El Clasico: Real Madrid Beat FC Barcelona at Camp Nou to go Top of La Liga Table
Sergio Ramos' second half penalty proved crucial in Real Madrid win. (Photo Credit: AP)
Real Madrid topped their fiercest rivals FC Barcelona in the El Clasico on Saturday at Camp Nou with Valverde, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric being among the goalscorers. This was Zinedine Zidane's third Clasico win as the Real Madrid manager while Ronald Koeman lost his first El Clasico as the manager of FC Barcelona.
This was Real Madrid's first win at Camp Nou since April 2016. Valverde had given Madrid the lead in the fifth minute but Sergio Ramos' penalty in the second half proved to be crucial and Luka Modric's beautiful strike in the 90th minute capped off the victory.
There was a lot of pressure on Real Madrid coming into the fixture as they had lost their last weekend's La Liga game to newbies Cadiz after which they also lost 3-2 to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League in midweek.
With the win, Madrid are now top of the table with 13 points from six games while Barcelona reel at the 10th spot with just seven points from five matches.
The match started on a very high note with both Madrid and Barcelona scoring in the first 10 minutes of the game. Valverde gave the lead to Madrid with a solid left top corner strike but three minutes later, Ansu Fati equalised for Barca with a neat finish to a good move from Jordi Alba on the left flank.
The goal helped Fati become the youngest 21st century goalscorer in the El Clasico at 17 years and 359 days as he broke Vinicius Junior's record, which he got in March.
In the first half after that both Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi had big chances to give the lead to their teams but both could not convert those chances and the teams went into the break at 1-1.
After the break, Barcelona had big chances with both Fati and Philippe Coutinho in good positions but both of them missed the mark by a whisker. Just when it looked like Barcelona were dominating, Real Madrid got a free kick due to Sergio Busquests handball, which eventually led to a penalty in Madrid's favour.
Ramos' shirt was pulled by Lenglet in the box and after consulting VAR and the monitor on the side of the field, the referee awarded the penalty. The Madrid captain then stepped up and rolled the ball into the left corner from the spot.
Koeman then went for extremely attacking changes in order to find an equaliser or winner but that left a lot of gaps at the back, which Madrid exploited very well.
Neto stood very tall and made three massive saves within a minute against Lucas Vasquez, Kroos and Ramos. However in the 90th minute, Modric sealed the victory for Madrid. Neto came off his line to prevent Rodrygo from scoring but could not grab the ball and it fell for Modric, who took all the time he had and found the back of the net.