Barça take Clásico, beat Madrid to beat title | The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
Barcelona secured a 2-1 Clásico victory over Real Madrid on Sunday thanks to a late goal from Franck Kesy, leaving them 12 points clear at the top of La Liga.
The win dampened Madrid’s ambitions to retain the title and brought the Catalans closer to lifting the trophy for the first time since 2019.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real took the lead through an own goal from Ronaldo Araujo, but Barcelona leveled just before half-time with Sergi Roberto’s goal.
Both sides had chances to win the match and Marco Asensio scored for Madrid, but the goal was ruled offside by VAR before Alejandro Barde set up Kesy in the 92nd minute.
“Coming from Marco Asensio’s goal, which I didn’t know was offside, we lost, scored Frank’s goal. The truth is, winning like that in the last minute made it taste a little better.” Sergi Roberto told Movistar.
“We still have a lot of games to play and we can’t give up on Madrid. 12 points is a tricky distance, but it’s up to us and that’s good.”
Preparations for the match were overshadowed by accusations of Barcelona’s corruption in the ‘Caso Negreira’ referee scandal.
Madrid joined a Spanish prosecutor’s complaint against Barcelona last week, and President Florentino Pérez ignored the match for the first time in over 20 years.
It was Xavi’s sixth Clásico as Barcelona manager, adding to the intensity of the game on and off the pitch, but only his first at the Camp Nou.
Xavi asked the fans to pressure cook the stadium and they sold it out in response, whistling Madrid on possession and evoking one of the best atmospheres of the season.
Madrid failed to shoot on target in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final, which they lost to Barcelona in early March, but Karim Benzema put Marc-André ter Stegen’s lead within the first minute. stabbed my palm.
Robert Lewandowski responded on the other side by testing Thibaut Courtois as the veteran shooters exchanged shots.
It was friendly fire when Barcelona conceded the first goal of the game. Araujo deflected a Vinicius cross at the near post, leaving Ter Stegen helpless.
Araujo, who faces the Brazilian at right-back, has enjoyed a duel with Vinicius in the past, but this time the winger happened to win. Barcelona supporters were outraged at his fervent celebration in front of them.
It was the first goal from open play that Barcelona conceded all season at the Camp Nou in La Liga, the second at home and the ninth overall.
Barcelona complained that defender Nacho, who had already been cautioned, should have been sent off for a handoff with Rafinha.
The host team didn’t get their hopes up, but they picked up momentum and found an unexpected breakthrough just before halftime.
Sergi Roberto, who was selected to replace the injured midfielder Pedri, put a loose ball in the box in the right place at the right time to arc past Courtois.
Barcelona have far more possessions than they did in the cup they won against Madrid, and they have a lot more chances.
Lewandowski sent a deflected piledriver slightly wide with Madrid teetering, letting Carlo Ancelotti roll the dice and bringing in Rodrygo and Ferland Mendy.
It paid off almost immediately as Madrid took Sergio Busquets and Rodrigo inches over the bar.
Madrid substitute Asensio scored a goal but was ruled out for offside after nervously waiting for VAR instructions.
Barcelona seemed happy with the draw, but Kesy’s final strike sparked a frenzied celebration at the Camp Nou.
Asked if Madrid’s hopes of defending the title are over, Courtois told Movistar: “Yes, I have to be honest. We will keep fighting until the end, but for now (12 points), We have a better matchup, but they have to lose four games and we have to win them all.
“Nothing is impossible, but it is very difficult.”