Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid summary: score, goals and highlights LaLiga
Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid: as it happened
Barcelona vs Real Madrid: match summary
Real Madrid moved to the top of the Liga table - pending the result of the match between Atlético and Real Sociedad - with a 2-1 Clásico victory that put a two-game haul of just one point for Carlo Ancelotti's side firmly in the rear-view mirror and left Ronald Koeman with more question marks than the Dutchman needs with his side languishing in eighth having scored only one more goal than Osasuna and the same number as Rayo.
Barça's lack of an attacking focal point, at least until Kun Agüero gets fully up to speed, was again the difference between a positive or a negative result with Barça creating plenty of chances but lacking someone with that innate instinct for the back of the net that Messi, Griezmann, Luis Suárez et al previously supplied. What does seem clear is that unfortunate Luuk de Jong is not the answer, the Dutchman getting five minutes at the end of the game instead of a chance to get on the end of some of the crosses sent in by Jordi Alba and Sergiño Dest, whose primary target in Barça's current state seems to be Gerard Piqué.
Not that Madrid were considerably more threatening. David Alaba's wonder goal broke the deadlock and Lucas Vázquez added the second with a minute to play and Barcelona's defence camped in the Madrid penalty area. The visitors managed five shots on target overall and on another day Karim Benzema or Vinicius might have embellished the scoreline but it will not sit well with Barça fans that Espanyol were able to ruthlessly expose Madrid's shortcomings three weeks ago while their side could not.
There is little for the Camp Nou to get too excited about either, at least until January and a potential dip into the bargain end of the market. It will not be until the summer that Koeman can expect a serious overhaul, always assuming the Dutchman is still in charge then. In the meantime, the likes of Gavi, Pedri and Ansu Fati will continue to provide hope for the future while the return to full fitness of Agüero - who provided the consolation - and the recovery of Ousmane Dembélé will go some way to performing the task Messi was credited by Koeman as fulfilling shortly after the Argentinean left: papering over the cracks.
There's no time for anything else though as the ref blows for full time!
Goooooooooooooooool! Agüero! Dest fizzes in a cross and the Argentinean scores his first Barça goal with a neat touch at the near post!
De Jong meets it and sends a tame header straight into the gloves of Courtois, who can no longer kick the ball and was probably grateful that wasn't placed either side of him.
Corner for Barça... time ticking away.
Gooooooooooooooool! Madrid break and Asensio's shot is saved. Lucas Vázquez is quickest to the rebound and prods home to surely secure victory for Madrid!
Casemiro is dispossessed again and Barça pour forward. Piqué has a chance to strike but his effort is blocked.
Seven additional minutes in Camp Nou!
It seems as though the Belgian will struggle through the final few minutes in Camp Nou. Valverde's brief cameo is over though as the Uruguayan sub heads off injured to be replaced by Carvajal.
Concern for Courtois as the keeper goes down in agony after a clearance.
A Barça attack breaks down as Coutinho looks to send De Jong in with a ball over the top and Barça are running out of time to snatch a result here.
And off the Brazilian goes with Marco Asensio on in his place.
Vinicius goes down with what looks like cramp, to the displeasure of the Camp Nou who suspect he may have one eye on the clock.
Koeman rolls the dice and sends on Luuk de Jong.
Agüero! The striker is in the right area ttime and connects with a cross but his header loops over the bar.
Valverde is down clutching his knee and it doesn't look to good for the Uruguayan.
Still only one shot on target from the home side. Agüero picks up the ball on the right and looks for a teammate in the area but Madrid clear. Barça want the Argentinean in the middle looking to get on the end of those, not delivering them himself.
Ten minutes plus stoppage time for Barcelona to turn this around.
Mendy goes in the book for taking rather too long to get the ball back into play from a throw.
Frenkie de Jong heads off for Barça, Sergi Roberto on to replace him.
And here comes the expected change as Agüero comes on for Ansu.
Benzema! He seemed certain to score but his attempted flick from a couple of yards out hits his own heel and Barça escape!
Ancelotti shuffles his deck, sending on Fede Valverde for Rodrygo.
Concern for Barça as Alaba lands heavily on Ansu's knee but the Barça forward is ok to continue. The home side are getting into some good positions in the Madrid area now but lack a focal point to capitalize. We fancy Kun Agüero will be thrown on before too long.
Vinicius pounces on a De Jong error and attempts to turn the ball back into the path of Benzema but Ter Stegen makes the stop.
Alba takes in the end and Courtois clears before Coutinho sends it back in but play is stopped for a foul on Rodrygo.
Barcelona with a decent opportunity here as Ansu is tripped on the edge of the area. Coutinho will fancy this one.
