El Clasico, As it Happened: Barcelona 0 - 0 Real Madrid; Messi, Bale misfire

Follow LIVE scores, updates and commentary from the first El Clasico of the 2019-20 La Liga season between host Barcelona and rival Real Madrid.

Barcelona and Real Madrid are currently tied on 35 points each, four ahead of third-placed Sevilla, with El Clasico as their game in hand.   -  Getty Images

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's LIVE blog of the La-Liga 'El Clasico' match between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

This is Dominic Richard and I will be taking you through our live coverage.

LIVE UPDATES:

Thank you very much for tuning in guys! That's it for today. See you!!!

A game that lacked the knack of finishing finally comes to an end. Both sides could have won but they settle for a goalless draw. 

MATCH REPORT | Bale goal disallowed as Barca, Madrid share spoils

POST-MATCH REACTIONS | Clasico draw against Barca 'not good enough' for Zinedine Zidane

ALSO READ | El Clasico marred by violence as 46 people injured, 5 arrested

Both teams move to 36 points now. However, Barcelona is ahead on goal difference. Real Madrid will next play Athletic Bilbao before the La Liga Christmas break. And Barcelona will face off against Alaves a day earlier. Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema stay at 12 goals each. Messi has one assist more than Benzema though.

Casemiro is most deservedly adjudged the player-of-the-match. Five players made their 'El Clasico' debuts tonight. They were Antoinne Griezmann & Ansu Fati for Barcelona and Federico Valverde, Ferland Mendy & Rodrygo for Real Madrid. Barcelona has now gone seven 'El Clasico' games unbeaten on the trot, while Real Madrid has now not scored in three consecutive games against Barcelona. After 90 minutes, there's absolutely nothing to separate both sides.

AND IT'S FULL TIME!!!!

90+5' Rakitic gets the ball in midfield and heads forward for one last Barcelona attack. However, Vidal loses the ball after receiving a pass and fouls an opponent to give Real Madrid some relief.

90+2' YELLOW CARD! Dani Carvajal with a pathetic challenge on Ansu Fati which will send him into the referee's book.

90' FIVE MINUTES OF STOPPAGE TIME TO BE ADDED ON! Real Madrid is moving forward with numbers.

89' Jordi Alba with a cross into the box and Luis Suarez jumps the highest to guide it on target. However, his shot goes just wide off the right corner of the post.

86' CORNER FOR BARCELONA! Ansu Fati made a wonderful run into the box but his attempted cross to Suarez was intercepted by Carvajal. Barcelona is unable to do much with the corner.

83' ANSU FATI IS IN! He replaces Antoine Griezmann in the middle. He is now officially the second youngest player to feature in an 'El Clasico' this century.

82' INJURIES!! Clement Lenglet and Gareth Bale collide. The physios from both sides rush in to check for concussion. Both players are taken out. Thankfully, both of them are fine.

81' DOUBLE SUBSTITUTION!!! Zidane finally makes changes. Isco makes way for Rodrygo, who makes his El Clasico debut, and Luka Modric comes in for Federico Valverde.

79' YELLOW CARD!!! Sergio Ramos is penalised for bringing down Lionel Messi. Both keepers have had nothing to do for most of the match. Poor finishing from both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

77' CLOSE!! Jordi Alba made a brilliant run on the left flank and Vidal almost reached his cross in the middle. Vidal is literally playing like a central striker here.

74' CHANCE! Drama at the other end!!! Suarez absolutely messes up the chance. Messi to Vidal to Messi who passed it back to Vidal. The Chilean found the unmarked Suarez at the edge of the box and Suarez's final shot was a skier.

72' OFFSIDE!!! Gareth Bale actually scored! But Mendy, the person who crossed the ball to him, was inches offside and VAR confirms it. It is a real let off for FC Barcelona.

70' ANOTHER YELLOW CARD!!! A harsh tackle from Bale during a Barcelona counter and referee doesn't hesitate to book him.

68' CLOSE!!! Some beautiful passing from Real Madrid now. Isco to Valverde to Gareth Bale. Bale's fires a shot at goal, however, it hits the side net and doesn't trouble Ter Stegen.

66' YELLOW CARD!! First one for Real Madrid. Casemiro brings down Luis Suarez near the box and he will miss Real Madrid's next game. Messi will take the free kick and he hits it straight at the wall.

63' Karim Benzema is playing really well today. He puts in a pass to Toni Kroos in the middle and the German midfielder's attempt is blocked by the Barca defence.

61' PENALTY CLAIMS?! Suarez went down inside the box and kept rolling but the referee waves his hands rightfully.

60' VERY GOOD CHANCE! Messi almost scored. An uncharacteristic miss from the Barca captain. Brilliant passing overall from Barcelona and the ball finally fell to Messi with the goal at his mercy. However, in the lead up to the chance, there was a Griezmann handball involved.

