Crunch time in El Clasico

Real and Barcelona struggled midweek, but Saturday's derby offers redemption

Updated: April 21, 2012, 12:34 PM ET
By Graham Hunter | Special to ESPN.com

The best-laid plans of mice and men, as the Scottish bard Robbie Burns wrote.

This was the week that the complacent among us automatically expected the Clasico, which lies ahead Saturday, would be set up for a repeat in Munich next month.

Bayern Munich and Chelsea? Mere fodder.

This was the week when the superiority of Spanish football, already leading with its chin, would land a killer blow by emphasizing that five out of the eight clubs in the UEFA semifinals ...

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