The game between Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga on the 18th of December ended in a surprising 0-0 draw. This is our summary of the game.
First 0-0 in the last 50 Clasicos
It is quite incredible that this game ended in a 0-0 draw, considering that the last 50 Clasicos always saw at least a goal scored from either side. We witnessed a cagey game between two title contenders in the Spanish La Liga this season. Barcelona and Real remain locked at the top of the table, level on 36 points.
Barcelona went into this game without Arthur and Ousmane Dembele. Ernesto Valverde opted for their usual 4-3-3 formation and a team selection that saw them unbeaten in their last 5 games. The team was spearheaded by a potent attack of Griezmann, Messi and Suarez. Nonetheless, it was not enough to see them score here.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, wanted to continue their good league form as well. Before this game, Real was unbeaten in 7 league games, winning 5 of those and drawing 2. Zidane has managed to revive Real’s attack, especially Benzema, who scored 12 league goals already. The French manager of Real Madrid opted for a 4-3-1-2 formation, which can also be interpreted as a 4-3-3 formation with Bale playing as a secondary striker and Isco in a more creative role. The Royal team was without Marcelo, James, Vazquez, Hazard and Marco Asensio.
Nothing to Separate These Two Teams
Real Madrid were the closest to scoring a goal, but the goal that was scored by Bale was ruled out as Mendy found himself in an offside position. The game was also slightly affected by the Catalan protests that happened before the game, with several banners of the protest seen within the stadium.
The away side was arguably closer to scoring all game. The team from the Spanish capital dominated the proceedings largely in the first half but were unable to capitalize on the pressure. They came close to scoring through a Casemiro header that was cleared off the line by the Blaugrana. Real also saw two penalty appeals turned down in the first half.
Messi was the only source of inspiration for the Catalans. The home side came closest with a half-chance for Messi but was unable to score. Another chance presented itself to Jordi Alba, but that too didn’t result in a goal. Barcelona will surely be happier with this result, as the Blancos are still regretting the missed opportunities and the several appeals for penalties turned down.
The result leaves both teams placed at the top of the table level on 36 points, only separated by goal difference – Barcelona currently have a superior goal difference by two goals. In their next games, Barcelona will host Deportivo Alaves, while Real Madrid will play Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu, which promises to be another enticing game for the Blancos.
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Possession: Barcelona 49%-51% Real Madrid
Shots: Barcelona 5-15 Real Madrid
Shots on Target: Barcelona 2-6 Real Madrid
Corners: Barcelona 2-6 Real Madrid