MADRID (Jordi Blanco, correspondent) — Madrid emerged as the leader of the Clasico, nothing that could not be considered abnormal, and, perhaps the main thing, reinforced as the favorite against Barcelona, which they gave an indisputable reality check… Until the minute 70, when with the entrances of Gavi, Ferran and Ansu the azulgrana team recovered its breath and spirit. Enough to question what was supposed to be a comfortable victory until then… And that the merengue team only sentenced thanks to a last-minute penalty.
Real won 3-1 after a strange Clásico, with unexpected script changes at the end and decisions to think about. He did not want the referee to know anything about a fall by Lewandowski in the local area but he did with another by Rodrygo, touching the end. The penalty ended it all.
After so many days of doubts with the right back, Xavi ended up surprising with the choice of Sergi Roberto and that was where Barça began to dig their grave. After a tentative start, with a bland shot from Raphinha (another match to forget) and a response from Vinicius that ended, rebounded, in a corner, at the limit of the quarter hour, Madrid gave the first blow to the line of Barça float.
Kroos took a ball by force in the face of Busquets’ impotence and as soon as Vinicius was seen running, easily gaining meters from Sergi Roberto, it began to be seen that this move would be decisive. It was. The Brazilian stood up to Ter Stegen and although the German saved the shot from point-blank range, the rebound reached Benzema, who alone in the area, calmly, finished off the net.
The seams of Barça were already beginning to be seen, saddened and flat in equal parts, slow and with minimal reaction capacity faced with a rival who neither wanted nor needed the ball. That was enough, Madrid, with defensive order, forcefulness in midfield and speed of reaction.
Being so little was too much for Barça. And it was even more so when the Barça defense, after a short while, as short as it was bland, in which the defense, tender, weak and slow in equal parts, dominated the defense with greater excellence, let the ball reach Fede Valverde as if nothing were of the area. His low and tight missile sentenced the 2-0.
UNTIL THE END… THE PENALTY
Nothing else, hardly, showed Barça until the final part of the duel, with the entry of Gavi and Ferran first and Ansu Fati later. It was the 10th, precisely and after 73 minutes, who warned for the first time with clear danger with a shot that went wide.
More out of necessity than conviction and in a rush of pride Barcelona wanted to return from nowhere and, strangely, Madrid, so dominating the stage, let him wake up. There was first a possible penalty from Carvajal to Lewandoski and then the rebellion on the verge of KO.
And it was Ansu, after receiving from Gavi and knowing how to face for speed, finally, who showed that Barça needs more vertigo and less pause. His run down the wing ended in a cross that ended up reaching Ferran after Lewandowski didn’t finish off so he could finish off the goal.
And take the Clásico to a less convincing end than what was seen during the first 70 minutes. Barça tried until the end, with more heart than head but, above all, with that speed that had been demanded of them before. And he made Madrid suffer.
He did it until, at the time limit, a fall by Rodrygo in the area that the referee did not signal, the VAR did, the same one that did not want to know anything beforehand with Lewandowski and gave Madrid the final penalty, which through the same Brazilian sentenced.
And it is over. Barça disoriented for 70 minutes and delivered to his misfortune at the end.