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Dublin: 1°C Sunday 7 March 2021


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Appeals for a penalty, as Vázquez goes down under a challenge from Mascherano.

It was a rash tackle and the Argentine international is lucky that the referee waves play on.


Barca have dominated possession so far with plenty of patient build-up play.

As I type, there’s great work from Messi and Suarez which sends Neymar through on goal, but he slips at the vital moment, and Real manage to get bodies back to alleviate the danger.


Lionel Messi’s free kick goes straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.

It’s been a relatively subdued start by usual El Clasico standards.


Spain Soccer La Liga Prior to kick-off, the players of Barcelona and Real Madrid stand for a minute of silence, for the victims of the plane crash in Colombia carrying Chapecoense soccer team members. Source: Manu Fernandez


Messi looks to play a killer pass, but he’s completely crowded out by Real Madrid players.

Real have barely afforded the Argentine superstar an inch of space so far.


Another legitimate penalty claim for Real Madrid.

Mascherano is pulling Ronaldo’s jersey as Marcelo delivers a cross into the box.

That’s two the Argentine international should have conceded — both himself and the referee are having a poor game.


Neymar has deservedly received the first booking of the game for a late challenge on Vasquez.

It’s been a somewhat underwhelming spectacle so far.


The ball falls to Marcelo on the edge of the box, but he drags his shot well wide.

Neither side has taken this game by the scruff of the neck yet — there’s a lack of conviction to the attack play.


Carvajal is penalised for a rash challenge on Neymar.

It’s been an interesting battle between those two so far.


Ronaldo, who’s been very quiet so far, tests Ter Stegen with a powerful shot that the goalkeeper has to parry away for a corner.

Moments later, the Portuguese superstar bursts into the box, but his weak toe poke is easily saved by the the hosts’ stopper.

Barca may have had more possession and territory, but Real have for the most part looked more dangerous in attack.


Claims for a penalty, as a cross strikes Carvajal’s arm.

The ref waves play on and rightly so, as he had his arm in a natural position and was very close to the ball when it was struck.


Messi plays through Sergi Roberto down the right, but Modric is in the right place to clear his cross.

The former Tottenham man has been the standout player in this first half.


That’s only Luis Suarez’s second goal in six games, but he won’t get many important than that one, especially as it comes slightly against the run of play.

It’s an excellent free kick played in by Neymar, and the Uruguayan striker heads the ball home from close range.


Benzema receives the ball in a dangerous position in the box, but Alba makes a good tackle.

This game is showing signs of life now that Real Madrid need to win.


Iniesta is back in action, as he replaces Rakitic.

Barca have missed the Spanish midfielder badly of late, and he could yet have a big influence on this game.


Casemiro replaces Isco as Real Madrid search for an equaliser.

The latter shows his frustration as he goes to the bench, kicking an unidentifiable object as he walks off.


Neymar beats Carvajal but blasts the ball over with the goal at his mercy.

That’s an awful miss by the Brazilian’s high standards.


Iniesta runs through on goal, but his shot is deflected into the side netting.

Barca are opening up Real at will all of a sudden and the Spanish midfielder’s influence is palpable.


Neymar combines well with Messi, but Casemiro gets a great block in to stop the former’s shot.

Real are really living on the edge now, and are lucky to still only be 1-0 down.


Spain Soccer La Liga Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring the opening goal. Source: Francisco Seco


A substitution apiece for the teams.

For Real Madrid, Marco Asensio replaces Benzema.

And for Barca, Arda Turan is on for André Gomes, who limps off.


Iniesta finds Messi, who runs through on goal but drags his shot wide.

The Argentine star has not been at his best today, and would normally take that kind of chance.


Iniesta really has been excellent since he came on.

Barca look a different team when he plays.


Kovačić is replaced by Mariano for Real, meaning James Rodriguez won’t be coming on interestingly.

Meanwhile, Denis Suárez comes on for Neymar, as Barca look to hold onto their one-goal advantage.


Close, as a Ronaldo header is deflected just wide.

Barca are looking a little nervy in these dying stages.


That’s a huge goal in the context of the title race.

An unmarked Ramos heads home a free kick, and Real probably just about deserve that on the balance of play.


Real will be delighted with that point, as it means they stay six points clear at the top.

That’s all from me for now — thanks for reading and commenting, and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy