El Clasico ensures Barcelona to win LaLiga over Real Madrid


Franck Kessie scored a stoppage-time winner as Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-1 at Camp Nou on Sunday to edge nearer to a primary LaLiga title since 2019.

Kessie turned dwelling on the far put up after good work from Robert Lewandowski and Alejandro Balde to enable Barca to open up a 12-point lead over their Clasico rivals on the high of the desk.

Madrid had earlier taken the lead within the ninth minute by a Ronald Araujo personal objective, with Sergi Roberto drawing Barca degree simply earlier than the break. Marco Asensio had a objective dominated out for Madrid late on for offside earlier than substitute Kessie struck to the delight of the 95,000-strong crowd.

With the win, Barcelona moved 12 factors away from second-place Real Madrid on the high of the LaLiga desk.

Rapid response

1. Barcelona have a good time El Clasico win just like the LaLiga title is theirs now

Barcelona haven’t received the LaLiga title but, nevertheless it certain felt prefer it after Kessie’s late objective.

At the full-time whistle, the Barcelona gamers huddled in the midst of the pitch earlier than celebrating with followers behind the objective. Manager Xavi Hernandez’s facet are actually 12 factors away from Madrid with 12 video games to play. To put that lead into context, Barca have dropped solely 10 factors all season.

This recreation couldn’t have been any completely different to the cagey Copa del Rey assembly between these sides two weeks in the past, when Barca received 1-0. Here, each side created an exhilarating finale as they went for the win in an encounter full of possibilities for each groups.

Barca will really feel that they had the higher of the probabilities. Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha each got here shut on a couple of event, with Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois making a number of necessary saves for his facet. However, as soon as the sport opened up within the second half, Madrid had their moments.

Madrid’s Rodrygo Goes ought to have completed higher when gifted the ball within the field, and possibilities got here and went for Karim Benzema both facet of Asensio’s disallowed objective. Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid facet had been caught out on the again, although, as they chased the objective.

Real Madrid may’ve moved inside six factors of Barcelona on the LaLiga desk. Now, as an alternative, the hole widens to 12.

2. Raphinha-led Barca make it three wins in a row in opposition to Madrid

For the primary time because the 2011-12 season beneath Pep Guardiola, Barca have received three in a row in opposition to Madrid in all competitions: one within the Super Cup, one within the Copa del Rey and now this one in LaLiga.

Barcelona have additionally received 4 of the previous 5 beneath Xavi. This was a primary Clasico victory at Camp Nou, although, in a staggering 1,603 days, relationship again to a 5-1 win in 2018, a run spanning three winless video games.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga & extra (U.S.)
– Read on ESPN+: How will El Clasico look in 5 years?

Kessie’s objective will rightly be the second for which the sport is remembered, an exhilarating stoppage-time winner — however this felt like an enormous efficiency from Raphinha.

Although the Brazilian was circuitously concerned in both of the targets, Raphinha was sensible on the precise of Barca’s assault, each with and with out the ball. Nacho Fernandez couldn’t take care of him.

3. Madrid are left to search their revenge in Copa del Rey

Madrid will lament soccer’s tremendous margins.

It took a number of minutes for VAR to determine that Asensio was offside when Rodrygo handed the ball. If the objective had stood, we’d be speaking concerning the title race being introduced again to life in Spain. Instead, Ancelotti’s staff will flip their consideration to different competitions after seeing a league-high eighth objective overturned by VAR.

Madrid can be again at Camp Nou on April 5 for the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal (dwell on ESPN+). Madrid path 1-0 from the reverse fixture, however this late defeat will present further motivation. Los Blancos stay within the Champions League, too, with a quarterfinal in opposition to Chelsea arising after the worldwide break.

Best and worst performers

Best: Raphinha, Barcelona

Tireless with and with out the ball in his finest efficiency in a Barca shirt.

Best: Franck Kessie, Barcelona

Scored a objective that can most likely be remembered because the one which received the title.

Best: Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid

Made a number of good stops however couldn’t stop his facet falling to defeat.

