NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA
Real Madrid RMA
Benzema 11',Federico Valverde 34',Rodrygo 91' (p)
Barcelona BCN
Ferrán Torres 82'

Real Madrid vs Barcelona summary: El Clásico result, score, goals, highlights, LaLiga 22/23

Real Madrid triumphed in the Clásico thanks to goals from Benzema, Valverde and a late penalty from Rodrygo at the Santiago Bernabéu on LaLiga matchday nine

Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona: El Clásico as it happened

Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona: headlines

- Benzema, Valverde and Rodrygo goals earn Madrid victory

- Ferran Torres scored for Barcelona

- Madrid reclaim top spot in LaLiga and open up three-point lead

- Barça drop back to second

- Blaugrana's first league defeat of the season

William Allen

Modric so happy to be at Madrid

Modric received a standing ovation when he was subbed off in the 78th minute and tweeted out after the game how beautiful it is to be of Real Madrid. 

More on his love for the club and his thoughts after the game.

Casillas: "I want a Fede Valverde in my life!"

Former Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas, who thankfully seems have kept the hackers at bay this weekend, has seconded Toni Kroos' praise for goalscorer Fede Valverde, tweeting: "I want a @fedeevalverde in my life!"

When is the next El Clásico between Real Madrid vs Barcelona?


When is the next El Clásico between Real Madrid vs Barcelona?

The ink is barely dry on the 250th Clásico, but if your gaze is already turning to the 251st edition of the fixture, my colleague Fidel Rubio has the lowdown on when that will be

William Allen

Madrid's dressing-room celebrations

Real Madrid's social-media team have tweeted out some video footage of the players' arrival in the dressing room after putting Barcelona to the sword:

Laporta remonstrated with officials post-match - referee's report

It’s now emerging that Barcelona president Joan Laporta made his way down from the presidential box after the final whistle to complain to referee José María Sánchez Martínez.

According to Sánchez Martínez’s match report: “After the game and when the team of officials was in its dressing room, the president of FC Barcelona, Mr. Joan Laporta Estruch, came in to repeatedly seek explanations about certain situations in the game.

"In response to this occurrence, he was asked to leave the officials’ dressing room, with no further incident.”

William Allen

Butragueño: Benzema deserves the Ballon d’Or

Emilio Butragueño, Real Madrid’s director of institutional relations, says Karim Benzema should be the recipient of the Ballon d’Or in Paris on Monday. 

“We’ll see what happens tomorrow, but I think the football world is in agreement that Karim deserves this Ballon d’Or,” Butragueño has just told Spanish TV channel DAZN.

On Madrid’s Clásico win, Los Blancos’ former striker said: “What stuck out to me was the togetherness between the team and the fans. We played as a compact unit when we didn’t have the ball. 

“Barcelona’s periods of possession are long, but we closed the spaces, worked hard for each other, and when we had the ball we hurt them on the break. It was a great performance all round.”

(Photo: Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

William Allen

Kroos: Valverde "top 3 in the world"

Meanwhile, Modric's midfield colleague Toni Kroos has tweeted that Fede Valverde, who scored Madrid's sensational second goal, is among the "top 3 in the world right now".

William Allen

"Being a Madridista is so special"

Just over half an hour ago, having scarcely had time to make it off the pitch, Luka Modric tweeted: "Being a Madridista is so special".

(Please excuse the translation of one Spanish term with another; in Modric's case, "ser del Real Madrid" could be taken to mean being both a Madrid fan and actually being part of the club, so "Madridista" seemed most appropriate).

Rodrygo speaks: "I was sure the penalty would be given"

Another goal for the Brazilian:

"Very happy to help the team again. A great win against a top team. Very happy to score another goal. I need to carry on in this vein."


 "I think he [Eric García] caught me, and because we have VAR I was sure the penalty would be given. So I just waited."

William Allen
Rodrygo goal

Rodrygo Goes celebrates scoring Real Madrid's third goal from the penalty spot.

(Photo: David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

William Allen

Valverde speaks: "We dug in"

Reaction to victory:

"I’m very happy with the win, and the shift that we put in. We knew it’d be difficult, and on and individual level it’s really nice to score."

Win about the defence or the attack?

"I think both. We worked hard as a team. We dug in in the difficult moments. We worked hard defensively, and in attack went up the other end at pace."