Benzema! Modric with a lovely touch in the area to release the Frenchman, who hits a decent shot on target but Ter Stegen is equal to it.
Vinicius! The Brazilian almost benefits from a fortunate bounce but Dest recovers to hook the ball clear as the Madrid forward was shaping to shoot.
Barcelona appeal for a handball in the area against Kroos and Piqué winds up in the book for protesting.
A decent spell of presure from Barcelona has Madrid pinned back and the home side win another corner.
Mendy cuts in from the left and picks up Benzema's ball before cracking a shot straight at Ter Stegen.
Gavi is down after a clash with Mendy and Barça have a free out on the right.
As was the case against Dynamo in midweek, the introduction of the Brazilian has immediately given the home side's attack more edge.
Ansu! A first-time strike from the number 10 from Alba's cross is on target but straight at Courtois.
Coutinho! Memphis lays off for the Brazilian whose shot deflects off Alaba for a Barça corner.
86,422 spectators in Camp Nou today.
We're back underway!
Coutinho is preparing to come on for Barça, it looks like Mingueza has made way which would mean Dest moving back into defence.
For fans of possesion stats: 49.9% for Real Madrid, 50.1% for Barcelona.
Nine shots in the first half, but only Alaba's was between the sticks. Barça have yet to hit the target from six attempts.
And there's the half! Plenty of action in the first 45 and Madrid go into the break 1-0 up courtesy of Alaba's screamer.
One minute added in Camp Nou.
Ansu! The first real chance for the Spain international as Busquets dinks it over the top. The Barça number 10 gets his shot away but there are enough white shirts to prevent Courtois being required.
Benzema goes down in the area under a challenge from García but the ref rightly calls it six of one, half a dozen of the other.
What a break from Madrid! Vinicius streaks forward and tees up Benzema on the overlap, the Frenchman sitting it up at the far post for Kroos to volley but García is back to make the block.
Another corner for Barcelona as Eric García's shot hits Casemiro.
Close! Piqué glides across the face of goal and meets Memphis' delivery, glancing a header just wide of the far post with Courtois well beaten!
Corner for Barça as Vázquez nods a free kick behind.
What a strike from the Austrian! Madrid move the ball from one end to the other with a few touches and the defender has a quick look, picks his spot and leathers an unstoppable shot past Ter Stegen into the far corner!
Memphis capitalizes on a Casermiro slip and chances his arm but his shot flies over Courtois' bar.
Benzema! First sniff for the Frenchman who rattles the side netting from a tight angle.
Dest! What a miss! The USA international finds himself at the far post with time to spare and just Courtois to beat but blasts high from a few yards out!
Vinicius! The boy is on fire today! He picks up a ball across the area and sends Ter Stegen sprawling three times as he jinks about looking for an opening. Gavi eventually throws himself in the way of his shot.
The Brazilian's speed is going to be a problem for Barça on that side of the pitch: he got up to 35kmh there to reach Benzema's pass.
Uffff, Vinicius shows some great skill to get clear of Mingueza and Dest and drives into the area where he appears to be tripped by the former. The ref says no dice though and waves play on. Relief for Mingueza.
Madrid have settled a bit now and pushed Barça's press back, much to the chagrin of the Camp Nou crowd.
Ansu gets a ticking off for clattering into the back of Mendy as he protected the ball on the touchline. Just some finger-wagging for now for the youngster from the ref.
Madrid win a corner as Alaba sends Vinicius scurrying down the wing with ball over the top and Mingueza does well to track back and prevent the pull back.
Memphis almost gets away on the left and Vázquez scythes him down but the ref holds off on a yellow card, which is a relief for the Madrid right back.
Casemiro also hands Barça a gift right on the edge of the area but Lucas Vázquez mops up the danger. Madrid are struggling to get the ball out from around their penalty box.
Barça's press is working well at the moment, pinning Madrid back in their half and allowing the home side to win the ball back with ease. There is a bit of a traffic jam on the left of Barça's attack though with Memphis and Ansu both tending to drift out to that side, leaving nobody in the middle for Koeman's team.
Memphis twists and turns and lays off for Alba, whose attempted cross is blocked. Barça out of the blocks the quicker of the two sides.
Barcelona are playing an extremely high defensive line. Dynamo almost took advantage of that in midweek but lacked a cutting edge in front of goal in the absence of several attacking players. What will Madrid make of it?
Here we go! Barça get the ball rolling in Camp Nou!
Koeman and Ancelotti enjoy a chuckle on the touchline. They must have seen the Everton-Watford game yesterday.
The Barça anthem rings out over a full Camp Nou and the teams are coming out of the tunnel!
