El Clasico: Real Madrid Land Late Blow To Beat Barcelona 3-2 At Home

    It has been a rewarding few days for Real Madrid fans. On Tuesday (April 16), bitter rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid crashed out of the UEFA Champions League despite having a first-leg lead. On Wednesday, Los Blancos overcame Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, qualifying for their 12th semi-final in the last 14 years. Finally, on Sunday, the All-Whites secured a 3-2 victory over Barca in the final El Clasico of the season at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, opening up an 11-point lead at the top of the table. If they can win their next three fixtures in La Liga, they will officially claim their 36th league title; that, too, with three games to spare.

    Barcelona Frustrated By Lack Of Goal Line Technology In The First Half

    After 120 excruciating minutes at the Etihad Stadium last week, Los Blancos were certain to show signs of fatigue. Carlo Ancelotti made three changes at the back to counter that, resting Dani Carvajal, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy, and deploying Lucas Vazquez, Aurelien Tchoumeni, and Eduardo Camavinga instead.

    Los Blancos looked comfortable in the opening minutes but conceded from the first corner of the game in the sixth minute. Andriy Lunin failed to clear Raphinha’s delivery and was caught in n0-man’s-land, making for a straightforward header for Andreas Christensen. Barca’s joy, however, was short-lived, as Madrid were back on level terms soon after. Lucas Vazquez won a penalty in the 17th minute after drawing a foul from Pau Cubarsi. Vinicius Jr. dispatched a powerful penalty to give the hosts the lead in the 18th minute.

    Just before the half-hour mark, Barcelona seemingly took the lead as Lamine Yamal flicked Raphinha’s cross toward the Madrid goal. The away side claimed Lunin collected the ball after it crossed the goal line, but the referee and the VAR disagreed. After the game, Barcelona manager Xavi bemoaned the absence of goal-line technology in La Liga, hinting his team were robbed of the go-ahead goal. Barcelona’s wayward passing gave Madrid a couple of opportunities to pull ahead toward the end of the first half but their finishing was not up to the mark.

    Jude Bellingham Seals Win For Real Madrid In Added Time

    In the 69th minute, Barcelona got the goal they were looking for. Yamal, 16, swung a fine low cross into the area, seemingly to find Ferran Torres. The ex-Manchester City man left it, drawing a half-hearted clearance from Lunin. Midfielder Fermin Lopez intercepted the goalkeeper’s weak clearance inside the box and guided it in to make it 2-1 for Barcelona.

    However, like the first half, Madrid’s response was swift. In the 72nd minute, Vinicius Jr. turned on his afterburners to blaze past Jules Kounde and then sent a low cross toward the far post. Vazquez arrived just at the right time to meet it on the volley and make it 2-2 for Madrid.

    Having endured a quiet game by his lofty standards, Jude Bellingham well and truly arrived at the scene in the first minute of stoppage time. The Englishman, who beat Barcelona with a brace in October, reached the far post to meet Vazquez’s cross from the right and guided it into the roof of the Barcelona net to make it 3-2 for the Merengues. Barca had a last go at goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time, as Joao Felix dispatched a powerful shot from a corner. Tchoumeni, however, read his intentions and put his body on the line to deny him.

    Unbeaten in 17 games across competitions, Ancelotti’s champions-elect Madrid will return to La Liga action with a trip to Real Sociedad on Friday (April 26). Barcelona, meanwhile, will face Valencia next Monday (April 29).

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