William Allen

Ancelotti speaks: "Modric was spectacular"

Complete display:

“Against this type of team with this kind of quality, you have to put in a complete performance, play well in attack and defence, and the team did that. We did well with and without the ball. We played with confidence, we took an early lead, and we controlled the game pretty well in the second half.”

Good defensive display:

“Militao needed to put more pressure on against a striker like Lewandowski, who is very strong, and he did that very well. We needed to control the players between the lines, and Tchouaméni and Modric did that against Pedri and De Jong.”


"The five changes we now have helps a lot, particularly when you have players on the bench who deserve to be in the team. I can’t pick everyone. I wanted to inject more energy into the midfield with Valverde, and then I knew I could turn to Rodrygo and Camavinga."

Modric display:

"I’d like to highlight the performance of Modric, who was spectacular. 

William Allen

Hazard still to play a minute in the Clásico

There's an interesting aside from Mister Chip: there have now been eight Clásicos since Eden Hazard joined Real Madrid, and the Belgian has not made it onto the field for a single minute of them.

Xavi speaks: "Nothing's coming off for us"

Barcelona didn't take their chances:

"We’re on a negative run now; nothing is coming off for us. We have faith and we try until the end, but that’s football. Today it’s only three points, but this was a good chance for us to stay top. We had chances to equalise at 1-0, but we didn’t take our chances. Madrid took their chances and defended well." 


"In general I can’t be happy with anything, but in terms of the positives, we were aggressive and had chances to equalise, but then they got the penalty. We have to look at where we went wrong. We’re on a negative run right now and we need to change that."

William Allen

How it now stands at the top of LaLiga

Here's what the top of LaLiga now looks like. Real Madrid open up a three-point lead over Barcelona - and the added bonus of this victory is that Carlo Ancelotti's men now have the head-to-head upper hand on their arch rivals.

For Barça it's a first league defeat of the season, and the first time they've conceded more than once in a single top-flight game this term.


Modric speaks: "Very happy with the performance"

Reaction to Clásico win:

"We’re very happy with the victory, with the result. We want to say thank you to the fans for the atmosphere they created."

Team dug in and were clinical:

“We knew there’d be a difficult moments in the game because Barcelona are very good with ball at feet, but that’s where we all had to give our all and defend. And then we were very clinical up front. Very happy with the performance; I think  it was a really good one.”

Benzema to win Ballon d'Or?

Hopefully he wins the Ballon d’Or because he deserves it for everything he’s done this year and last year. Very happy for him.

William Allen

Koundé speaks: "We didn't play badly, but..."

Reaction to defeat:

"Very disappointed. We didn’t play badly, but in the first half we made mistakes where they are strong, in the transitions."

Real Madrid:

"When they don’t have the ball they look like they’re struggling, but then they score two goals. We need to work on that, and be more clinical."

Decision for Madrid penalty:

"I'll have to have a look at it. At 2-1, it’s tough for us. Because we might have had a chance to level."

William Allen

Peeep peeep peeep! It’s all over at the Bernabéu! Real Madrid have beaten Barcelona for the 101st time in their history, and have leapfrogged their arch rivals at the top of LaLiga. Los Blancos move to 25 points; Barça stay on 22.


The Bernabéu is jumping, I probably don't need to tell you.

Madrid are heading back to the top of the league.

William Allen

Goal! Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona - Rodrygo scores from the spot!

Benzema has just been taken off, so it's Rodrygo who will take the spot-kick. Ter Stegen goes the right way, but he can only push the ball further into the corner. That's the points safe for Real Madrid, surely...?


Penalty given! Real Madrid have a chance to quickly put Barcelona's fightback to bed.

There'll be four minutes of time added on, by the way.


Play is now stopped for a potential penalty for Real Madrid. Valverde fed Rodrygo in the box, where the Brazilian tumbled under García's challenge. After an initial VAR check, Sánchez Martínez is called over to the pitchside monitor to look at it.


Madrid make a double change: Rüdiger and Marco Asensio are on for Carvajal and Benzema.


Fati is so close to equalising! Suddenly Barcelona are marrying their possession with end product, and the youngster fires just wide from 10 yards out. From just outside of the Madrid box, De Jong clips a ball onto Roberto's head on the penalty spot. His effort is blocked, but the loose ball falls to Fati, who can't quite find the target!

