It was through Daniel Carvajal's flank that Iniesta found a dangerous ball inside the box. He capitalized and scored Barcelona's 0-1. One can only wonder if a dfensive-minded right back like Arbeloa would've let Iniesta that wide open. It was a bad defending by Real's weakest player in the lineup.
Barcelona got what they wanted in just five minutes. Everything was much easier for them now. They started controlling the tempo through Xavi and Fàbregas because Di María and Modric just weren't there defensively, especially El Fideo. This midfield trio is yet to complete a good all-around performance against elite opposition.
It seemed as Real Madrid could only rely on counterattacks and individual performances to reach Valdés' goal. Benzema had a really big chance to score the equalizer on the 12th minute but his shot went over the bar. It could also be argued that referee Undiano Mallenco missed a penalty call on Cristiano Ronaldo even before Iniesta put Barcelona ahead, but football fans should already know what kind of referee Undiano is. Every single decision was going in Barcelona's direction, but nobody should blame the referee for Modric's invisible performance or Di María's problems at keeping the ball for his team.
Furthermore, Pepe and Ramos were left alone against Messi and Neymar too often. Yes, they defend well, but the team can't give those two playmakers that big of an avantage.
Luckily enough for Real Madrid, Karim Benzema corrected his early mistake and scored Real's equalizer on the 20th minute. Valdés could've saved tht header, but he just deflected the ball, which went right in after hitting the post. Benzema scored his second goal after yet another Ángel Di María cross shortly after. Real Madrid were ahead and momentum was about to change. Ancelotti knew how important this goal was and celebrated it effusively. In fact, Benzema could've completed his hat trick on the 26th minute, but Piqué just cleared the danger when the ball was about to go inside the goal.
So, just 27th minutes after the start of the match, Real Madrid had scored two goals and enjoyed two big chances as well. Los Blancos were not controlling the game -or the midfield- that much but they had the biggest chances.
Gareth Bale helped Carvajal a lot when Jordi Alba rushed forward, and that's exactly what the team needed. Iniesta and Alba have a good chemistry and Real Madrid couldn't afford to leave both of them against an otherwise struggling Daniel Carvajal.
It could be seen that Ángel Di María was tired before the first half ended, and while his defensive contribution cannot be compared to what Real Madrid fans are used to see, he did launch a good number of counterattacks with the ball on his feet -and also set up Benzema's two goals-.
Barcelona managed to score the equalizer right on the 42nd minute off a couple of very unlucky deflections by the defenders. Real Madrid were very unlucky as the ball went right under Marcelo's challenge too. It wasn't right. It wasn't fair, but the half concluded with 2-2 on the scoreboard right after another header a bit wide by Benzema.
The second half started great for Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty-kick that could've been called as a regular foul. After watching a couple of replays, it seems that Cristiano Ronaldo was not inside the box. Undiano was probably feeling a lot of pressure after some badly missed calls and he pointed to the spot.
Undiano Mallenco called for the spot yet another time, but this time for FC Barcelona. He also sent Sergio Ramos off. It was another questionable call as Neymar clearly dived, but this time the mistake was bigger as Real Madrid were down to 10 men for 25 minutes. Raphäel Varane joined the game replacing Karim Benzema. Needless to say, Messi converted the penalty-kick. It should be noted that Neymar just won Marcelo's back. Real's fullbacks cost the match for los blancos.
Cristiano Ronaldo then started playing as a center-striker, but Real Madrid just couldn't fight against Barcelona's superiority. Pedro soon replaced Neymar Jr, who had a quiet match.
Barcelona controlled the tempo of the game much easier after Ramos' red card, as it was expected, with the whole Real Madrid squad having a tough time defending. Alves hit the post on the 28th minute. Those 15 minutes remaining were going to be really long for Ancelotti and his men.
Alexis replaced Fàbregas on the 32nd minute. There was Martino going all in through the wings with Real Madrid clearly satisfied with the 3-3 draw. But Undiano Mallenco had to put on a show and call another penalty one more time. If you expect a fair sport, do not watch the Spanish Liga BBVA.
One way or another, FC Barcelona found a way to score two unfair penalty kicks and keep the race for La Liga alive. Remember when Real Madrid won at Elche thanks to an unfair penalty? Referee chief Sánchez Arminio said that man probably had familiar issues that made him get that call wrong.
Will he say the same after today's performance -and the one at the Camp Nou- by Undiano Mallenco? He will not.