The Catalans came into the match having lost their previous two matches in a row, and they did not have their top scorer Robert Lewandowski, their vital midfielder Pedri, or their explosive winger Ousmane Dembele due to injuries.
In the wake of Barcelona’s elimination from the Europa League at the hands of Manchester United the previous week and Madrid’s first-ever defeat at the hands of a La Liga also-ran in Almeria, Madrid supporters smelt blood but were left profoundly dissatisfied.
After 26 minutes of play, Barcelona took the lead thanks to an own goal scored by Militao, who deflected a rebound into his own net. This gave Barcelona the advantage going into the second leg, which will take place on April 6 at Camp Nou.
As it was determined that Andreas Christensen would only be able to start on the bench for Barcelona, the team decided to line up with Marcos Alonso in the centre back position.
Sergio Busquets played in his 46th Clasico, setting a new record and surpassing the previous mark held by Sergio Ramos and Lionel Messi, both of whom played for Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.
Xavi Hernandez, the coach of Barcelona, believes that Los Blancos are the favourites to win the first leg of the tie despite the fact that Barcelona has a seven-point lead over champion Madrid in La Liga. Recent results and performances have placed Los Blancos in the position of being the favourite to win.
Karim Benzema scored for Madrid early on, but the goal was disallowed due to a blatant offside against the French striker. Since 2014, Madrid has not been able to win the trophy. Madrid pushed Barcelona back early on.
A small group of Real Madrid supporters had gathered outside the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to voice their disapproval of Barcelona’s participation in the “Negreira affair,” which saw the Catalan club paying a former officiating head for advice.
After Vinicius Junior was cautioned for wrestling Frenkie de Jong to the ground and getting him sent to the bench in the middle of the first half, the temperature inside the stadium increased by a significant amount.
Vinicius was lucky not to get another yellow card when he remonstrated vociferously with the referee, and Madrid may still have been preoccupied by the disagreement when Barcelona grabbed the lead a few seconds later. Vinicius remonstrated with the referee.
The goal was scored against the flow of play, and it was generated by Ferran Torres, who got past Frank Kessie while remaining slightly onside.
The Ivorian midfielder took a low effort that was saved by Thibaut Courtois, but the ball bounced off of Militao and went into his own net. Nacho attempted to clear the ball, but he was unsuccessful.