In a El Clasico clash on Sunday evening, Barcelona managed to secure a thrilling 2-1 victory over their arch-rivals Real Madrid. This win not only earned the Catalans the bragging rights, but also put them in pole position for the La Liga title with just 12 games left to play.
Barcelona started the match brightly, with Raphinha’s header being brilliantly saved by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. However, it was Real who took the lead in the ninth minute when Vinicius Jr.’s cross was accidentally bundled into the net by Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo.
Despite going behind early on, Barcelona did not lose their composure and continued to build from the back while maintaining possession in midfield. They had two decent chances from Raphinha and Andreas Christensen, but both were denied by Courtois.
Barcelona finally managed to restore parity just before halftime when Sergi Roberto fired home the equalizer, bringing the Catalans back into the game.
In the second half, Barcelona could have gone ahead after Robert Lewandowski’s acrobatic effort sailed over the bar. Real Madrid’s game plan was clear, as they attempted to isolate Vinicius one on one with Araujo and had Karim Benzema making darting runs into the box.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti made several attacking changes in an attempt to break the deadlock, and it almost paid off when Marco Asensio slotted home with just ten minutes left. However, VAR intervened to chalk the goal off as the Spanish winger was offside.
The game began with both teams looking to take control of the midfield and set the tempo for the match. Barcelona, in particular, looked to dominate the ball and create chances through their possession-based style of play. Real Madrid, on the other hand, were content to sit back and hit Barcelona on the counter-attack.
As the game progressed, both sides began to create opportunities, with the likes of Robert Lewandowski, and Karim Benzema all going close to breaking the deadlock. However, it was not until the second half that the game really came to life.
Real Madrid started the half brightly, with Benzema coming close to scoring on a couple of occasions. Barcelona, however, continued to create chances and looked the more likely to score. Their best chance of the game came midway through the second half when Lewandowski’s fine back heel put Alejandro Balde through on the left flank. The youngster kept his cool and found Kessie with a pinpoint pass, and the substitute made no mistake in smashing the ball home.
Real Madrid pushed forward in search of an equalizer, but Barcelona’s defense held firm, with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen making a number of important saves. In the end, the Catalan side held on for a crucial victory that takes them one step closer to the La Liga title.
The win puts Barcelona on 68 points from 26 games, with just 12 games left to play. They currently hold a six-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand. Real Madrid, meanwhile, remain in third place, 10 points behind Barcelona.
The result will be a huge boost to Barcelona’s confidence as they head into the final stretch of the season. They have been in scintillating form in recent weeks, winning their last six matches in all competitions. With the likes of Lewandowski, Kessie, and Balde stepping up when needed, Barcelona will be confident of clinching their first La Liga title since 2019.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, will be disappointed with the result, but there were plenty of positives to take from the game. They created a number of chances and pushed Barcelona all the way, and if they can continue to perform at this level, they will surely be in the mix for the title next season.