Worst: Nacho Fernandez, Real Madrid

Filled in at left-back, the place he struggled to take care of Raphinha and Araujo. Booked for a foul on the latter and was taken off on the hour mark to keep away from the chance of a second yellow.

Worst: Ferland Mendy, Real Madrid

The Frenchman changed Nacho for the objective however did not fare significantly better and was lacking for Kessie’s winner.

Worst: Sergio Busquets, Barcelona

Was not all unhealthy however made too many errors. Was fortunate one misplaced cross did not finish in a Rodrygo objective.

Highlights and notable moments

Real Madrid surprisingly took the lead inside 9 minutes with an odd deflection leading to an personal objective from Barcelona.

Vinicius Junior tried to flick a cross previous into the field, nevertheless it knocked off Barca defender Ronald Araujo, who did not know a lot about it, and into the objective.

The match appeared to be headed for halftime with Real Madrid forward, however Barcelona scored a vital equaliser simply earlier than the break. Raphinha had a shot blocked, however Sergi Roberto tried his luck with the rebound and into the web it went.

That objective was essential for the house facet’s possibilities: Barcelona have received solely as soon as this season when trailing at halftime in contrast to seven wins when tied at halftime.

Real Madrid had a would-be objective from Marco Asensio overturned by VAR within the 82nd minute after he was decided to be barely offside.

So the match got here down to Franck Kessie, who scored simply because the clock caught 91 minutes in stoppage time by placing away a cross by Alejandro Balde.

After the match: What the managers and gamers mentioned

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois on whether or not the LaLiga title race is over: “Yes, we have to be honest. We wanted to fight until the end but now it’s four games’ difference. We still have the goal difference but they’d have to lose four games and we’d have to win all of them. Nothing is impossible but it’s very difficult. We’ll have to come here and win in the Copa.”

Real Madrid supervisor Carlo Ancelotti on why his staff went from +3 factors on the LaLiga desk over Barcelona to -12 after two Clasicos: “Barcelona have been more consistent than us.”

Ancelotti on the LaLiga race and different {hardware} this season: “We’ll fight until the end, we’re at a disadvantage but we won’t think about that, we’re sad about the loss but our morale is good, the team played well, we’ll fight for everything, we’re in three competitions and we’ll give our all. If we play like that, we’ll win something.”

Barcelona supervisor Xavi Hernandez on whether or not the LaLiga title race is over: “It’s not definitive, I don’t feel like we are champions yet, but it’s a huge step forward. I am happy because it’s 12 points with 12 games left, but it’s not over. We have only dropped 10 points in LaLiga, though. I don’t think that is spoken about enough. I don’t think enough value is given to what the players are doing. They have been extraordinary in LaLiga. The players are delighted. Last season we were 12 points behind. We were three behind when we lost the Clasico in October. That’s a 15-point swing. But we have only won the Super Cup so far. Only we can lose LaLiga, so we cannot switch off. We cannot relax. There are still a lot of games to go.”

Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Information analysis)

  • This is Barcelona’s a hundredth win in El Clasico in all competitions. Real Madrid has 101, and there have been 52 attracts.

  • Real Madrid have had a league-high 15 VAR choices and eight targets overturned this season. The subsequent closest groups in LaLiga by targets overturned are Atletico Madrid and Valencia with three targets overruled every.

  • Furthermore, Real Madrid’s eight targets overturned by VAR this season are probably the most in Europe’s high 5 leagues. AC Milan are second with six targets overturned.

  • Alejandro Balde’s 5 assists are tied for probably the most by a LaLiga defender this season. The solely teenager from Europe’s high 5 leagues with extra assists than Balde’s 5 this season is Jamal Musiala, who has seven for Bayern Munich.

Up subsequent

Barcelona: After the worldwide break, Barça go to Elche on Saturday, April 1 (stream dwell on ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET).

Real Madrid: Los Blancos return after the break on Sunday, April 2, once they host Real Valladolid (stream dwell on ESPN+ at 10:15 a.m. ET).


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