Real Madrid Falls to LaLiga Leaders Barcelona 2-1
Sunday’s comeback victory of Barcelona over Real Madrid gave the LaLiga leaders a boost in their pursuit of a 27th Spanish championship. Substitute Franck Kessie scored a stunning goal in added time to secure their 2-1 victory.
By defeating the defending champions for the third time in a row, Barcelona took a significant step towards winning their first league championship in four years. The result resulted in Real being 12 points behind the leaders.
Barca, cheered on by nearly 100,000 fans in a sold-out Camp Nou, were the superior team and earned a well-deserved victory over a Real Madrid team that at times appeared resigned to their fate.
“We must be truthful… We never gave up, but they already have a four-game lead over us. Nothing is impossible, but the truth is that (winning the title) is extremely difficult “Thibaut Courtois, keeper for Real, told Movistar Plus.
Raphinha’s header from point-blank range in the sixth minute, which Courtois stopped with a brilliant reflex save using his right fist, nearly gave Barcelona the lead over Real Madrid.
Sergi Roberto fired a fierce shot just inches over the crossbar from the rebound.
Four minutes later, however, Real took the lead when a Vinicius Jr cross deflected off defender Ronald Araujo and into his own net.
But Barcelona quickly regrouped and regained control of the game.
Andreas Christiansen could have scored twice from corner kicks, and Raphinha, who was arguably Barcelona’s most dangerous player, attempted an angle shot from the edge of the penalty area that Courtois denied with an outstanding save.
Real Madrid appeared content to maintain their advantage, but their strategy failed. At the stroke of halftime, their defence failed to clear the ball from the penalty area, and Sergi Roberto fired an unstoppable shot to the goalkeeper’s left.
Real Madrid’s substitute, Marco Asensio, scored a goal in the 81st minute that could have changed the outcome of the game. Barcelona did not ease off the gas after halftime and created several opportunities, but it was Asensio’s goal that could have altered the outcome.
However, the VAR disallowed his close-range attempt because the replay revealed he was slightly offside.
In added time, Alejandro Balde raced down the left channel and crossed to Kessie, who was left unmarked at the far post, to give Barcelona the victory. He unleashed an unstoppable first touch goal to give Barcelona its first victory of the season.