William Allen

Antonio Rüdiger is preparing to come on for Real Madrid, who could see the win on the horizon a couple of minutes ago, but are looking rather more nervous now.

William Allen

Goal! Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona - Ferran pulls one back!

For much of this half, it's looked like Barça were destined to have plenty of the ball but create not all that much, but they've created something now, and they're back in it! It's fine play by Fati. He gets his head down and bursts towards the left-hand byline before firing the ball across the box. His cross evades everyone except Ferran, who taps in at the back post!


Again Barcelona come at Madrid; it's pretty much all being played in the hosts' half at the moment. It's initially worked to Ferran on the right, but he can't find a way through, and opts to play it backwards, where Gavi finds a yard of space to shoot. His shot takes a big old deflection, but it can't trouble Lunin.

William Allen

Tchouaméni looks to launch a Madrid break, and is scythed down by Gavi. Sánchez Martínez has no hesitation in whipping a yellow card out for the teenager.


Madrid make their first substitution. Modric is the man who's replaced, the Croat leaving the field to a huge ovation. Eduardo Camavinga is on in his place.


Close from Fati! Barça have done plenty of huffing and puffing for precious little end product in this second half, but they do get a shot away now. The ball drops to Fati on the edge of the Madrid area, and he quickly pulls the trigger. His low strike flies just, just wide of Lunin's left-hand post.

William Allen

Ferran drops a shoulder and looks to burst past Alaba and into the box, but the Austrian stays strong and holds the Spaniard off. He turns away from Ferran and clears; excellent defending.

William Allen

Modric brings down Pedri, and is shown a yellow card. Madrid clearly feel the booking is excessive, but a booking it is.


Hello... Barcelona are screaming for a penalty when Lewandowski tumbles to the turf under Carvajal's challenge. Sánchez Martínez says no... and a VAR check upholds the referee's decision.

A look at the replay suggests the officials are spot on. Carvajal no more than brushes Lewandowski, who went down like a sack of spuds.

William Allen

Dembélé is replaced, with Ansu Fati on in his stead.


Lewandowski slaps the free-kick into the wall.

Barça are about to make another change.

William Allen

Just as I say Madrid have taken control, Dembélé skips past Tchouaméni on the edge of the hosts' box, and is brought down by his compatriot. It's an exceedingly enticing free-kick for the visitors, which will be taken by one of Lewandowski and Alba.

William Allen

Carvajal earns the applause of the home fans when he's quickly back into position to hold Dembélé off and shield the ball back towards Lunin. The Ukrainian clears.

William Allen

The ball is laid off to Benzema on the edge of the Barça box, but he shoots over. Still, Madrid are pretty much in complete control right now.


William Allen

Real Madrid are stroking it about nicely now. First, Modric sprays the ball out to the left to Vinícius, who cuts inside and into the box, but can't find a shooting angle. Madrid recycle, though, with Modric again leading the charge. He releases Benzema into the area, but García is quickly across to hold the striker off and shepherd the ball behind.

William Allen

At one end, García sends a ball into the Real Madrid box, but it can't find a Blaugrana shirt and Lunin gathers with ease.

At the other, Benzema tries to slip Vinícius into the Barça area, but Ter Stegen is quickly off his line to grab hold ahead of the Brazilian. The German picks up a bit of knock as he dives at Vinícius' feet, but he's up pretty quickly.

William Allen

Benzema scores a goal that was later disallowed for offside.

(Photo: REUTERS/Susana Vera)

William Allen

Here comes Barcelona's triple change. Jordi Alba, Gavi and Ferran Torres are on for Raphinha, Busquets and Balde.


Madrid are starting to look quite comfortable now; Barça began the half on the front foot, but they've lost momentum. Los Blancos keep the ball for a couple of minutes or so, even drawing some 'olés' from the home crowd.

When Barcelona finally win it back, the visitors almost work it to Dembélé, who has set off on speedy run towards the top of the Madrid box, but the Frenchman is crowded out and the hosts regain possession.

William Allen

Madrid have looked really dangerous on the break in the last couple of minutes. Vinícius is released into space down the right... but just as it looks like the Brazilian is going to advance forward towards the Barça box, his touch lets him down and the ball trundles out.

Barcelona are preparing a triple substitution, it seems.

