Real Madrid 3-1 FC Barcelona: Disappointment in El Clásico

Real Madrid 3-1 FC Barcelona: Disappointment in El Clásico

The all-whites win at the Santiago Bernabéu and move back to the top of the Liga table

FC Barcelona have lost for the first time this Liga season and at the place where defeat hurts the most, the Santiago Bernabéu.

Without ever utterly dominating, Real Madrid scored twice in the first half and looked on steady course to win what had been a largely uneventful 250th edition of the biggest game in club football.

But especially after Ansu Fati entered the fray late on, Barça found the kind of energy they had been lacking until then, pulling one goal back and seriously threatening to take at least a point out of the game.

All hopes of that happening were ended by what many might feel was a rather harsh penalty call right at the end.

The way the game ended did leave a bit of a nasty taste in the mouth, but the upshot of it all is that it’s Real Madrid who maintain an unbeaten record in la Liga, and move three points higher than Barça in the table.

Double blow 

At half-time things were looking bleak. The game was just 12 minutes old when Vinicius powered down the left. Ter Stegen blocked the shot, but the rebound fell straight to Karim Benzema and Barça had conceded for just the second time in this Liga campaign.

And they’d concede again after 35 minutes when Federico Valverde was perhaps given too much space to think in before rifling home an unstoppable strike from the edge of the area.

It was all the more frustrating because between the goals, it was Barça who had been playing the best football, and would have been level had Lewandowski connected better with a wonderful close-range opportunity that went sailing over the bar.

Torres levels

As the game advanced, Barça were struggling to make Madrid’s lead look uncomfortable. But although Benzema did find the net for the second time, only for that one to be called for offside, the home side rarely looked like extending their lead. In fact, their eight shots on goal were the fewest in a Clásico since 2003/04.

However, the closest Barça had come to a goal of their own was a rejected claim for a penalty on Lewandowski before Ansu Fati made a huge impact after coming on as a sub.

Moments after shooting inches wide, the youngster constructed the move that would lead to Ferran Torres pulling one back for FC Barcelona.

It made Torres the first Barça player to score in both of his first two Clásicos since Alexis Sánchez en 2012.

Penalty frustration

From doom and gloom it was suddenly game on! When Ansu turned another shot just wide, the mood in the Bernabéu had shifted from calm complacency to extreme concern.

The chance of a fairy tale ending faded under controversial circumstances when Madrid were awarded a last minute penalty. Eric Garcia did seem to tread on Rodrygo’s foot, but whether that was enough to warrant the decision that was made after checking with VAR is something that will no doubt fill many columns of debate on the sports pages.

Rodrygo himself took the kick, and converted. It was an infuriating end to a frustrating afternoon and Barça are heading back to Catalonia empty-handed.

Força Barça
Força Barça

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