Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona: Hosts win El Clasico to move top of La Liga

Karim Benzema’s 25th goal of the season gave Real Madrid the lead in El Clasico

Real Madrid climbed to the top of the league with a win over Barcelona in an El Clasico played at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium in heavy rain.

Karim Benzema broke the impasse with a great near post flick – his ninth goal in his last seven La Liga games.

Real doubled their lead before the break with Toni Kroos’ deflected free kick.

Oscar Mingueza pulled one back for Barca before Madrid’s Casemiro showed a late red card.

Barca midfielder Ilaix Moriba’s goal came back from the crossbar in stoppage time when the hosts held on.

The result brings Real because of its superior head-to-head record over city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Atletico, who only led the La Liga by 10 points on January 31, can recapture first place with a win at Real Betis on Sunday.

Really survive tense finale

Manager Zinedine Zidane’s mantra “Every game is a final” has served Real very well over the past few weeks – they lost just four points in their last nine La Liga games that went into the crucial game on Saturday.

Benzema’s goals were instrumental in closing the gap with rivals Atletico at the top of the table, and the Frenchman scored another exquisite finish to put Zidane’s side early on.

The 33-year-old was the first to hit Lucas Vazquez’s low cross towards the near post and pushed a setback past Marc-Andre ter Stegen to score his 25th goal in 35 games this season.

Barcelona, ​​who had reinvigorated their own title ambitions with 16 wins and three draws from their last 19 La Liga games, dominated possession but fell further back when Kroos’ free-kick distracted Sergino Dest on his way to Ter Stegen.

Federico Valverde could have made it 3-0 before the break, but his heavy strike over the goal came back from the inside of the far post.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman switched from a 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3 formation in the second half and the move paid off 15 minutes after the restart. Mingueza turned Jordi Alba’s cross past Thibaut Courtois for a tense finish.

Vinicius Junior was rejected from the post as Real threatened to restore their two-goal lead before Lionel Messi, who had taken a corner in the first half, struck the wall from a free kick on the edge of the box.

Barcelona had declined a penalty when Martin Braithwaite went down under Ferland Mendy’s challenge before Casemiro received a second yellow card after a late tackle against Mingueza.

The visitors almost drew in stoppage time in the second half when Moriba struck a loose ball against Courtois’ crossbar, but Real recorded three straight El Clasico wins for the first time since 1978.

“A very complicated game”

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said: “I’m very happy. We started the game very well. It was a very complicated game overall, but it was a deserved win.

“I think we could have scored a third goal, but it’s an important win. We did our job today.”

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman said: “I think anyone who has seen the game will see that we can be very dissatisfied with the result.

“I think we weren’t good at all in the first 45 minutes. We weren’t good at attack or defense, but we improved in the second half.”

“We have to be better at making important decisions. Those decisions can cost us the game and in the end they did it.”

“I think we should have received a clear penalty towards the end and I don’t know why it wasn’t checked by VAR.”


real Madrid

formation 4-1-4-1




fifteenValverde10Modric8thKroos20thVinícius Júnior


  • 1Polite
  • 17thVazquezReplaced byOdriozolaat the 43 ‘protocol
  • 3Militant
  • 6thNachoBooked at 69 minutes
  • 23Mendy
  • 14thCasemiroBooked at 90 minutes
  • fifteenValverdeReplaced byAsensioat the 61 ‘protocol
  • 10Modric
  • 8thKroosReplaced byIscoat the 72 ‘protocol
  • 20thVinícius JúniorReplaced byMarceloat the 72 ‘protocol
  • 9BenzemaReplaced byMarianoat the 72 ‘protocol


  • 11Asensio
  • 12thMarcelo
  • 13thLunin
  • 19thOdriozola
  • 22ndIsco
  • 24Mariano
  • 25thRodrygo
  • 26thAltube


formation 3-4-2-1

1Ter Stegen


2Dest5Busquets21de Jong18thAlba



  • 1Ter Stegen
  • 28Mingueza
  • 4thAraujoBooked at 26 minutesReplaced byKourouma Kouroumaat the 72 ‘protocol
  • fifteenLenglet
  • 2DestReplaced byGriezmannat the 45 ‘protocol
  • 5BusquetsReplaced byRobertoat the 64 ‘protocol
  • 21de Jong
  • 18thAlbaBooked at 84 minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 16GonzalezBooked at 23 minutesReplaced byMachado Trincãoat the 81 ‘protocol
  • 11DembeleReplaced byBraithwaiteat the 81 ‘protocol


  • 3Pique
  • 7thGriezmann
  • 8thPjanic
  • 9Braithwaite
  • 12thPuig
  • 17thMachado Trincão
  • 20thRoberto
  • 23Umtiti
  • 24Firpo
  • 26thPeña
  • 27Kourouma Kourouma
  • 36Please wait

Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano

Live text

  1. End of game, Real Madrid 2, Barcelona 1.

  2. The second half ends, Real Madrid 2, Barcelona 1.

  3. Missed attempt. Jordi Alba (Barcelona) left-footed shot from outside the box is too high. Prepared by Marc-André ter Stegen.

  4. Missed attempt. Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona) right footed shot from the center of the box is sent to the right after a set piece.

  5. Attempt blocked. Ilaix Moriba (Barcelona) right footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Clement Lenglet with a head pass.

  6. Ilaix Moriba (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Foul by Isco (Real Madrid).

  8. Missed attempt. Martin Braithwaite’s header from the center of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordi Alba with a cross.

  9. Missed attempt. Ilaix Moriba (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Prepared by Oscar Mingueza.

  10. Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  11. Second yellow card to Casemiro (Real Madrid) for a bad foul.

  12. Óscar Mingueza (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Foul by Casemiro (Real Madrid).

  14. Casemiro (Real Madrid) receives the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Foul by Casemiro (Real Madrid).

  17. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Foul by Isco (Real Madrid).

  19. Jordi Alba (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

  20. Missed attempt. Isco’s (Real Madrid) right-footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Prepared by Marco Asensio.


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