William Allen

Gooooaa.... No! Real Madrid think they have a third, but it's ruled out for offside. Vinícius' diagonal crossfield ball finds Benzema on the right. He cuts inside from the wing and hares at the Barcelona box, before thumping the ball into the far corner, past the diving Ter Stegen. As Benzema wheels away to celebrate, however, the referee poops the Frenchman's party with a blow of his whistle, as the flag is up.

A VAR check confirms that Benzema was just offside when he received Vinícius' pass.

The ease with which he sliced through the Barça defence will be a source of deep concern to Xavi, though.


Madrid threaten in attack for the first time since the break. Receiving the ball close to the left-hand byline, Benzema lays it back to the top of the box for Kroos to strike, but the German sidefoots it well over the bar.

William Allen

Barcelona begin the half on the attack, Raphinha taking on Mendy and fizzing a low ball into the area, where Tchouaméni plays it back to Lunin to clear. 

A moment later, Modric dwells on the ball in the Madrid half and loses it, allowing De Jong to look for Lewandowski's run into the area. The Dutchman's pass is just too long, though, and it runs through to Lunin.

William Allen

Peeeep! We're back up and running at the Bernabéu. No changes for either team.

Liverpool - Manchester City live online: score, stats and updates, Premier League 2022-23


Liverpool - Manchester City live online: score, stats and updates, Premier League 2022-23

Just to let you know that we also have live-text coverage of Liverpool and Manchester City's heavyweight Premier League clash today. You can join my colleague Paul Rudder for that one, which kicks off at 4:30pm BST/11:30am ET.

William Allen

History is now against Barça...

Mister Chip notes that it's 63 years since Barcelona last managed to draw or win a Clásico after being two or more goals down at half time. The Catalans haven't managed to do so since a Copa del Rey semi-final in 1959, when they overturned a 2-0 deficit to win 4-2.


Benzema (right) celebrates scoring Real Madrid's opening goal.

(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

William Allen

Peeep peeep peeep! That's half time. Barcelona have had most of the ball, but Real Madrid have scored all the goals. 2-0 flatters the hosts, who after starting stronger ended up on the back foot for a decent chunk of that half, but as things stand they're heading back to the top of the league. Valverde's goal was a beaut, it must be said; both the build-up play and the finish.


Barça enjoy yet another prolonged spell of possession, finally working it through to Lewandowski on the right-hand byline. He wins a corner, which is delivered to Pedri on the edge of the box. The Spaniard attempts to volley the ball back into the area, but it's blocked.

One minute of time added on at the Bernabéu.

William Allen

There's another chance for Lewandowski, but he can't get enough on it. Balde whips a left-wing cross into the area, where Busquets heads it back across goal towards the Pole. He's got two men on him, though, and they do enough to put him off. He ends up nodding it a yard or so wide.

William Allen

Earliest Real Clásico goal at Bernabéu since 2013

According to stats specialists Opta, Benzema's opener for Real Madrid was the earliest for Los Blancos in a league Clásico at the Bernabéu in nearly a decade - since March 2013.


Barça immediately create a chance to reduce the deficit, when De Jong bursts into the Real Madrid box and shoots. Lunin does well to make himself big and block. It's been a really watchable first half.

William Allen

Goal! Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona - fine strike by Valverde!

It's very harsh on Barcelona, but Real Madrid are two to the good. Carvajal's ball forward somehow finds its way through to Vinícius, who sets off towards the Barça box. He slips it left to Tchouaméni, who in turn plays it further left to Mendy. Arriving at pace, the left-back shapes to cross, before instead laying it back off to Valverde at the top of the box.

The Uruguayan has acres of space to control and shoot, and his low finish gives Ter Stegen no chance. Right into the corner. It's a marvellous goal.


Again Barcelona pin Real Madrid back, working it from side to side to the sound of deafening whistles from the Real Madrid supporters. The visitors work it out right to Raphinha, who heads to the byline and tries to cross, but is well challenged by Kroos. The German not only blocks, but manages to divert the ball off Raphinha on its way out, and Madrid have a goal-kick.

William Allen

Vinícius is the first man to go into José María Sánchez Martínez's book, after giving the referee a little bit too much lip. The forward felt he had been fouled; Sánchez Martínez deemed otherwise.


Blimey, Lunin dwells on the ball and is almost robbed of it in his own area by Lewandowski. He clears just in time. Madrid don't look half as confident now as they did 10 minutes ago.