58' CHANCE! Roberto with a good run on the right wing, however, his cross lands straight into Courtois' hands. The sub Vidal is making some crucial runs into the box.

56' SUBSTITUTION!! First sub of the day! Ernesto Valverde reacts first. Nelson Semedo makes way for Arturo Vidal for Barcelona.

54' SIXTH REAL MADRID CORNER!!! Toni Kroos takes it and tries to find his skipper Ramos at the far post but Rakitic clears it away.

52' OFFSIDE!!! Gareth Bale receives the ball in midfield and he tries to find Isco up front but the Spanish midfielder was too eager to get forward.

50' CLOSE!!! Lionel Messi with a good move into the box but his low cross is easily cleared away by the Real Madrid defence. This has been the story of the day. Good chances created but no end product.

48' Bale is down during a Real Madrid attack but the referee doesn't penalise any Barcelona player. The home side goes on the counter. Casemiro fouls Rakitic to stop the flow. No yellow card though.

46' CORNER! Early one for Real Madrid. Kroos' corner is cleared away easily and the Barcelona counter is on. Ferland Mendy's sliding tackle stops Griezmann on his way up.

THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY!

Real Madrid has created more chances today but Barcelona has been the better side in the final third. Both teams should have scored at least one goal by now but it's still nil-nil. Both teams have passed well and have created a number of chances. Real Madrid has more shots on target, while Barcelona has made more interceptions. 45 minutes to go. Stay tuned! Official attendance at Camp Nou tonight - 96,426. MASSIVE!!!

AND THE FIRST HALF IS OVER!

45' One minute to be added on! YELLOW CARD! Clement Lenglet is the third Barcelona player to be booked. He brought down Isco with a silly tackle.

44' Another shot on target from Valverde. CLOSE! At the other end, there's another Barcelona chance. A touch from Mendy saves Real Madrid. Messi was right there waiting for his chance to slot it home but the ball is deflected away.

43' A game of back passing almost backfired for Real Madrid as Rakitic intercepted a Varane pass but fortunately for Real Madrid it goes out for a goal kick.

41' WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY! WHAT A MISS FROM ALBA!!!! That was the best chance of the game. Frenkie de Jong passed the ball to Messi who found Alba inside the box and the Barcelona full-back had the goal at his mercy but he somehow finds a way to miss.

40' YELLOW CARD!! Another Barcelona player booked! This time it's Luis Suarez. He brought down Casemiro.

38' SHOT! Toni Kroos with a long ranger which doesn't trouble Ter Stegen.

36' FIRST CORNER FOR BARCELONA! But its a poor one from Messi. Real Madrid is on the counter now. What a debut Clasico it's been for Valverde.

34' Third save for Ter Stegen whose been the busier of the two keepers. Casemiro with another testing shot. Barcelona has had the better possession so far but Real Madrid has completely dominated the attacking stats.

32' WHAT A SHOT!!! The youngster Valverde's curler almost beat Ter Stegen. It was a fantastic shot! The last few minutes have been nothing short of sensational. Both teams are on top of their games.

30' ANOTHER GOALLINE CLEARANCE!!! This time its Ramos! He replicates his Spain teammate. Suarez almost got his name on the scoresheet. But Ramos clears it away at the right time.

28' OFFSIDE! Semedo almost scored there but the linesman had already called for offside. Lionel Messi hasn't done much after the first ten minutes.

26' Real Madrid is creating chances from every side. Benzema tried to find Isco from the right flank. But his cross was too low and Ter Stegen cleared it away. The rebound fell to Casemiro whose shot troubled the Barcelona goalkeeper as it went out for a Madrid corner.

24' Another Real Madrid attack and Sergio Ramos' final shot goes just wide off the post. The visitor is troubling the host with its corners at Camp Nou.

21' YELLOW CARD! First booking of the match. Ivan Rakitic tripped Isco from behind and the referee immediately shows him the card.

19' TEMPERS FLARE!!! Raphael Varane and Jordi Alba are having an altercation here. Suarez is playing peacemaker. Varane was fouled a number of time in the last few minutes.

17' HOW CLOSE WAS THAT!!!! SO NEARLY THE OPENING GOAL!! It was a corner and Kroos made a short pass to Carvajal who had all the time in the world to pick a white shirt in the box. Varane found the header which beat the keeper but Pique cleared it on the line. The ball was inches away from the goal line.

16' CORNER FOR REAL MADRID! Casemiro received a pass in midfield and he went for the long ranger. But the ball is deflected off Lenglet for a set-piece against Barcelona.

14' Poor cross from Toni Kroos. He looked to be in a good position to provide the ball into the box but Barcelona certainly got away with that. Mendy is showing some good pace on the left wing.

