Real Madrid overcome Barcelona 3-1 in entertaining El Clasico. Goals from Federico Valverde, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric helped Real Madrid cancel out an early Ansu Fati goal to beat Barcelona 3-1 out of an entertaining and end-to-end El Clasico.
The victory is a big one for Zinedine Zidane who was under pressure after two shock defeats to recently promoted Cadiz in La Lifa and an under strength Shakhtar Donestsk in the Champions League in midweek.
It was a frantic opening 10 minutes with Valverde scoring after just five minutes and Fati leveling for Barcelona four minutes later.
Karim Benzema played Valverde in behind the Barcelona defense and there was little Neto could do to stop him.
The goal kicked some life into Barcelona and Jordi Alba picked out 17-year-old Fati on nine minutes with a perfect pass that allowed the teenager to make a cunning run before putting the ball in the right-hand corner.
The intensity of the opening minutes continued throughout the half with both goalkeepers kept busy but neither side able to discover a lead.
There were calls from Barcelona for a penalty on 28 minutes when Lionel Messi went down under a challenge from Casemiro. Nonetheless, a VAR check confirmed that the Real Madrid midfielder had secured the ball before catching Messi and no penalty was awarded.
There was almost a second for Fati on 52 minutes, who nutmegged Ramos before getting off a shot that flashed past the far post and out for a goal kick.
Nonetheless, Ramos got his revenge on 63 minutes when he won and scored a penalty to give Real Madrid the lead.
Toni Kroos drifted a free-kick into the box which didn’t discover its target but VAR adjudicated that Clement Lenglet had been holding Ramos’ shirt and the referee awarded a penalty.
Neto dived the right route for the penalty but couldn’t get a hand to the ball. Modric made sure of a Real Madrid win on an hour and a half getting around Neto before firing into an empty goal.
“It was the arrangement for the game to have control of the game,” Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman said after the match. “We changed Leo’s position, put Ansu as a reference point. Tried to search for space behind Madrid’s defense and have players on the wide with good ball control, going between lines and one reference up front. Can be happy in that sense, we played well.
“At the point when you’re losing, we have to try and improve and create opportunities to score with the players on the pitch.
“We opted to freshen things up wide with Ousmane [Dembele] and [Francisco] Trincao, to get in one-on-one positions with more speed. Antoine [Griezmann] too up front with Leo. Then try from the 35th minute to take risks.”
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