Monday, 4 March 2013

Real Madrid Beat Barca for Second Time in a Week

Real Madrid beat Barcelona for the second time in five days with a 2-1 win in La Liga play, this victory should boost Jose Mourinho’s team for its Champions League trip to Manchester United.  Madrid even managed without Ronaldo for much of the match, as Mourinho rested the Portuguese winger until the final half hour with the game against United on Tuesday in mind.

While Madrid remains 13 points behind Barcelona in the league, this result could allow second-place Atletico Madrid to cut the deficit to nine points on Sunday at Malaga. Lionel Messi extended his Spanish league scoring record to 16 straight games when he equalized in the 18th minute to cancel out Karim Benzema’s sixth-minute opener. Sergio Ramos netted the winner in the 82nd minute when he headed in Luka Modric’s corner to give Madrid its first home league victory over Barcelona since 2008.

Midfielders Xabi Alonso and Mesut Oezil were also given a rest, along with forward Angel Di Maria.  Even with several reserved players on the pitch, Madrid picked up where it left off at Camp Nou when a ball intercepted in midfield led to a swift goal in two passes, as Barcelona’s defense conceded a goal for the 13th game in a row. However, Messi made sure Barcelona hit back when he beat Madrid’s offside trap to reach Dani Alves’ thru ball, cut back and fired with a sharp left-footed effort.  Mourinho sent on Ronaldo in the 57th and he was able to hit the woodwork with a free kick, in limited playing time. 

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