El Clasico 3.0: Champions League Edition

El Clasico 3.0The craziness that was the first leg of Champions League Semis.

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have officially faced each other a total of 212 times in their existence, with 3 of the last matches having been played in the last couple of weeks. While their matches are fueled by the rivalry and politics behind their cities, Clasicos have always been known to be explosive. This Wednesday’s match was no different. While we were blown away by the ridiculous altercations that happened during the game, all the controversy that has followed continues to pile up.

In case you missed it or have been off the face of the earth for the last couple of days, Barcelona won 2-0.

Between Barcelona’s ‘tiki taka’ style and Real Madrid’s aggressive defense, the majority of the first half went without much excitement or opportunity aside from the complaints and diving. With both teams fired up, the walk to the tunnel turned into an all out brawl with Barcelona’s Pinto receiving a red card and Sergio Ramos somehow involved.

The second half got feisty when Pepe got a questionable red card for a studs up challenge on Dani Alves (a challenge that saw Alves leave in stretcher and return to the game minutes after). With both sides pressuring the ref, Pepe’s red card had Real Madrid furious, with Mourinho sent-off from the touchline after a few choice words with the fourth official. Following Pepe and Mourinho’s send off, the game seemed to light up. Barcelona quickly got back in form and Messi managed to  get 2 in before the final whistle blew.

Soon after the game, the soccer world lashed out at the game. While the Messi’s brilliance brought a bit of  light to the game, the game overall was a disgrace. Plagued with diving from both sides and controversial calls, there was little to watch. Web friendly players like Rio Ferdinand resorted to Twitter to share their disgust, “If you ever see me go off on a stretcher then run back on to play, I give everyone on here the green light to him me with a two-footed tackle.”

UEFA has even opened disciplinary cases against the clubs, handing Real Madrid 5 charges in relation to the throwing of missiles, a pitch invasion, the red card shown to Pepe, the dismissal of Mourinho, as well as the inappropriate statement Mourinho gave  to the media after the match. Barcelona was handed one charge in relation to Pinto’s red card.

BarcaTV and Real Madrid TV also got involved, releasing videos the next day, one celebrating their victory and the other trying to provide proof of the horrible refereeing. [Real Madrid TV] [BarcaTV]

With the second leg still left to play, we can only hope for a little more soccer but expecting a much more physical and brutal game than the ones past.

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