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

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FCBarcelona have lost for the first time this La Liga season and where defeat hurts the most, the Santiago Bernabeu.

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

But especially after Ansu Fati Entering the fray late, Barca found the kind of energy they had lacked until then, fending off a goal and seriously threatening to take at least a point from the game.

Any hopes of that happening were dashed by what many might feel was a rather harsh penalty at the end.

The way the game ended left a bit of a bad taste in your mouth, but the upshot of it all is that it is Real Madrid who maintain an unbeaten record in La Liga and lead Barca by three points in table.

double shot

At halftime, things looked bleak. The game was only 12 minutes old when Vinicius fed on the left. Ter Stegen blocked the shot, but the rebound fell directly on Karim Benzema and Barca had only conceded for the second time in this La Liga campaign.

And they would concede again after 35 minutes when Federico Valverde may have had too much space to think before launching an unstoppable strike from the edge of the area.

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

Torres levels

As the game progressed, Barca struggled to make Madrid’s lead uncomfortable. But despite Benzema finding the net for the second time, only to be called off for offside, the home side rarely seemed keen on extending their lead. In fact, their eight shots on goal were the lowest in a Clásico since 2003/04.

However, the closest Barca had come to a goal of their own was a denied request for a penalty on Lewandowski before Ansu Fati had a huge impact after coming on as a substitute.

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

It made Torres the first Barca player to score in their first two Clásicos since Alexis Sanchez in 2012.

Penalty frustration

Of misfortune and sadness, it was suddenly the game! When Ansu landed another shot just wide, the mood at the Bernabéu had changed from calm complacency to extreme concern.

The chance for a fairy tale ending faded in controversial circumstances when Madrid were awarded a last-minute penalty. Eric Garcia seemed to walk on Rodrygo‘s foot, but whether that was enough to justify the decision that was made after checking with VAR is something that will no doubt fill many a debate column on the sports pages.

Rodrygo himself took the kick and converted. It was a maddening end to a frustrating afternoon and Barca return to Catalonia empty-handed.

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