20 April 2011. Today was the day of the second confrontation between Barcelona and Real. This time in the Mestalla Stadium, home of Valencia FC.
The match was led by World Cup Referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco, known for his strict refereeing and casual distribution of cards. I saw another man today. He led this match exactly the way he should have. He was not being childish and interfered only when absolutely necessary.
Not many would have expected Undiano to put in a better performance then his colleague last Saturday, but he did. Note: there were a couple of mistakes, but nothing to affect the outcome of this match. So well done.
min 25: Pepe (RM) is booked for holding his opponent. He should been shown a yellow card earlier on in the match when he stepped on the foot of a Barcelona player, but Undiano had left this foul unpunished.
min 29: A nasty foul on Messi. Messi falls and one of Real's tough defenders steps on his leg. Messi is not getting up so Sergio Ramos Albeloa tries to pull him up. There's some irritation on both sides, but Undiano knows how to calm the hotheads down
min 35: Yellow card for Pedro. A vague decision to me.
min 44: Header by Real on the near post. Te opportunity arose from a quick throw in. Best chance of the match thus far.
min 46: Half time. Madrid is the stronger team in the first half of the match. Barcelona has only had a few chances.
The one thing that struck me at times was that Undiano didn't make good use of the advantage. There was an offside call for instance in the second half, where it wasn't really necessary to get the ball back into the hands of the keeper and hold up the match.
min 59: Yellow for a foul on Xabi Alonso. Tackle from behind. Clear.
min 63: Yellow for Messi, unsportsmanlike behaviour. He did not distance himself sufficiently from a free-kick, and held the ball. Clear yellow card, and stupid of Messi.
min 68: A pass from the left flank, a shot, a goal. Offside given. Again, a correct decision by Mallenco and his linesman.
min 75: Barcelona are getting slower. Real clearly have the best chance right now.
min 85: Di Maria is booked for a clear hands ball.
min 89: Big chance for Madrid. Excellent save by the Barca keeper.
min 92: End of the 2nd half. 0 - 0. We're in extra time now.
Extra time: first half
min 97: Big chance for Cristiano Ronaldo on the far side. Shot on goal goes wide.
min 102: Madrid attack on the near side, header by Cristiano Ronaldo. By this time a deserved goal for Real.
Extra time: second half
min 117: Adriano is booked for a foul on Cristiano Ronaldo
min 118: 2 good chances in a row for Real.
min 120: Di Maria. Foul. Second yellow and red. The last free kick of the match comes to nothing.
Final result: 0 -1.
Conclusion: Beautiful, exciting match and a good to very good referee.