Spaghetti Western The Magnificent Seven, you are sure the now-coward Ethan Hawke ain’t got it anymore, runs to hide his back last night, no chance of him getting involved. Out of the blue, he comes at very crucial juncture amidst the warfare with blazing guns, fights heroically, everyone surprised.
Many could have got the same pinch when in the biggest TRP-raiser club game in the world was heading towards a regulation Barcelona win at Camp Nou kudos to Luis Suarez’s 52nd minute strike, a certain Sergio Ramos headed home to equalize at the 90th minute to get Madrid 6 points clear off rivals Barcelona and ensure Zidane’s 33th game on the trot being unbeaten.
Was the match pulsating? Take a look at Shakira.
stress level: shakira watching el clasico pic.twitter.com/VLFQ1nGZ2N
— . (@neymardontshoot) December 3, 2016
Match in a nutshell? Spain’s manager Lopetegui quipped: “Real Madrid were the better team in the first half & Barca in the second.” True that.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6/10): His first El Clasico, probably nerves got the better of him as his kicking and distribution was pretty poor. But made a couple of good saves in the first half, denied Ronaldo.
Sergi Roberto (6/10): The right-back did okay in containing Ronaldo but almost all of Real Madrid’s attacks were down from his side. Came close to scoring to earn a late victory. Made a couple of good runs to meet crosses, his hooks in the box added some sting.
Gerard Pique (7/10): Composed, solid, good interceptions, good number of ball recoveries and successful passes.
Javier Mascherano (5.5/10): Allowed Ramos to score the goal freely, pulled the shirt of Ronaldo blatantly, almost conceded a penalty as he fouled Vazquez in the box.
Jordi Alba (7/10): The left-back was almost certain to miss the El Clasico but played valiantly. Contained Vazquez, surged forward, cleared Ronaldo’s dangerous header, made a fantastic cross that was on the verge of winning a handball penalty, crucial tackle on Benzema to clear danger.
Ivan Rakitic (5.5/10): Struggled, tried to break free but was clueless against Madrid’s long balls, made way for Iniesta.
Sergio Busquets (7/10): Decent, was the only savior of Barcelona midfield in the first half, almost destroyed Isco will insane one-touch, major vine of the match. Did holding and build up play both.
Andre Gomes (5/10): Massively lost in a big game like this, you can’t help pondering how on earth he is playing for Barcelona? A half-fit Iniesta looks way better than him as Gomes neither offered in physicality nor in creativity.
Lionel Messi (7/10): Since the inception of the match, tried a lot. Dropped deep infield to create and bring others into play. Pulled the strings in the second half, created a golden chance for Neymar, which Neymar fired over the bar. Got a chance to score from a tight angle but you expect Leo Messi to finish these, completed 17 dribbles in 90 minutes. Had 91% pass accuracy.
Luis Suarez (6.5/10): Scored from a well-taken header in a somewhat off-day by his standards, took his tally to 34 La Liga goals in 2016, was mostly contained by Ramos and Varane.
Neymar (7/10): Inconsistent but always threatening, created and assisted Suarez’s goal with a decent cross. Dribbled past Carvajal brilliantly to create a goal scoring opportunity, missed one chance to score.
Substitute: Iniesta (7/10): Don Iniesta is back it seemed as his introduction changed the course of the game as the veteran controlled the midfield, created a lot. Gave an outstanding through ball to Messi.
Keylor Navas (6/10): Had nothing to do to stop Suarez’s opener. His best moment in the match was running to the opposite end of the pitch to celebrate Skipper Ramos’ equalizer.
Dani Carvajal (6/10): The right back almost conceded a penalty, had a duel with Neymar, too pumped up, showed middle finger to Barca fans, moved forward at times.
Sergio Ramos (7/10): Ramos to the 90th minute rescue once again. Fantastic header at the dying moments of the match. Thwarted Suarez to some extent, had the best passing accuracy of 97%. Captain fantastic.
Raphael Varane (7/10): The centre-back was composed and solid as contained the threats of Barca forwards, especially Suarez.
Marcelo (7/10): The left-back was always an attacking threat. Earned the free-kick from which Ramos got the ball to head on.
Isco (6/10): Stamped authority on Madrid’s midfield dominance in the first half. Neat passes, nice touches and nice combination play. 95% passing accuracy.
Luka Modric (7.5/10): Outstanding in the El Clasico. Established kingship in the midfield, especially in the first half. Decent delivery of a free-kick from which Ramos scored. As a pivot, made tackles, interceptions, as well as was in his best creative self. His game by numbers: 100% take-ons completed, 95% pass accuracy, 3 chances created,3 interceptions, 2 tackles won and 1 assist.
Kovacic (6/10): Very good in the first half, had Messi on lock for some time. Big talent.
Vazquez (7/10): Had pace, power, grit. Almost earned a penalty, lead counter attacks.
Benzema (5/10): Probably his first El Clasico where he had a bad game.
Ronaldo (7/10): Had a decent first-half, always a threat. Forced Ter Stegen made two saves, one header and one shot. Registered match’s first on target shot.
Messi vs Ronaldo:
Messi completed 17 dribbles in 90 minutes, Ronaldo touched the ball 17 times in 90 minutes.
Shots on Target: Messi 3, Ronaldo 5
Pass Completion: Messi 41/56, Ronaldo 16/36
Effective passes: Messi 67.2%, Ronaldo 42.1%
Pace: Messi 30.2 km/h, Ronaldo 32 km/h
Distance covered: Messi 7.9km, Ronaldo 10.2 km
Watch the Highlights below