An early goal from Fede Valverde was cancelled out by another record-breaking Ansu Fati strike, before Sergio Ramos’ penalty and a late Luka Modric goal won the game for Real
The sun shone on an eerily empty Camp Nou, as the visitors got proceedings underway. Both sides had good possession of the ball in the opening few minutes, before a swift break from Real Madrid saw Fede Valverde give them an early lead.
Within three minutes of going 0-1 down, Jordi Alba managed to get in behind the Los Blancos defence, and his pinpoint cross found Ansu Fati, who made no mistake. His goal was the 400th for Barça in an El Clásico fixture, to add to all of his other accolades.
The end-to-end action didn’t let up as the half wore on, with both Neto and Thibaut Courtois called into action at various points.
Despite a congested midfield, the skill on show in the tightest of spaces was of the highest quality. Short and long passes inevitably found their targets, with the defences working overtime to keep the scores level, which they were as the official blew the half-time whistle.
The pattern continued after the break, with the ebb and flow beautiful to watch. On 51 minutes, Ansu Fati’s smart shot was agonisingly wide of the upright, just as Philippe Coutinho’s header was two minutes later as Barça looked to get the upper hand.
Just on the hour, a marginal decision against Clément Lenglet was taken to VAR, and after the official had awarded Real a penalty as a result, Sergio Ramos gave the visitors the lead.
Barça’s own penalty appeals after a ball to arm on Raphael Varane were turned down, but the blaugranes continued to attack and press down both flanks through Jordi Alba and the excellent Sergiño Dest, making his Clásico debut.
In the latter stages the visitors were reduced to counter attacks, a fantastic double save from Neto ensuring that Toni Kroos couldn’t put Real further ahead, and the keeper also stopping Ramos in the very next attack.
Despite Ronald Koeman’s triple change with 10 minutes to go, it was Luka Modric who wrapped the game up with a third for Los Blancos in the final minute of normal time.