William Allen

Lewandowski is down and in some pain after colliding with Alaba on the edge of the box. He's clutching his face, but is up fairly quickly and looks like he'll be OK.


This is much better from Barcelona. Roberto is released in behind Mendy, and makes a beeline for the byline. With Lewandowski waiting in the middle, Roberto crosses towards the penalty spot - but Lunin is there to intercept! Lewandowski puts his hands to his head. It's now Barça who are in the ascendancy.

William Allen

What a chance for Lewandowski! He should equalise. Again Barça keep it in the Madrid half for a good while, but this time they do manage to attack with some penetration. Pedri works it out to Raphinha, who crosses low across the face of goal - but Lewandowski turns the ball over at the back post! He was five yards out. (Though the replay suggests he may have been offside.)

William Allen

Dembélé crosses long from the left, but Roberto rescues the ball before it goes out and Barcelona go again. Busquets plays it back out to Roberto to cross from the right, but his low ball is easily dealt with.

William Allen

Valverde is penalised for a high challenge on Busquets. He clearly catches the Barcelona captain, who - as his wont - makes as much of it as he can. Valverde escapes a booking, however.

William Allen

To loud whistles from the home fans, Barcelona pop it about inside the Madrid half for a good minute or so. There's no penetration to their build-up play, though, and there's a huge cheer from the Bernabéu crowd when the visitors are forced to turn back into their own half.

Madrid on top thus far.

William Allen

Koundé plays a forward ball in Raphinha's direction, but it's wayward. Between them, Mendy and Kroos bring it clear. As he dealt with the danger, Mendy turned away from Raphinha with a very neat change of direction.

Madrid now look very confident indeed.

William Allen

Ter Stegen run at an end

That Benzema goal, by the way, ends Marc-André ter Stegen's long run without conceding in LaLiga. According to football stats guru Mister Chip, the clock is stopped at 653 minutes - the fifth longest run in league history.


Madrid go in search of an immediate second. Valverde is first to the ball on the right, drawing huge cheers from the home supporters, before playing it inside to Benzema. He tries to release Valverde in behind Balde with a backheel, but doesn't get enough purchase on it, and Barcelona clear.

William Allen

Goal! Real Madrid 1-0 Barcelona - Benzema scores!

Benzema's barren patch in front of goal ends at five games, and Real Madrid lead. Kroos does tremendously to hold off his man and slip a ball through to Vinícius, who's suddenly scuttling in behind the Barcelona backline.

The Brazilian's first touch is a little long, allowing Ter Stegen to come out and parry - but the loose ball runs straight to Benzema at the top of the box. There's a delegation of Barça players on the line to try and block the Frenchman's finish, but he threads it between them and into the net!

Madrid going back top as it stands.


Madrid get Vinícius running at the Barcelona defence once more. Benzema plays it to the Brazilian, who carries the ball into the box from the left... but he dallies somewhat, and is crowded out by three Barcelona defenders. Madrid recycle it out to Carvajal on the right wing, where the full-back volleys a first-time cross into the middle - but the flag is up. Carvajal was offside.

William Allen

There's Real Madrid's first sight of goal, and again it's Mendy and Vinícius who combine. The latter plays the former into space on the left wing, before collecting the Frenchman's return ball just inside the box. Vinícius fires in a shot towards Ter Stegen's far post, but there's a crowd of Barça players in the path of the strike, and it's deflected away from goal.

William Allen

Back come Barcelona. Lewandowski spins just inside the Madrid half and releases Dembélé, who takes on Carvajal. The Frenchman lays it off at the top of the box for Lewandowski to strike, but it's blocked - ah, and the flag is up. Dembélé was offisde when found by the Pole's initial pass.

William Allen

Barcelona put together their first attack of substance. The visitors work it to Pedri, who carries the ball deep into the Real Madrid half before slipping it right to Raphinha. The Brazilian scored against Madrid from a similar area in July's friendly in the US, and he doesn't need a second invitation to cut inside and let fly. His shot is too close to Lunin, however, and it's a pretty easy take for the goalkeeper.

William Allen

Real Madrid get the volume rising in the Bernabéu for the first time this afternoon, as Mendy brings it forward down the left and feeds Vinícius. He heads towards the byline, with Koundé coming out to meet him. Vinícius tries to beat the Frenchman with a piece of skill, but is very far from pulling it off. The defender shepherds the ball behind for a goal-kick.

