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Real Madrid Defeats Barcelona, 2-1: Cristiano Ronaldo Scores Key Goal In El Clasico (VIDEO)

Posted: 04/21/2012 4:46 pm Updated: 04/21/2012 5:03 pm

Ronaldo Goal Clasico Real Madrid
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his team's 2nd goal against Barcelona at Camp Nou on April 21, 2012.

By Keeghann Sinanan, Goal.com

Barcelona's hopes of a fourth successive Primera Division title were dealt a potentially fatal blow after a 2-1 defeat at Camp Nou against Real Madrid in the Clasico on Saturday.

A poor piece of handling from Victor Valdes allowed Sami Khedira to score the only goal of the first half just after a quarter of an hour. Jose Mourinho's men defended dilligently thereafter, but Alexis Sanchez restored parity by scoring a scrappy effort in the 70th minute within moments of coming on as a substitute.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo put Los Blancos' back in front three minutes later with the team's 109th goal in the league, and Madrid held on for a priceless victory, which opens up a seven-point advantage over their great rivals at the top of the table with only four games remaining.
With Sanchez benched after battling against an injury picked up against Chelsea midweek, youngster Cristian Tello was preferred to Pedro in attack. Xavi started his 32nd career Classico game, breaking the all-time record, but there was no place in the home XI for Cesc Fabragas or Gerard Pique.

The major surprise in Mourinho’s team selection was the inclusion of Fabio Coentrao ahead of Marcelo at left back, despite the former’s suspect showing in the Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.

Madrid made a positive start to the match amidst the raucous Camp Nou atmosphere, and fashioned the first opportunity after only five minutes, with a powerful header from Ronaldo forcing Victor Valdes to tip over.

Barca was quickly back down the pitch, and Dani Alves appeared to be through after pouncing on a sloppy Pepe pass, but Iker Casillas was quick off his line to block the Brazilian at his feet.

With 13 minutes gone, Tello showed lightning-quick feet to evade a pair of challenges out wide, before letting fly with an effort that Casillas did well to save, as the home side grew into the game. But their endeavour was halted, as three minutes later, Madrid were ahead.

The Catalans had their struggles defending set pieces against Chelsea, and so it proved again. Pepe rose highest to get his head to a corner, which was spilled by Valdes, allowing Khedira just enough time to evade the attentions of Carles Puyol and poke the rebound home.




However, Barca should have been level after 26 minutes. An exceptional through pass from Lionel Messi released Xavi on goal, but the midfielder dragged his finish wide with only Casillas to beat.

Both sides continued to provide an entertaining spectacle, despite heavy rainfall in the latter stages of the half. A moment of magic on the right from Ozil nearly carved Barca apart, but Javier Mascherano put in a superb challenge to halt the German from point blank range just before the break.

Barca continued its quest for an equalizer after the restart, but was guilty of another glaring miss. A defense-splitting pass from Thiago Alcantara put Tello clean through, but his first-time finish was woeful, and sent into orbit.

Pep Guardiola’s men continued to keep Madrid penned back in their own half, but for the second time in a week, a determined rear-guard effort made chances hard to come by. With 68 minutes gone, Xavi flashed a long-range effort just wide with his last contribution of the game, as he was taken off for Sanchez.

The substitution proved to be a masterstroke, as within two minutes, Sanchez put the hosts back on terms. Tello’s shot was stopped initially by Casillas, cueing a penalty-box scramble that ended when the Chilean squeezed the ball home near the goalline after another save by Casillas.



Madrid’s response was instant. A breathtaking pass from Ozil caught the Barca defense out and released Ronaldo, who accelerated away from the onrushing Valdes and fired home from a tricky angle.

Mourinho’s game plan was simple thereafter, and the visitors were able to hold on to their advantage, defending in numbers and holding onto possession with purpose as they frustrated Barca, and claimed a devastating three points in the title race.

Both sides will look to regain their focus, with deficits to overcome in their Champions League semifinal second-leg matchups midweek. Barca welcomes Chelsea on Tuesday, while Madrid entertains Bayern the following day.

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  • Lionel Messi

    FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, from Argentina, reacts against Real Madrid during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Victor Valdes

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal , left, celebrates after his teammate scored, as FC Barcelona's goalkeeper Victor Valdes, right, laments, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Victor Valdes

    Real Madrid's teammate celebrate after scored, as FC Barcelona's goalkeeper Victor Valdes, right, laments, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. Real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Jose Mourinho

    Real Madrid's coach Jose Mourinho, from Portugal, gestures prior to the match against FC Barcelona during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Pepe, Lionel Messi

    Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, right, duels for the ball with Real Madrid's Pepe from Portugal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • coach Pep Guardiola

    Barcelona's coach Pep Guardiola reacts during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Alexis Alejandro, Pepe

