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El Clásico

Sergio Ramos and Messi square up as Clásico tensions rise

Sergio Ramos and Messi square up as Clásico tensions rise

JUAN MEDINA

REUTERS

As the referee was about to blow up for half time, with Barça leading by a single goal, a coming together between the two captains had horns locked.

In what was to be the final act of the first half of Saturday night's LaLiga encounter between great rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, Sergio Ramos and Lionel Messi clashed, taking the temperature of the match a touch higher.

Ramos and Messi clash

Ivan Rakitic had given Barça the lead midway through the first half but, as per much of the Copa match on Wednesday, the overall play was even. There were, however, a number of incidents that suggested players were getting fiestier.

These confrontations came to a head, quite literally, in the final moments of the first half. A loose ball was contested by both captains and, while Ramos came away with the ball, it appeared he may have left a stray arm in the face of the Argentine. The Barça man rolled on the ground as play continued - play that gave his teammates a chance to knock the ball out for treatment which they chose not to - before the referee eventually stopped the action. At this point the two players squared up, Messi pointing out his displeasure, and their heads were planted together.

The half time whistle then blew with no action being taken by the official.

Ramos should have seen red

Our resident referee, Iturralde González, reviewed the incident and was in no doubt that the Real Madrid captain should have been sent off.

Square go | Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos go all Clásico.

"It was a red. There was a clear movement of the arm, and a red card should have been shown," he said, before also stating that the protestations from Alba, Suárez and Piqué were completely out of order.