Real Madrid 3-2 FC Barcelona: Defeat at the Bernabéu

Real Madrid 3-2 FC Barcelona: Defeat at the Bernabéu

Despite Christensen and Fermín both putting the Catalans ahead, the Liga leaders hit back both times and Bellingham's late winner practically decides the Liga title

Sunday was a golden opportunity for FC Barcelona to close the difference at the top of the Liga table to just five points. Still a big gap, but by no means an unassailable one.

The players had promised to give it their everything, and give it their everything they did. Twice Barça took the lead, but twice Real Madrid quickly produced an equaliser. And then in a thrilling end-to-end climax, both sides could have nabbed a winner, but guttingly it was Jude Bellingham who eventually slammed in the decider.

A draw and there may still have been some kind of hope. But a defeat is a completely different story. 11 points now separate the two rivals and there are just six games left to play.

Things are now well and truly out of Barça’s hands, and the way Madrid have been playing, it is probably hoping for too much to expect them to drop the required 12 points between now and the end of the season.

In a week in which the Champions League has already gone out of the window, it looks like the one last hope, La Liga, has now slipped away as well.

Perfect start

A packed-to-capacity Santiago Bernabeu was buzzing for this game, but the party mood was quickly dampened after just six minutes. From the first corner of the game, Andreas Christensen commandingly met the ball at the far post and popped his header in the right place.

Not only was it the perfect start for Barça, but the Dane also gets the honour of scoring the team’s 300th goal in Liga Clásicos.

Controversy at both ends

Madrid surged forward in search of an equaliser and finally got it from the penalty spot. There wasn’t too much contact between Clásico debutant Pau Cubarsi and Lucas Vazquez, but it was enough to convince the referee and Vinicius Jr converted from the spot.

Barça had every right to feel further irritation when they were denied what many will argue was a legitimate second goal. Andriy Lunin palmed away a Lamine Yamal effort, yet despite the ball seemingly already being over the line, VAR was unable to find a conclusive enough angle to prove it.

Frenkie hurt

And to add to the exasperation, Frenkie de Jong was stretchered off just before half-time, and by the look of sheer dejection on his face leads us to fear the worst. Commendably, the home fans put aside their rivalry for an instant, and applauded the Dutchman as he left the field.

Back in charge

The second half had been a slightly less electrifying affair until things were well and truly fired up by Barça second goal. Ferran Torres very nearly cheekily back-heeled a Lamine assist past Lunin, and although the Ukrainian managed to block it, Fermin Lopez was straight on the rebound and at last Barça were leading again.

Madrid kill the hope

Those moments of joyous hope were sadly short-lived. Culers worldwide were still celebrating when Madrid quickly chalked that lead off too. There was nothing Ter Stegen could do to stop Lucas Vazquez’s thumping half-volley and that was 2-2.

What ensured was end-to-end drama in the purest of Clásico traditions. Real Madrid weren’t sitting back and that was playing into blaugrana hands. After all, the draw suited the home side’s interests a lot, more than it did to Barça.

Infuriatingly, the best chances were still falling Real Madrid’s way. Ter Stegen did brilliantly to make himself and thwart a golden opportunity for Vinicius Jr, but one minute into injury time, he was beaten for the third and final time of the night by Jude Bellingham.

Real Madrid win it 3-2, and barring something miraculous, the Liga title is going to be theirs.


Força Barça
Força Barça

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