Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, 2011 UEFA Champions League Semifinal: Game Underway

The first leg of the Champions League semifinal between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona is now underway at the Santaigo Bernabeu, Wolfgang Stark getting us going and allowing Madrid in their white to kick off. All of the pre-match fighting between the two clubs - especially between managers Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola - now takes a back seat to the game, the third Clasico in less than two weeks.

It doesn't take long for Real to give the ball away to the visitors, but they are applying pressure early, and it takes all of fifty seconds for stand-in right back Alvaro Arbeloa to draw a foul in the home side's favour. The strategy, as far as Madrid are concerned, is obvious - long balls forward on the transition, using their physicality at their back and in the midfield to strip Barcelona of the ball as the visitors attempt to play their trademark passing game.

This is the third of four matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona. You can view our coverage of the April 16th and 20th match here and here, with live coverage of Real Madrid vs Barcelona on April 27 in this story stream.

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