BARCELONA - REAL MADRID

Barça don't win El Clásico when they have a big lead over Madrid

The Blaugranas seem to have a problem beating Los Blancos when they have a convincing lead over them in the league. More than nine points and it doesn't happen.

Although the bookies have Barcelona clear favourites to take this encounter, history suggests a different result. If past trends are to be followed, when the Catalans have a comfortable lead in LaLiga - more than nine points - they don't go on to win the derby against their bitterest of rivals.

Barça are sitting pretty at the moment with a 10-point cushion on Madrid - Atlético are currently second, a point better off than their neighbours - and in the three Clásicos where this has been the case before, the 'underdogs' have not lost.

Victor Valdés sees red after giving too much of his opinion on the referee's performance.

Season 2012-13 | 14 points | Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona

This was the biggest league advantage going into a Clásico and was built-up by the time they met on Matchday 24 at the Bernabéu. The Barça of Vilanova/Roura were turned over thanks to goals from Benzema and Ramos with Morata providing the assist for the Frenchman's strike. Cristiano started on the bench, replaced by the young Spaniard Morata, but came on in the 57th minute for Kaká and shone.

Another memory from this game was the sending off of Victor Valdés after the final whistle for saying to referee, Pérez Lasa, "You bottled it, you're shameless" or words to those effect.

Ronaldinho and Ronaldo embrace following El Clásico.


Season 2005-2006 | 11 points | Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona

With eight games to go in the league, Rijkaard's Barça faced up against their foes in the Camp Nou with an 11 point advantage. Florentino Pérez had been 'forced' out of Madrid as president only a month earlier and the club was going through a transition period with López Caro running the bench and fernando Martin as interim president.

In spite of the sporting and institutional crisis around Real Madrid, the visitors left with a share of the points and this was amid some very controversial refereeing decisions.A penalty was gifted to the home side, another was overlooked for Madrid, and Robeto Carlos was shown red. But a goal from Ronaldo cancelled out that penalty of Ronaldinho.

Real Madrid players line up to honour the champions.


Season 1990-91 | 13 points | Real Madrid 1-0 Barcelona

There's not so much of a story to this game as it was played with everything decided. Barcelona had the league title sown up and Atlético had second place assured. It was the first so-called Dream Team of Johan Cruyff's era and the Dutchman is remembered as saying that he was happy to lose in Madrid each year so long as they won the league. Having your rivals make a guard of honour for you prior to the game must be nice.

Aldana is was who scored the only goal of the game which is also noted for a Zubizarreta penalty save from Butragueño, who ended up top scorer in the league that season.

 

A win for Barcelona in the next battle would give them an unassailable 13 point advantage for the run-in, however, a win for Madrid could spark some hope for their fans...but only the most optimistic of them.