Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona: Benzema, Valverde and Rodrygo seal Clasico triumph
Real Madrid surpassed Barcelona at the top of LaLiga with a 3-1 victory in El Clasico on Sunday, thanks to goals from Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde, and Rodrygo.
Prior to the visit to the Santiago Bernabeu, Barcelona had conceded just one goal in eight league games this season, but two brilliant finishes from Benzema and Valverde put them two goals down at the break.
Ferran Torres pulled one back for Xavi’s side with seven minutes remaining, but Rodrygo’s penalty restored the hosts’ two-goal lead in stoppage time.
The result was Barcelona’s first league defeat of the season, with Los Blancos moving three points clear of their main rivals at the top of the table.
Madrid took the lead in the 12th minute when Benzema hammered home from 12 yards after Marc-Andre ter Stegen had sprinted off his line to prevent Vinicius Junior.
In the 25th minute, Barcelona had a fantastic opportunity to restore parity, but a stretching Robert Lewandowski somehow managed to scoop the ball over the crossbar from only a few yards out following Raphinha’s cross.
Xavi’s team were punished for that miss 10 minutes before the break when Valverde blasted a 20-yard shot into Ter Stegen’s bottom-right corner.
Soon after halftime, Benzema believed he had scored a great second goal, but his curled effort from 20 yards was called out for offside.
Substitute Torres cut the deficit with a straightforward goal at the back post after excellent work from Ansu Fati, but Rodrygo sealed the game for Madrid from the penalty spot after being tripped by Eric Garcia – the verdict coming after a VAR review.
What does it imply? Efficient hosts continue to outperform their opponents.
Madrid only had four shots on goal, but that was enough to score three goals against Barcelona and secure their eighth win in nine LaLiga games this season.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team has now won six of their last seven games against Barcelona in all competitions, which is more than they had in the previous 18 meetings.
Benzema is a genius.
The France international has now scored 21 goals in 39 games versus Barcelona in all competitions (12 goals and nine assists), a record only topped by Lionel Messi in the twenty-first century (40 – 26 goals and 14 assists).
The hot streak of Valverde continues.
After failing to score in LaLiga last season, Valverde has now scored four goals in nine outings this season. The Uruguay international’s superb strike was Madrid’s first from outside the area against Barcelona since Raul in the 1998-99 season.
What comes next?
Both teams are in midweek LaLiga action, with Madrid visiting Elche on Wednesday and Barcelona hosting Villarreal the following day.