FC Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid: Late frustration

FC Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid: Late frustration

Gündogan gives the Catalans a sixth minute lead but a Bellingham brace means cruel defeat in Saturday's Clásico

FC Barcelona led from the sixth minute and looked to be doing more than enough to earn three crucial points against direct rivals Real Madrid, but Saturday’s Clásico took an unpleasant turn for the worst in the last half hour as Jude Bellingham scored twice to win the game for the all-whites.


As coach Xavi explained after the game, it was especially frustrating because for the first hour Barça had generally looked nicely in control of affairs. But they didn’t take their chances while Madrid converted two of the very few of their own.

“We played extremely well and did more than enough to win the game” he said. “But that’s football, and these things can happen, especially against a team like Real Madrid.”

By the hand of Spotify, the Rolling Stones theme was all over the build-up to this game, with Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood both watching from the stands, but sadly at the end of the day, the most appropriate Stones track to describe what happened today would be You Can't Always get What You Want...

Perfect start

Such a pity, especially as it was all smiles for most of the game after the home side had taken the lead so early on.

İlkay Gündoğan had clearly been saving his first goal in a Barça shirt for the big occasion! The German powered through an uncharacteristically indecisive Madrid defence, riding a misjudged challenge by David Alaba and then striking home.

Barça on top

In a typically hard-fought and often feisty Clásico, the big chances were generally going the blaugrana way. Fermin Lopez struck the post on the quarter hour and Iñigo Martinez also hit the woodwork with a header.

Ronald Araujo also had a penalty claim turned down and forced a tremendous save from Kepa Arrizabalaga, and all that while also doing such a fine job of keeping Vinicius Junior in check.

Bellingham leveller

Jude Bellingham was seeing very little action of the action either, and that was mainly Gavi’s doing, but there was nothing he or anyone else could do when the Englishman unleashed a long-range rocket to make it 1-1.

It was all the more frustrating for Barça for no matter how well Toni Kroos had been orchestrating the Madrid cause, his compatriot Ter Stegen hadn’t really had anything too serious to worry about until the equaliser came in the 68th minute.

Until then the biggest crowd so far at the Estadi Olimpic (50,112) had been enjoying a party atmosphere, boosted by the much-applauded return of Robert Lewandowski from injury. But what had looked like Barça’s game was now anyone’s game.

Injury time woe

Madrid produced further chances in a nail-biting climax, but with Raphinha now on too, Barça looked the far more likely side to score, with Lewandowski almost slamming in from long range and Gavi also coming agonisingly close.

And yet, the second minute of injury time brought precisely what every Barça fan had been dreading.

Iñigo Martinez was befuddled by a strange bounce when Luka Modric semi-connected with Dani Carvajal’s cross. Bellingham couldn’t believe his luck and face-to-face with Ter Stegen he put the ball between the German’s legs to earn his side the three points.

It means Real Madrid go back to the top of the table, and Barça remain third, although on Sunday night Atlético Madrid will have the chance to move ahead of them when they host Alavés.

Next up for Barça is a trip to Real Sociedad on Saturday.

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Força Barça

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