The Spanish La Liga leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid faced each other in a highly-anticipated El Clasico yesterday. The derby was tenacious but failed to deliver any goals for the first time since 2002.
That leaves the teams with the same number of points on the top of the league. Barcelona has the better goal difference which is enough for the first spot.
The Catalans could feel lucky that they keep their position because Real Madrid was the better side for large periods of the game. The woodwork save Barcelona on one occasion and the team had to clear the ball from the line on another.
While the reigning champions had their chances too, they weren’t as many as you would expect. Sergio Ramos expertly led the defensive line that limited the attacking power of Barcelona for most of the match.
The skipper said in his post-match interview that Real Madrid should’ve received two penalties for incidents against Raphael Varane. The referee didn’t agree, though, so the side had to accept the draw.
This leaves the title fight wide open, as both clubs are in a good position to attack the La Liga crown halfway through the season.
During the weekend, Barcelona will face Alaves at home, while Real Madrid will host Athletic Bilbao.
Political Tensions outside Camp Nou
The fierce events on the pitch were mirrored by what happened outside of the stadium. There Catalan independence protesters that clashed with the local police.
The political tensions were the reason why El Clasico was originally rescheduled, as the game was supposed to take place in October.
That didn’t prevent local fractions from taking actions, but there weren’t any major problems or casualties.