Match Report: Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona
It was the hosts, Real Madrid who found success in this season’s first El Clasico and kept their unbeaten record intact in all competitions. Goals from Ballon D’Or favorite Karim Benzema, Fede Valverde and Rodrygo helped the hosts cruise through the derby while handing Barcelona their first defeat of the season in the league. With this win, Real Madrid have regained the top spot in the LaLiga standings and are now 3 points clear of their Catalan rivals who shifted to 2nd place after coming short at Madrid.
Real Madrid drew first blood in the game as talismanic forward Karim Benzema opened the scoring for Los Blancos in the 12th minute. Toni Kroos unleashed a wonderful through ball for Vinicius to chase who picked and set up a 1v1 situation with Ter Stegen, Vini’s shot was saved by the German goalkeeper but Karim Benzema was on point to smash the ball home from the rebound.
The 35-times LaLiga champions further strengthened their lead in the 35th minute with a tremendous out-of-the-box effort from Fede Valverde. Vini released Ferland Mendy who drove through an unsettled Barca defence and rounded the ball off to Valverde before the Uruguayan smashed it into the goal with a powerful long-range strike.
It was a cautious start for both the teams in the second half as the midfield battle was crucial for either team coming towards goal. A lack of urgency was also noted from the trailers, Barcelona who were clearly showing fatigue after their 3-3 draw with Inter in the Champions League.
It was the substitute Ferran Torres who showed a ray of hope to Blaugrana supporters after scoring Barca’s first from a well-worked move from the Catalan outfit. In spite of a challenge from Valverde on the right side, Ansu Fati drove through uncovered space in the final thirds before sending a low cross for Lewandowski, who flicked it on for Ferran Torres at the far post and the Spaniard thumped the ball home from close range past a diving Andriy Lunin.
The Bernabeu went a little shocked with fears of a Barca comeback on the cards but the hopes of the Blaugrana were shut after Eric Garcia stepped on Rodrygo’s foot inside the box for a clear penalty in the 90+1st minute. After a brief on-field review, referee Hernandez Hernandez pointed to the spot and 21-year-old Rodrygo kept his cool to send the ball in the right corner past a diving Ter Stegen.
Real Madrid next faces Elche at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on Wednesday.