EL CLÁSICO

Real Madrid ahead of Barcelona in Clásicos won: 98-96

Los Blancos and their Catalan rivals met in the second ever Clásico played behind closed doors, as the Alfredo di Stéfano stadium became its twelfth host.

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Real Madrid ahead of Barcelona in Clásicos won: 98-96
JAVIER GANDUL DIARIO AS

Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona: how El Clásico unfolded

Clásico number 246 was to be only the second ever to be played behind closed doors. In number 244, Real Madrid restored the balance and in game number 245 they took advantage again. Madrid now have 98 victories and 410 goals to Barça's 96 wins and 401 goals, as well as 52 draws. Out of the 91 Clásicos to be played with Madrid as hosts, Los Blancos have recorded 54 home wins, with 15 draws and 22 away wins.

Di Stéfano makes its Clásico debut

The Alfredo di Stéfano became the twelfth stadium in which an official Clásico has been played. Among the other 11 include the Santiago Bernabéu (98 matches), Camp Nou (87) and Atlético Madrid's old Vicente Calderón stadium (one).

Real Madrid and Barcelona have not faced each other so late in a LaLiga season (matchday 30 or later), since April 25, 2004 (matchday 34). Valencia went on to win the league that year with that particular Clásico ending in a 2-1 to Barça victory with goals coming from Solari, Kluivert and Xavi.

Barcelona have never won LaLiga after losing both league games against Real Madrid, while Los Blancos did win it on one occasion (1975-76 season) having lost twice to the Catalan club. Barça have been champions twice after losing the Clásico at home (1928-29 and 2015-16), something that Madrid has already achieved three times (1975-76, 2011-12 and 2016-17).

Barcelona's rich vein of form

Ahead of this defeat, Barcelona had picked up a hugely impressive 51 points out of a possible 57 in the previous 19 matchdays - only drawing three times along the way - against Valencia, Eibar and Cádiz. Koeman's team had nine straight away victories in LaLiga (it's the fifth best streak of all time) and were just four short of equaling the record for the Spanish league, set by Real Madrid between February and October 2017. That's now safe.

Lionel Messi Clásico run

Tonight's result means that Lionel Messi has not scored a single goal or given a single assist in the seven Clásicos he has played since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid. The Argentine he has had thirteen shots, seven on goal and off target. In the six Clásicos prior to the Portuguese forward's departure, Messi scored five goals and provided one assist. Messi has scored or assisted in 14 of the last 15 LaLiga games he has played (18 goals and eight assists in those 15 games).

Sergio Ramos missed out

Madrid club captain Ramos had played the previous 22 Clásicos. Ramos has not lost a game against Barcelona since January 30, 2013 (in the Copa del Rey). Messi took advantage of his absence today by equalling him as the player with the most games played in the history of El Clásico - with 45 appearances.

Referee Gil Manzano

Jesús Gil Manzano refereed his second Clásico after taking charge of Madrid-Barça on October 25, 2014 (3-1), in which he showed six cards (two to the home side and four to the visitors) and in which he gave a penalty for Piqué's handball that Cristiano Ronaldo slotted home. After tonight, Madrid have 28 victories, three draws and four defeats with the Extremaduran referee, while Barça have collected 16 victories, six draws and six defeats under his watch.

VAR

Of the 108 refereeing decisions that have been corrected by VAR so far in LaLiga 2020-21 - eight have involved Barcelona - three in favour and five against. Eleven decisions have affected Real Madrid, four for Los Blancos and seven against. However, in terms of points, both teams would have the same points as they do now if VAR had not been used in LaLiga this season. One of the VAR corrections that affected both teams occurred in the first Clásico of the season, Lenglet's penalty against Ramos, which the Real Madrid captain converted.

Since then, 93 penalties have been awarded in LaLiga and none of them have been in favour of Madrid, but seven have come against them.