribbean with myself and @TommySmythESPN #clasico

  •  

    James Tyler: So, to contextualize: Cristiano Ronaldo should have some fun. In theory.

  •  

    James Tyler: Barca opting for a back four full of midfielders. Adriano favored over Alex Song to deputize for a crocked CB corps.

  •  

    James Tyler: Barcelona XI (4-3-3? 3-4-3?): Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Adriano, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Fabregas, Pedro #clasico
    Subs: Pinto, Montoya, Bartra, Song, Sergi Roberto, Alexis, Villa.

    Real Madrid XI (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi, Khedira; Di Maria, Özil, Cristiano Ronaldo; Benzema.
    Subs: Adán, Coentrão, Kaká, Essien, Albiol, Modric, Higuaín

  •  

    James Tyler: Less said about that, the better...

  •  

    [Comment from Michael GFOP]
    We already had our Clasico today. Liverpool-Stoke was one for the ages

  •  

    James Tyler: So much to go over in the preamble. For starters, Tito Vilanova's lineup.

  •  

    James Tyler: Two titanic opposing forces.

  •  

    James Tyler: A special Sunday edition for El Clasico: Barcelona v. Real Madrid. Two clubs deeply dividing Spanish soccer.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ahoy! The Boot Room is open. Excuse the mess.

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Barcelona

  • 10(2)

  • 16

  • 17

  • 70%

    30%

  • Real Madrid

  • 10(3)

  • 18

  • 16

Barcelona

Line-up
POS No Name

G

1 Victor Valdés

D

2 Dani Alves
D
19 Martin Montoya

D

14 Javier Mascherano

D

18 Jordi Alba

D

21 Adriano

M

6 Xavi

M

8 Andrés Iniesta

M

16 Sergio Busquets

F

4 Cesc Fábregas
M
9 Alexis Sánchez

F

10 Lionel Messi

F

17 Pedro
 
Substitutes
POS No Name
G 13 José Manuel Pinto
D 15 Marc Bartra
D 19 Martin Montoya
M 9 Alexis Sánchez
M 25 Alex Song
M 28 Sergi Roberto
F 7 David Villa

Real Madrid

Line-up
POS No Name

G

1 Iker Casillas

D

3 Pepe

D

4 Sergio Ramos

D

12 Marcelo

D

17 Álvaro Arbeloa

M

6 Sami Khedira

M

7 Cristiano Ronaldo

M

10 Mesut Özil
M
8 Kaká

M

14 Xabi Alonso

M

22 Ángel Di María
M
15 Michael Essien

F

9 Karim Benzema
F
20 Gonzalo Higuaín
 
Substitutes
POS No Name
G 13 Antonio Adán
D 5 Fábio Coentrão
D 18 Raúl Albiol
M 8 Kaká
M 15 Michael Essien
M 19 Luka Modric
F 20 Gonzalo Higuaín

Match Stats

  • Barcelona
  • Real Madrid
10(2) Shots (on goal) 10(3)
17 Fouls 16
7 Corner kicks 2
3 Offsides 0
70% Time of Possession 30%
2 Yellow Cards 4
0 Red Cards 0
1 Saves 0