Thursday, March 30, 2023

Barcelona 2-1 Actual Madrid: Late Kessie purpose wins El Clasico bragging rights – and really probably LaLiga

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Franck Kessie’s injury-time purpose marked various key moments within the historical past of this footballing large; a a hundredth Clasico victory, a 3,000th LaLiga purpose and, maybe most significantly, now a 12-point benefit over their rivals with as many video games to play within the title race.

That Barcelona will most likely go on to reclaim the league crown, having leapt off the canvas from a interval of off-field turmoil and transition that exhibits little signal of actually ending, will style each bit as candy for the Catalans as will probably be bitter for Los Blancos.

Certainly, given the backdrop to this derby that led to Actual president Florentino Perez snubbing an look on the Camp Nou amid their Negreira Case allegations, there was a sure diploma of irony over the circumstances of their winner.

Marco Asensio thought he had made himself the hero ten minutes earlier, poaching a late purpose to place Madrid 2-1 up regardless of a tough efficiency from Carlo Ancelotti’s males – just for VAR to (justifiably) chalk it off for offside.

Actual Madrid had led in opposition to the run of play after 9 minutes when Vinicius Jr was fed by Eduardo Camavinga to dig out a cross from the byline, which diverted into the web through the unbeknownst head of Ronald Araujo and the within of the submit.

It was a jarring second for Barcelona as they peppered Thibaut Courtois’ purpose with efforts, Raphinha and Andreas Christensen coming closest to a leveller with the Dane flashing an unmarked header throughout purpose after 24 minutes.

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The possession statistics had been even however Actual’s moments on the ball acted as mere interludes to the pendulum swinging in opposition to them on this sport.

For each burst into the field that Madrid mustered, just for Marc-Andre ter Stegen to assert with ease, the hosts put collectively a number of harmful moments – and eventually had their reward as half time beckoned.

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Raphinha’s dreadful air kick didn’t kill Barcelona’s assault and the recycled ball in led to an almightly goalmouth scramble, ultimately punctured by Sergi Roberto’s highly effective effort into the nook of Courtois’ purpose.

Madrid continued to battle to claim themselves after the break. Vinicius apart, they appeared leggy and struggled to maintain tempo with the flying winger, who lacked help from the conservative, lopsided setup that has, to be honest, supplied ample success for Carlo Ancelotti on the Bernabeu.

Robert Lewandowski ought to have put Barcelona in entrance on the hour mark as he went for the acrobatic end when unmarked on the far submit, skewing his effort over the bar.

The ultimate 20 minutes became a scrappy, open affair that suited Actual higher. Dani Carvajal was given license to roam ahead and arrange the offside Asensio for a end which initially appeared to have returned Los Blancos to the title image.

As a substitute, it’s Barcelona destined for the trophy after Alejandro Balde broke down the left as stoppage time started to search out Kessie on the again submit, the Ivorian slotting dwelling his first LaLiga purpose – and inserting himself into the annuls of Clasico historical past.

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