Real Madrid - Barcelona, the Spanish classic, synonymous with spectacle, often an endurance test for the referee. No easy task at all. As most of you will know this was the first of four clásicos this month. This one in the regular Spanish A league. Next wednesday the teams face each other again in the Copa del Rey final. Alberto Undiano Mallenco will officiate that match.
The referee for today's encounter between these two arch-rivals was the 40-year-old Cesar Muniz Fernandez. He was born in Brussels, Belgium though he lives in Oviedo, Spain.
First 45 minutes
Well, what can we say about this game? Was it really exciting and fun to watch? No.
The beginning was promising, but soon it turned dull, with possession toing and froing in midfield, many minor offenses. Barcelona clearly was a little stronger, but the few opportunities that came Real's way were extremely dangerous. Barcelona had less chances, though their play was more attacking.
0-0 after 45 minutes.
In the 53rd minute Barcelona takes the lead. A Barcelona striker broke through on the right flank and was taken down by Raul Albiol. A crucial decision: Muniz Fernandez shows a red card and awards a penalty to Barcelona. Messi fires an unstoppable penalty. It's 0-1 in Santiago Bernabeu, home of the Royal Madrid Football Club.
So Real were left with a man down, but the odd thing was that Real only grew stronger, and Barcelona were on the defence. Real launched attack after attack with Jose Mourinho stoking up the fire from the line. And sure enough eventually the equalizer followed: 1-1.
Cesar Muniz Fernandez did have to lend a helping hand by allowing for a second penalty kick in this match. To my mind an overly severe punishment for what happened. Real attacks from the left, and their striker stumbles over Victor Valdes. Fernandez showed the Barca keeper a yellow card, and put the ball on the spot. They did not deserve it. Unfortunately for Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo smashes the ball behind an unhappy Victor Valdes.
After 94 minutes Muniz Fernandez ended the game.