Peeep peep peeep! That was an enjoyable first half. For half an hour or so, Real Madrid looked ready to rip Barcelona’s defence to shreds at will, and absolutely merited their opener when Vinícius ran through and fired in past Ter Stegen.
However, Barça began to come to life in the final quarter of an hour before the break, and restored parity shortly before the break when Militao’s clearance ricocheted off Luuk de Jong and in. Roll on the second half!
Barcelona certainly have their tails up now. Ferran lays it off for Luuk de Jong to cross from the right-hand byline, but his cross towards Dembélé is cut out. Barça on top in the closing moments of the half.
Barcelona’s Dani Alves has become the oldest player ever to appear in a Clásico, Spanish stats guru Mister Chip notes. Aged 38 and 251 days, he overtakes former team-mate José Manuel Pinto, who was 38 years and 159 days old.
Again Luuk de Jong has an eminently presentable headed chance, but again Courtois saves. Alba curls a cross from the left over to the far post, but the Dutchman can’t generate the power he needs and Courtois grabs hold without too much fuss.
And there it is! Karim Benzema gives Real Madrid the lead. It had been coming.
79' GOOOOAAALLL!!!! pic.twitter.com/y07H0NWZp6
— Jorge roster (@JorgeRoster) January 12, 2022