One of the Biggest Clasico matches in recent history Barcelona came out as the winners with a 4-3 win, including a Lionel Messi hat trick, three penalty kicks, a Sergio Ramos red card but most importantly Real Madrid not being able to open an unbridgeable gap at the top of the La Liga.
Barcelona were the better team for most of the match, with an extra man or without. Lionel Messi had an excellent match, beginning with an assist to Andres Iniesta, providing a sublime finish with the help of the crossbar, and had a chance himself to put Barcelona two goals up, but the early misses provided an even better finish.
Undiano Mallenco missed a penalty kick decision in favor of Barcelona, with Neymar tripped just inside the box, after 15 minutes. Neymar missed another fantastic opportunity two minutes later, and Real Madrid punished Barcelona with Karim Benzema scoring off an Angel di Maria cross, rising above Javier Mascherano.
Four minutes later, and some awful defending from both Dani Alves and then Javier Mascherano allowed Karim Benzema to score the second goal of the match, finding himself wide open from six meters, bombarding the net for the easy goal, turning the match despite Barcelona being the better team through the first 20 minutes.
The pace didn’t slow down, and Neymar not helping out Dani Alves created another excellent chance for Real Madrid, this time missing from close range as Gerard Pique blocked a shot that would have given the French striker the fastest hat trick in Clasico history.
After long minutes with Barcelona struggling to create chances, Lionel Messi took things into his own hands. A one two at the edge of the box, a pass to Neymar in the middle of the penalty area which returned to Messi through Caravajal, and Messi made the most of the ball that landed at his feet, equalizing just before half time, followed by an altrecation between Cesc Fabregas and Pepe, resulting in a double booking. Messi turned into the greatest scorer in the history of the Clasico matches with 19 goals.
The first big chance of the second half came after a huge dribble from Gareth Bale, setting up Karim Benzema (in offside position) for another shot from inside the box, but Victor Valdes did an excellent job of keeping Barcelona level with Real Madrid, constantly looking for the counter attack.
Undiano Mallenco did make his penalty decision a minute later, even though Dani Alves clipped Cristiano Ronaldo outside the penalty area. The Portuguese star gave Real Madrid the lead again, although they didn’t really do much to deserve it, at least in that specific moment, getting help from a referee that missed a penalty earlier in favor of Barcelona.
In the 62nd minute a genius pass from Lionel Messi found Neymar in the box, and Sergio Ramos dropped him from behind, resulting in a red card for Ramos. Messi reached 20 Clasico goals by converting from the penalty spot, as the match was completely turned around in the blink of an eye. Dani Alves struck the post in the 73rd minute, as Barcelona completely took over the match, as expected with a one man advantage.
We weren’t done with penalties, as Xabi Alonso tripped Andres Iniesta, while Barcelona weren’t really rushing things, in the 83rd minute. Messi didn’t mind taking another spot kick, and reached his hat trick, giving Barcelona the lead once again, 4-3.