Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Madrid improving but Barca still hold the lead

Whatever Carlo Ancelotti said to his team at halftime clearly helped as Madrid came out in the second half looking much better in possession and balancing out the run of play considerably.

Tempers flared early in the second half after Sergio Ramos left his foot in late and tripped Andrés Iniesta. It very easily could have been a second yellow card for Ramos but the referee showed restraint despite the crowd of Barcelona players around him. Sami Khedira felt the need to interject himself into the discussion as well, causing a minor pushing and shoving match to break out.

Madrid looked more dangerous as well as the half progressed and generated a great chance in the 52nd minute after Khedira broke through the defense on the left side of the area. His cross back across the box was popped back up in the air and finally cleared by Gerard Piqué.

Barcelona came close in the 54th minute when Javier Mascherano's ball over the top was run on to by Neymar at full speed on the left. Neymar let the ball bounce once and unleashed a quick shot that was blocked by Diego Lopéz who read the play well and cut off the Brazilian's angle well.

In the 58th minute Luka Modrić forced a turnover in the midfield and quickly moved the ball out to Ronaldo who wasted no time blasting a shot on goal. Victor Valdés was up to the challenge though and denied Ronaldo with an excellent save. Madrid came right back and again Valdés was ready, denying Ángel Di Maria's shot from outside the area.

Follow @SBNationSoccer on TwitterLike SB Nation Soccer on FacebookBarca BlaugranesManaging Madrid

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