William Allen

Peeeeep! Señor Sánchez Martínez gets us underway at the Bernabéu.

Teams out at the Bernabéu!

The two teams make their way onto the field. We're a handshake and a coin toss from the first Clásico of the season.

The club anthem "Hala Madrid" blares out at the Bernabéu.

William Allen

Karim Benzema during the warm-up at the Bernabéu.

(Photo: REUTERS/Susana Vera)

William Allen
Why does Karim Benzema wear a bandage on his hand?


Why does Karim Benzema wear a bandage on his hand?

Incidentally, should you be wondering why Karim Benzema always wears a bandage covering his right hand and wrist, my AS colleague Manu de Juan has the story behind the accessory.

William Allen

Warm-ups done!

The warm-ups are now complete, and the players have made their way back into the dressing rooms for their final preparations. 

William Allen

Warm-ups well underway

We have around a quarter of an hour to go until kick-off in the Spanish capital.

Both teams are out on the Bernabéu pitch and deep into their warm-ups.

ICYMI: Real Madrid and Barcelona starting line-ups

A reminder, in case you haven't seen them, of the two starting XIs at the Bernabéu:

Real Madrid:

Lunin, Carvajal, Militão, Alaba, Mendy, Tchouaméni, Modric, Kroos, Valverde, Benzema, Vinícius.


Ter Stegen, Roberto, Koundé, García, Balde, Pedri, Busquets, De Jong, Dembélé, Lewandowski, Raphinha.

William Allen
El Clásico: how Benzema and Lewandowski compare


El Clásico: how Benzema and Lewandowski compare

Benzema has been in magnificent form for a few years now, of that three can be no doubt. However, the Frenchman is currently on a mini-goal drought: he hasn't scored in his five games for Madrid, stretching back to his double against Espanyol in late August. 

That said, he still has a more than respectable four goals in nine in all competitions this term - including three in five in LaLiga.

Leading the line for Barcelona, meanwhile, is a red-hot Robert Lewandowski. Since joining the club in the summer, the Pole has plundered 14 goals in his first 12 games for the Blaugrana.

My colleague Calum Roche put together a comparison piece on Real Madrid and Barcelona's two star strikers.


William Allen
Karim Benzema

Karim to get the d'Or?

Just a reminder that tomorrow it's the 2022 Ballon d'Or gala in Paris - where Real Madrid's Karim Benzema is widely expected to win the men's Ballon d'Or for the first time

Ahead of the ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet, my colleague Jennifer Bubel has prepared a video report on just why the Frenchman deserves to scoop the accolade


William Allen
Real Madrid supporters

Real Madrid fans inside the Estadio Bernabéu ahead of the Clásico.

(Photo: REUTERS/Susana Vera)

William Allen

Teams have checked in at the Bernabéu

The Real Madrid and Barcelona squads have both arrived at the Bernabéu and, as we speak, are just starting to emerge for their warm-ups. Barça boss Xavi has already been out to cast his discerning eye over the state of the pitch.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona: date, how to watch Clásico online and on TV


Real Madrid vs Barcelona: date, how to watch Clásico online and on TV

If you're looking to tune in to today's Clásico on TV or online but aren't sure where it's on, may I suggest you take a look at our guide on how and where to watch.

William Allen
Carlo Ancelotti Real Madrid

What the coaches said: Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid

Courtois out of Clásico:

“He hasn't trained very much over the past couple of weeks and he's not comfortable. He won’t play tomorrow. He will train more regularly next week. We'll see if he's ready to return on Wednesday or next Saturday.”

Rüdiger fit despite head injury suffered in Warsaw:

“He's fine. He only needs to wear the mask to make sure that the wound doesn't reopen. He's excited. He's a warrior.”

Benzema's five-game goal drought either side of injury layoff:

“He's looked much better this week, he's improved a lot. I am convinced that we will see the Karim we all know and love.”

Barcelona’s style of football:

“Barça's history tells us everything we need to know. They continue with a style which pleases the fans and the club. That doesn’t mean to say I think it's the wrong model to follow. It's their idea about football, it's brought them success and continues to do so. Other teams think differently. What I think personally, for me, is that having just one style isn't ideal.” 