12' PENALTY CLAIMS??!! Jordi Alba's cross attempt was blocked by Real Madrid's Dani Carvajal with a sliding tackle. Alba was convinced there was a handball but the referee doesn't think so and after seeing the replays he is absolutely right.

10' CHANCE! First real one for Real Madrid. Toni Kroos finds Isco close to the penalty box. Isco with a perfect back-heel pass to Karim Benzema whose shot is directed straight at Ter Stegen.

8' Messi and Alba are perfectly working together to trouble Real Madrid so far. FOUL! Casemiro should be careful. He's one yellow card away from suspension. Free-kick for Barcelona.

6' Ferland Mendy makes a solo run on the left flank but he took too much time there. Semedo gets the ball away to avert the danger.

4' CLOSE!!! What a pass from Lionel Messi! A long ball from midfield to Jordi Alba whose first-time cross is not collected cleanly by the onrushing Luis Suarez who should have done better there. Early warning for Real Madrid.

2' Gareth Bale commits a foul early on. Some clean passing from Barcelona in the first two minutes. A number of players making their El Clasico debut tonight.

AND THE MATCH BEGINS!

The referees lead the players onto the field. We're minutes away from kick-off!

Barcelona is unbeaten in the last six El Clasicos.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is set to play in his 43rd El Clasico, which is a record!

Not much to separate the two sides ahead of tonight's game at the Nou Camp.

Some Barcelona vs Real Madrid stats:

FC Barcelona

Stat

Real Madrid CF

72

All-time El Clasico wins

72

13

Points from last five games

13

35

Points this season

35

12 (Messi)

2019/20 Top Scorer

12 (Benzema)

TEAM LINEUPS:

BARCELONA XI: Ter Stegen (G), Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Roberto, Rakitic, De Jong, Griezmann, Suarez, Messi (C).

COACH : Ernesto Valverde.

REAL MADRID XI: Courtois (G), Carvajal, Ramos (C), Varane, Mendy, Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos, Bale Benzema, Isco.

COACH: Zinedine Zidane.

 

MATCH PREVIEW:

Barcelona and Real Madrid go into Wednesday's hugely-awaited La Liga 'El Clasico' locked together at the top of the table after late drama in both their games last weekend.

La Liga’s top two sides are currently tied on 35 points each, four ahead of third-placed Sevilla, with El Clasico as their game in hand. The winner of the rearranged game at the Camp Nou this week will go to the top of the table through the winter break.

The two months since the fixture was initially postponed in October has seen both Real and Barca kick into much better form following up-and-down starts to the campaign.

READ | El Clasico: 3,000 police and security for rescheduled game

Both teams had stiff tests this weekend, though. Barca was in action first and found itself involved in a thriller at Real Sociedad on Saturday. Txuri-urdin captain Mikel Oyarzabal put his side in front from the penalty spot but Barca seemed to have turned it around with goals from Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez before home forward Alexander Isak equalised for 2-2 late on to ensure the spoils were shared.

Sunday saw Zinedine Zidane’s side start strong at Valencia but appeared to be heading for defeat when Los Che youngster Carlos Soler scored with 12 minutes remaining. But there was still time for Karim Benzema to hammer in an equaliser, after his team’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had gone forward for a 95th minute corner, bringing a 1-1 final score.

The two sides have also been evolving together over the course of the 2019/20 season. Real Madrid has been invigorated by the emergence of youngsters Fede Valverde and Rodrygo, with the Uruguayan midfielder, 21, and Brazilian forward, 18, both potentially match-winners as it looks to start El Clasico for the first time.

An issue for Zidane is on the left of the defence, where versatile utility man Nacho Fernandez filled in against Valencia on Sunday.

ALSO READ | Barcelona v Real Madrid: How Rakitic and Valverde became unlikely keys to El Clasico success

Barca has also been tweaking its side positively as the season has progressed, with summer arrivals Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann now more integrated into Barca’s trademark passing style of football. The return to prominence of Ivan Rakitic has also helped the side's midfield cohesion, while left-back Jordi Alba proving himself fit again on Saturday was another boost.

Much of the focus will again be on Barca talisman Lionel Messi, who has 18 goals and nine assists in 29 career El Clasico matches in LaLiga. Although Messi was missing with injury in the corresponding fixture last season, Barca still ran out resounding 5-1 winner at the Camp Nou, with Uruguayan star Luis Suarez stepping up with a hat-trick.

Zidane was, however, unbeaten at Camp Nou in LaLiga during his first term as Real Madrid coach, winning 2-1 in 2015/16 and securing draws during the two following campaigns. Valverde also has an excellent record in El Clasico, with last March’s 1-0 LaLiga victory at the Santiago Bernabeu making it three wins and a draw in four meetings since taking the Barca job.