Sevilla have just nipped to the top of LaLiga with a 5-3 victory over Levante. Madrid can pull level with a win in Camp Nou and La Real play Atlético later. It's tight at the top!
Barcelona have had trouble filling Camp Nou since the return of fans to Spanish stadiums with only around 50,000 turning out for Dynamo and the previous Liga match against Valencia. It doesn't look as though that's going to be the case today though.
Benzema leads the way
In terms of active players in the Clásico nobody gets close to Karim Benzema in the scoring stakes. The Frenchman has 10 in total, with seven of those coming in Liga action.
Real Madrid starting XI confirmed
No real surprises from Ancelotti as he goes with the standard midfield three and Lucas Vázquez covering at right back. Benzema, Vinicius and Rodrygo provide the attacking threat for the visitors.
Barcelona starting XI confirmed
Gavi gets his first Clásico start to become the youngest player in the 21st century to feature in a Barcelona-Real Madrid clash. Kun Agüero has to make do with a place on the bench with Ansu and Memphis starting up top and Jordi Alba also involved from the outset.
Ancelotti: "In this type of match, there can be no favourite"
Real Madrid hammered Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in the Champions League in midweek, but they have taken just one point from the last six on offer in LaLiga in games against Villarreal and Espanyol.
"I don't like evaluating the squads of others," the Italian said. "But they have maintained that identity of playing good football. There's no Messi, but their youngsters are fantastic.
"It is tough to say who arrives in this game in better shape because Barça have played good games lately. In this type of match, there can be no favourite."
Koeman on Clásico
"I'm not under any more pressure. Being a Barça coach, I know the importance of what is ahead," the Dutchman said at Saturday's pre-match news conference.
"I have lost and won Clásicos as a player. It is my first as a coach with an audience, which makes it different. I'm hopeful of winning the game.
"Winning is important as it would help us continue to build confidence with all the changes we made and the youngsters that are emerging.
"We work together to improve on the field. I don't feel like this is an exam for us, but it is a Clásico and we have to prove ourselves."
Predicted Clásico XIs
For a more in-depth look at the possible starting line-ups in Camp Nou, look no further than our match preview.
Barcelona team news
Koeman is without Ousmane Dembélé still, who would certainly have been useful off the bench but is not quite ready to return yet. Ronald Araújo, Pedri and Martin Braithwaite all remain sidelined but in a huge boost for Barça Jordi Alba has been passed fit after picking up a foot injury against Dynamo, a game where the full back was one of Koeman's biggest attacking threats and provided the assist for the only goal of the game.
Real Madrid team news
Ancelotti has received a boost with the return of Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard, but whether either will start after injury layoffs remains to be seen. Dani Ceballos, Gareth Bale, Luka Jovic and Isco all remain unavailable.
Player to watch: Kun Agüero
For Barcelona it's fair to describe this season as transitional, with the departure of Messi in Koeman's own words laying bare all the problems Barcelona have had in recent years and which the Argentinean papered over. The Camp Nou's recruitment has hardly helped to quell dissent in the stands against the running of the club and while Memphis has shown some flashes of his ability and the emergence of Gavi is certainly a boost, the signing of veteran former Atlético and Manchester City striker Agüero was arguably Barça's best bit of business last summer.
The Argentinean has been injured for most of the season but has featured in the 3-1 victory over Barcelona and the laboured 1-0 win over Dynamo in midweek and could get the nod to start here. Few would bet against a forward of Agüero's ability getting off the mark in a game like this, his big-match temperament and eye for goal made for a headline grabbing outing in his first Clásico.
Player to watch: Vinicius
Real Madrid have more or less adjusted to the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, with Karim Benzema taking up the mantle of chief goalscorer and on-pitch attacking leader, but this season his young apprentice Vinicius has flourished under the tutelage of Ancelotti, bagging seven goals and providing five assists in 11 games in all competitions.
Barcelona without Messi in El Clásico
Of course, much of the focus today whatever the result will be on a player who isn't on the pitch: Barcelona are playing the first Clásico of the post-Messi era, the Argentinean having been involved in more or less every one since he broke into the Barcelona first team over 15 years ago. Messi is also the all-time leading scorer in Clásico matches, with 26 in total, eight more than his nearest rivals Alfredo di Stéfano and Cristiano Ronaldo.
It should be an interesting game today with various sub-narratives going into the match. Ronald Koeman could do with a result to provide balm to what has been an extremely tricky season for Barça so far, while Carlo Ancelotti will be looking to put another Clásico feather in his cap after his previous stint at the Bernabéu, where he won only one Liga Clásico in four attempts.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid: welcome
Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of the first Liga Clásico of the 2021-22 season as Barcelona host Real Madrid at Camp Nou. Kick-off is at 16:15.