Madrid gets two quick goals, Adrian is shown a straight red and Lionel Messi scores late to pull Barca back. Just another 45 minutes of El Clasico action.
Madrid started the game on the attack, putting early pressure on the Barcelona defense. Gonzalo Higuain was especially troublesome and forced an excellent early save from Victor Valdes. Higuain didn't miss second chance in the 11th minute, taking advantage of a bad mistake by Javier Mascherano who mishandled a long ball by Pep, and beat Valdes low to give Madrid an early 1-0 lead.
More mistakes in the 18th minute cost Barca again. Mascherano and Pique completely fouled up possession allowing Cristiano Ronaldo to execute an absolutely magical back hell chip over Pique before settling the ball and beating Valdes to give Madrid a 2-0 lead. Valdes had to do better on the shot after Ronaldo's poor second touch have him time to recover. Madrid put the ball past Valdes for a third time in the 23rd minute but it was waved off as Pepe appeared to push Mascherano on the set piece.
It got worse.
In the 28th minute, Adriano had no choice but to pull down Ronaldo who was on the cusp of a breakaway and was shown a straight red card by the match referee.
Then it got better, at least a little.
Down to 10 men, Barca seemed to settle a bit after the red card and just before halftime, Lionel Messi worked some of his magic and pulled a goal back for the Blaugrana. It's 2-1 at halftime, but it's 4-4 on aggregate with Madrid still holding the advantage on away goals.
What a wild half...and there's still 45 minutes (at least) to go!