Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 in the season-opening Clasico, marking a strong milestone in their bid to clinch the LaLiga Santander title.
The Whites won the battle in midfield, with Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Fede Valverde getting off to a good start as they overwhelmed their rivals to prove the difference in the end.
Ferran Torres halved the deficit as Barcelona returned to action in the closing minutes, but a late penalty from Rodrygo sealed the hosts’ victory.
Without putting up a great game, Real Madrid took a comfortable lead. Luckily, after Vinicius fended off the Barcelona defense, his shot bounced off Karim and his Benzema run to make it 1-0.
Madrid doubled their lead when Ferland Mendy was on the edge of the area with too much time and space. The Uruguayan passed Marc-Andre ter Stegen to take a stunning half-time lead.
Before the second goal, Robert Lewandowski missed his only chance. The second half was a different story as the visitors ruled. Substitute Ansu Fati provided the spark. Midway through the second half, his shot went just wide of the post.
Lewandowski was then knocked down by Dani Carvajal in the box despite the referee’s lack of interest and VAR’s lack of interest.
Barcelona’s Rodrygo ends a late fightback
With ten minutes remaining, Fati did a good job and two defenders were declared dead, joining Ferran Torres who gave Barcelona hope.
Under controversial circumstances, the chances of a fairytale ending were diminished when Madrid was awarded a last-minute penalty. There is a theory that Eric Garcia stepped on Rodrygo’s foot. There will be much debate about the correctness of this decision.
Rodrygo himself took the kick and converted. After a frustrating afternoon, Barca returned to Catalonia empty-handed.
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