The El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, considered to be one of the greatest club games in football, had a sense of occasion and melancholy this time.

Real Madrid Barcelona Paris Tribute

Real Madrid and Barcelona paid tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks just before the start of the El Clasico

Police trucks, helmet-clad policeman on horsebacks and a giant French flag. There was a sense of occasion and melancholy around the stadium. Streets had been cordoned off and barricaded. One could only walk on foot, as thousands of people flooded the area surrounding the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. (Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos Asks for Forgiveness)

There were several checkpoints along the way, with as much diversity in the fans, as there was in the types of security personnel present. Some held batons, while others leashed sniffer dogs and finally, there were those dressed in black, with the word ‘BOMBEROS’ on their backs. (Benitez Not Scared of Losing Real Madrid Job)

If you were lucky enough to get a ticket and make it to the stadium, getting inside was a different experience. There were lines that stretched beyond the length of most football pitches outside each individual turnstile. Fans of both outfits stood together and were completely cooperative, even though the security checks considerably delayed their entry into the stadium.(Barcelona Coach Luis Enrique Satisfied With Barcelona Victory)

In a display of solidarity, following the Paris terror attacks, both sets of players lined near the centre circle, and shared a minute’s silence, with the French flag in the backdrop, at the Paseo de la Castellana end. Somewhere in the midst of all this, it was easy to forget that the greatest game in club football soon beckoned. (Suarez, Neymar Lead Barcelona Demolition of Real Madrid)

There was something very organic about the stadium; it was truly alive.

End-to-end football in the opening exchanges was followed by sheer Barcelona dominance. They cut the Madrid defence to ribbons, time and again. The Madrid fans were kept quiet but deafening whistles rang around the stadium each time Gerard Pique touched the ball. Luis Suarez and Neymar ran riot, as the hosts found themselves two goals down at half time.

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Barcelona

Cristiano Ronaldo tries for a goal in the El Clasico against Barcelona but he could not breakthrough.

Madrid came flying out the blocks in the second half but Cristiano Ronaldo was not his clinical self, being denied by Claudio Bravo on a number of occasions. Barcelona, however, were playing on a different level. Delightful interplay culminated with Iniesta bursting the net, after being teed up by Neymar. With a half hour still to go, one spotted a player warming up, with no10 on his back. This was the last thing Madrid fans wanted to see. At 3-0 down, they were witnessing the introduction of Leo Messi.

Once Suarez dinked the ball over Navas to make it four, chants, calling for Florentino Perez’s resignation grew louder and louder. The real surprise, arguably, came in the 77th minute, when Andres Iniesta came off to a rousing reception from both sets of fans. The only Madrid player to receive love from the crowd was Isco. His name chanted the loudest, as he received his marching orders after his frustration-laden kick out at Neymar. As the final whistle blew, white handkerchiefs were out throughout the stadium, as the Madrid fans made no bones about their disappointment.

Upon leaving the Bernabeu, there was a real sense of being a part of something bigger, as thousands had been divided by allegiance but united by football.
[Source:- NDTV NEWS]

By Adam