Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, 2012 El Clasico: Messi comes close, Barca taking control

Great chance for Barcelona in the 74th minute. Lionel Messi slid a great pass in to Andres Iniesta who'd broke in to the left side of the penalty area. Iniesta sent a worm burner across the box, but there was no one there to meet it and it curled away for a corner. No immediate gain from the corner, but Barca did earn another dangerous free kick, nearly in the same place as Messi's wonder goal earlier in the half.

The hat trick was not to be, at least not yet, as Messi's shot cleared the wall, but failed to sink down enough and went harmlessly over the cross bar. A sigh of relief for Madrid and a look of annoyance on Messi's face for the miss. Hey, you can't be brilliant every time.

With less than 15 minutes left though, Barcelona are looking like the better side putting good pressure on Madrid and starting to connect more with their passes in the attacking third. Madrid will have to be careful has Barca have been downright lethal in the final minutes of matches this season.

Pepe picked up his required yellow card for a high boot on Alexis Sanchez. The ensuing free kick by Xavi was played short and cleared by Madrid.

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