    FC Barcelona's Alexis Alejandro from Chile, left, discusses with Real Madrid's Pepe from Portugal, right, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. Real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Alexis Sanchez

    FC Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez, from Chile, right, reacts after scoring against Real Madrid during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Daniel Alves, Victor Valdes

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, from Portugal, center, duels for the ball against FC Barcelona's Daniel Alves, from Brazil, left, and Victor Valdes during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Alvaro Arbeloa, Tello

    Barcelona's Tello, right, duels for the ball with Real Madrid's Alvaro Arbeloa during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Sergio Ramos,Lionel Messi

    Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, left, duels for the ball with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, center, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Alexis Alejandro, Angel Di Maria

    FC Barcelona's Alexis Alejandro from Chile, second right to left, duels for the ball in front Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria from Argentina, right, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. Real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal, right, celebrates after scoring a gaol during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Karim Benzema, Adriano Correia

    Barcelona's Adriano Correia from Brazil, right, duels for the ball with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema from France during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Xavi Hernandez

    FC Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez, laments during their Spanish La Liga soccer match against Real Madrid, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. Real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Adriano Correia, Andres Iniesta, Tello, Angel Di Maria

    Barcelona's Andres Iniesta, left, Adriano Correia from Brazil, second left, and Tello duels for the ball with Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria from Argentina, center, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Pep Guardiola

    FC Barcelona's coach Pep Guardiola gestures against Real Madrid during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Daniel Alves, Fabio Coentrao

  • Lionel Messi

    FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, front, goes for the ball during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, against Real Madrid, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. Real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Lionel Messi, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos

    FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, center, goes for the ball between Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso, left, and Sergio Ramos, right, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. Real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Xavi Hernandez

  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Thiago, Carles Pujol

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, from Portugal, left, duels for the ball against FC Barcelona's Thiago, second left, Carles Pujol, right, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso

    Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, back, celebrates with his fellow teammate Xabi Alonso, at the end of the match against FC Barcelona, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. Real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Alexis Sanchez

    Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez from Chile, center, duels for the ball with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, left, and Pepe from Portugal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Real Madrid's teammate celebrate at the end of the match against FC Barcelona, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. Real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal, left, celebrates with team mates after wi a Spanish winning La Liga soccer match against Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Lionel Messi

    FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, from Argentina, reacts against Real Madrid during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Alexis Alejandro

    FC Barcelona's Alexis Alejandro from Chile celebrates after scored against Real Madrid during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Pepe from Portugal, Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao of Portugal

    Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, right, duels for the ball with Real Madrid's Pepe from Portugal, left, Sergio Ramos and Fabio Coentrao of Portugal, center right, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo / Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Alexis Alejandro

    FC Barcelona's Alexis Alejandro from Chile celebrates after scored against Real Madrid during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, from Portugal, left scores against FC Barcelona's Mascherano during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, from Portugal, scores against FC Barcelona during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Callejon

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, from Portugal, right, reacts after scoring with his teammate Callejon against FC Barcelona during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozi

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, from Portugal, right, reacts after scoring with his teammate Mesut Ozi against FC Barcelona during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Carles Puyol, Victor Valdes

    Real Madrid's teammates celebrate after scoring, as FC Barcelona's Carles Puyol, second left front, and goalkeeper Victor Valdes, left , gesture during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, from Portugal, scores against FC Barcelona during a Spanish La Liga soccer match a at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Andres Iniesta, Mesut Ozil

    FC Barcelona's Andres Iniesta, right, duels for the ball in front Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil from Germany, left, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Daniel Alves, Iker Casillas

    Barcelona's Daniel Alves from Brazil, fails to score in front of Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Carles Puyol, Pedro Rodriguez

    Real Madrid's teammate celebrate at the end of the match as FC Barcelona's Carles Puyol, bottom right, and Pedro Rodriguez, beside him, lament, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday April 21, 2012. Real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Sami Khedira

    Real Madrid's Sami Khedira from Germany celebrates after scoring during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Javier Mascherano, Karim Benzema

    FC Barcelona's Javier Mascherano from Argentina, right, duels for the ball in front Real Madrid's Karim Benzema from France, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Sami Khedira, Sergio Ramos

    Real Madrid's Sami Khedira from Germany, left, celebrates with team mate Sergio Ramos after scoring during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Sami Khedira, Cristiano Ronaldo, Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol

    Real Madrid's Sami Khedira from Germany, right, scores a goal in presence of team mate Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal, left, and Barcelona's goalkeeper Victor Valdes, center left, and Carles Puyol during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Carles Puyol, Victor Valdes

    Real Madrid's teammate celebrate after scored, as FC Barcelona's Carles Puyol, left front, and goalkeeper Victor Valdes, right, lament, during their Spanish La Liga soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

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