Real Madrid and Barcelona shared the spoils at the Santiago Bernabeu after two penalties decided the outcome of an enthralling match.
After a first half in which there was everything but goals, the second saw Madrid go down a goal and down to ten men as well after Raul Albiol saw red for dragging down David Villa in the box. Lionel Messi stepped up and duly slotted home, but if anything, Madrid played much better when down to ten.
Marcelo was felled by Dani Alves with 10 minutes to go, and Cristiano Ronaldo did his bit to draw Real level. Madrid then managed to hold on to secure a 1-1 draw which doesn't help their title ambitions but can give belief to the side that they can get the better of Barca in the three remaining El Classico's.
Barca dominated possession in the first half, but it was Real who had more opportunities to score with a flurry of corners and set pieces. Controversially, Barca were denied a penalty midway through the first half when David Villa was brought down by Casillas without making contact with the ball. However, the ref waved played on as he saw it differently. Real went on to hit the post with a Ronaldo free kick, while Ricardo Carvalho had a shot cleared off line. Messi, quiet by his standards in the first half, slipped behind the Madrid rearguard to get to Iniesta's chipped ball, but Casillas came out and stood tall to deny the Argentine.
The red card in he 53rd minute saw Mourinho make a string of changes, crucially bringing on Mesult Ozil for Karim Benzema before bringing on Adebayor for Xabi Alonso and Arbeloa for Di Maria. Real had a lot of running to do, and they did quite well to restrict Barca's chances. Ozil was exceptional and played a crucial part in Madrid's penalty after showing good determination to backtrack and retreive the ball, just outside the box, and feed Marcelo.
It is just the first of four classico, and with the remaining match-ups holding higher stakes, it could prove to be more exciting.