William Allen
Xavi Barcelona press conference

What the coaches said: Xavi Hernández, Barcelona

Jules Koundé fit for Clásico:

"He’s fine. He’s at 100%. He feels very good physically. He’s trained very well. So he’s available."

Does the Clásico 'turn you on'?

“I don’t know if it’d be true to say it turns me on [laughs]. But I really like playing Madrid, I’m very competitive. I’d like to still be a player to be out there on the pitch for these types of games. This is where you have to stand up and be counted; as a coach, too. Everyone watches the Clásico and everyone’s up for it.”

Stopping Vinícius Júnior:

it’s not just Vinícius that we have to stop. It’s also Benzeama, Rodrygo, Valverde… They’re a competitive team who get the best out of their players. It’s a huge game. It’s not about how we stop Vinícius; it’s about how we stop Madrid.”

Morale boost if Barça win Clásico:

“The impact on morale if we come out of a game like this with a good result would be significant. But it’s still early [in the project]. We’re still building. The European result [against Inter] is sad and we’re annoyed about it. But we need to keep going. We’re doing much in better in the league than last year.”

Form book out of the window:

"Of the games we play, it's the one where the previous game is least important. You forget about what happened in the last game: I’ve experienced that as a player."

(Photo: Rodolfo Molina/Diario AS)

William Allen

Barça bid to bounce back from UCL disappointment

Barcelona may go into today's Clásico as unbeaten league leaders, but in the Champions League their results have been rather less impressive. Indeed, they're facing a second straight group-stage exit from Europe's top club competition. The Catalans' entertaining draw with Inter Milan on Wednesday left the Italians all but through to the last 16 at Barça's expense.

Given how far the club pushed the boat out in this summer's huge spending spree - aided, of course, by a series of economic 'levers' - the financial impact of Champions League elimination is one they can ill afford.

For defending champions Madrid, on the other hand, there was much better Champions League news in midweek. Antonio Rüdiger's last-gasp equaliser against Shakhtar Donetsk snatched a draw that confirmed Los Blancos' qualification for the knockout stages.

William Allen

Koundé one of three changes for Barcelona

Xavi makes three changes to the Barcelona team that started the 3-3 Champions League draw with Inter Milan on Wednesday, headlined by the return of Jules Koundé to the Catalans’ XI. 

Alejandro Balde and Frenkie de Jong also come into the line-up, with Marcos Alonso, Gerard Piqué and Gavi dropping to the bench.

There had been talk of Balde being used as a right-back to counteract Vinícius’ pace. In the end, though, it looks very much like the 18-year-old is to slot into his regular position at left-back, with Sergi Roberto on the right, and Koundé partnering Eric García in the middle.

(Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

William Allen

Barcelona team news

We now have team news from Barcelona. Xavi has gone with the following XI: Ter Stegen, Roberto, Koundé, García, Balde, Pedri, Busquets, De Jong, Dembélé, Lewandowski and Raphinha.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Who is Sánchez Martínez, the referee for El Clásico?


Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Who is Sánchez Martínez, the referee for El Clásico?

We're still waiting for news of Barcelona's line-up at the Bernabéu.

In the meantime, let me point you towards another piece of pre-match reading: my colleague Calum Roche has put together a profile of referee José María Sánchez Martínez, who will be overseeing his sixth Clásico today.

William Allen

Courtois: "Let’s go out and win this game!"

By the way, Courtois took to Twitter about an hour ago with a message for his Real Madrid colleagues.

My injury has prevented me from enjoying this Clásico, but it certainly won’t stop me from getting right behind my team-mates," the goalkeeper posted. "Let’s go out and win this game! #HalaMadrid”

Vinícius Júnior

Five changes for Real Madrid

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti makes five changes to the team that began the midweek Champions League draw with Shakhtar Donetsk. 

Dani Carvajal, Éder Militão, David Alaba, Luka Modric and Vinícius Júnior all return to the line-up, with Lucas Vázquez, Antonio Rüdiger, Nacho Fernández, Eden Hazard and Rodrygo Goes making way.

In Thibaut Courtois’ absence, Ukrainian Andriy Lunin starts in goal for Madrid for the fourth game in a row.

Madrid’s only other injury absentee is midfielder Dani Ceballos.

(Photo: Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

William Allen

Real Madrid team news

Real Madrid's team is in! It is: Lunin, Carvajal, Militão, Alaba, Mendy, Tchouaméni, Modric, Kroos, Valverde, Benzema and Vinícius.

Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona

The last time the sides met at the Bernabéu...

The most recent Clásico at the Bernabéu - and the most recent Clásico full stop, unless you count July's friendly in Las Vegas - was a truly memorable one. In March, just four months into Xavi's tenure as Barcelona head coach, the Catalans produced a swashbuckling display to thump a Karim Benzema-less Real Madrid.

In Benzema's absence, Ancelotti experimented with Luka Modric as a false nine - and it did not go well. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored two for Barça, either side of goals by Ronald Araújo and Ferran Torres, as the Blaugrana won 4-0.

The victory for Barça ended a run of five Clásico wins in a row for Madrid.


William Allen
How many editions of El Clásico have there been?


How many editions of El Clásico have there been?

The mathematicians among you will have worked out in my previous post that 100+97+52=249... So today's Clásico is the 250th competitive meeting between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

On top of that, it's the 100th time the teams have faced off in an official match at the Bernabéu.

Football-numbers guru Mister Chip has the full lowdown on the statistical history of the Clásico 

William Allen
SofaScore Clásico H2H

At a glance: Real Madrid and Barcelona's LaLiga records this term

Courtesy of our friends at SofaScore, here is an at-a-glance comparison of Real Madrid and Barcelona's LaLiga records so far this season.

As you'll also see from the graphic, Madrid head into today's clash with a slight advantage in the all-time head-to-head stakes: Los Merengues have 100 Clásico wins to Barcelona's 97, while 52 have been drawn.

William Allen

How things stand at the top of LaLiga

Barcelona head to the Bernabéu as LaLiga leaders, edging Real Madrid out at the top on goal difference. The Blaugrana took over in first place two weeks ago, their victory over Real Mallorca taking them to the summit for the first time in 836 days - since mid-2020. 

Madrid could have reclaimed top spot the day after Barça's win over Mallorca; however, Carlo Ancelotti's men relinquished their grip on the leadership when they dropped their first points of the league campaign, in a 1-1 home draw with Osasuna.

Having leapfrogged Madrid, Barça stayed top last weekend when they beat Celta Vigo 1-0. Los Blancos, meanwhile, kept pace with their arch rivals by defeating Getafe 1-0.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona: LaLiga El Clásico match preview, team news


Real Madrid vs Barcelona: LaLiga El Clásico match preview, team news

Kick-off at the Bernabéu is at 4:15pm CEST/10:15am ET - in about two and a half hours' time. In the meantime, another piece of pre-match reading material I'd like to point you in the direction of is our full preview piece on Real Madrid vs Barcelona.

Take a look

William Allen
El Clásico injury report: which players are sidelined for the Real Madrid vs Barcelona game?


El Clásico injury report: which players are sidelined for the Real Madrid vs Barcelona game?

My colleague Fidel Rubio has put together a full report on which Real Madrid and Barcelona players will be sitting out today's Clásico with injury. 

It's worth noting that nobody is suspended for the clash at the Bernabéu.

William Allen

Barcelona's squad for El Clásico

As for Barcelona, the headline inclusion in the visitors' squad is that of Jules Koundé. The France defender has been out of action since sustaining a hamstring injury on international duty in September, but Barça boss Xavi Hernández says the 23-year-old is "100%" fit to return.

Real Madrid's squad for El Clásico

The chief squad news for Real Madrid is that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is still not ready to return from injury, having missed Los Blancos' last four games with sciatica. Andriy Lunin is expected to deputise for the Belgian once more.

On a positive note, however, defender Antonio Rüdiger is fit to take his place in Madrid's matchday group, despite the head injury he suffered in the midweek draw with Shakhtar Donetsk. "He's a warrior," head coach Carlo Ancelotti said of the German yesterday.

Dani Ceballos is still unavailable, as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

El Clásico: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live blog as we build up to this afternoon's Clásico. Top spot in the table is at stake - both teams are level on 22 points with Barça top on goal difference alone.

Yesterday we heard from both coaches, who gave updates on how their injured first team stars were faring and whether they would be fit to play. Ancelotti anounced his 23-man squad for the game while Barcelona flew down to the capital yesterday evening, 21 players in Xavi's travelling squad.

We will be bringing you all of the latest developments, team news, injury updates, interviews, stats, stories and banter during the next few hours right up until kick-off.

Andy Hall

To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?