Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (R) looks at Barcelona's Lionel Messi during their Spanish King's Cup semi final first leg soccer match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, January 30, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Sergio Perez (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
The second Clasico of 2013 is upon us in just days when Barcelona and Real Madrid will face off in the second leg of the 2013 Copa Del Rey. In the first match, the two sides battled to a startling 1-1 draw that saw the rise of Madrid defender Rafael Varane. The 19-year old provided the team with peerless defending and tied the game at one to earn Madrid one goal in the bout. Since that game, both teams have played four matches sin the Spanish and Champions league. Let us look at how they have fared.
Blaugrana has posted a record of two wins, one loss, and one draw since the Madrid match. In the team's first match, Barcelona drew 1-1 with Valencia. Lionel Messi scored the lone goal for Barcelona, but the rest of the team continued to struggle offensively. In the ensuing 6-1 win over Getafe, Messi got help from five other players including David Villa, Andres Iniesta, Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Tello, and Gerard Pique. The secondary scoring was short lived as Messi provided the only scoring in a 2-1 comeback win over Granada the following week. But the Messi show was derailed this past Wednesday when AC Milan stifled the Argentine and in the process smothered Barcelona's entire offensive scheme in a shocking 2-0 victory for Milan.
As has been evident all season long, Messi is the most important piece for Barcelona and when he is not scoring, the rest of the team struggles to do so. The last few weeks since the Clasico have only served to accentuate the problem.
Los Merengues have posted an identical record to Barcelona since the Copa Del Rey tilt. In its first game after the Clasico, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first ever own goal and handed Granada a 1-0 win over Madrid. Ronaldo bounced back with a three-goal effort in a tremendous 4-1 win against Sevilla, but Madrid continued to get scoring from Karim Benzema. Ronaldo scored another big goal in the Champions League tilt with Manchester United and Madrid earned a 1-1 draw. In the team's most recent bout, Madrid won 2-0 over Rayo Vallecano courtesy of goals from Morata and Sergio Ramos.
Madrid also relies heavily on Ronaldo for scoring, but has other weapons that Jose Mourinho utilizes consistently.
Both Ronaldo and Messi have scored four goals in four games since the Clasico. Madrid has only allowed three goals and has pitched one clean sheet since the Clasico while Barcelona has conceded five and has not had a shutout.
Since the start of the 2012-13 there have been four Clasicos. Barcelona won the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup 3-2. Madrid won the return by the score of 2-1. In November the two teams battled to a 2-2 draw that saw Messi and Ronaldo score two goals apiece. The latest matchup was the first leg of the Copa Del Rey. The teams play on Feb. 26 at the Camp Nou and then face off on March 2 for the third Clasico of 2013.