Thursday, May 23, 2024

Real Madrid 3-2 Barcelona: What Were The Key Talking Points As Los Blancos Claim An El Clasico Thriller In The Capital?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, La Liga 21 Apr 2024

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Mounting what was a stunning last-gasp comeback on Sunday night, Real Madrid claimed El Clasico bagging rights as they secured a 3-2 victory against arch-rivals Barcelona.

While the defending champions might have taken a shock lead in the capital as ex-Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen opened the scoring after just six minutes, Los Blancos dominated large spells on either side of the half-time break.

With Brazilian superstar Vinicius Junior converting from the penalty spot and notching a 12th La Liga strike of the season, Carlo Ancelotti’s side appeared to be sat in the driving seat.

However, with 20-year-old Fermin Lopez reinstating Barca’s lead midway through the second-half, Xavi’s men suffered another infamous collapse against their historic rivals and will certainly be bracing themselves for a huge amount of scrutiny.

With Spain international Lucas Vazquez once again dragging Madrid level with 17 minutes left on the clock, it was then Los Blancos’ latest icon who stole all of Sunday’s headlines.

Watching the record-breaking Jude Bellingham tap home from close range in injury-time and send the Bernabeu support into overdrive, Madrid took a giant step towards this season’s La Liga crown.

Picking up what was a pulsating 3-2 victory on home soil and now winning all of their last four El Classico battles, we have taken a lot key talking points from Sunday’s showdown.

Los Blancos take a giant leap to glory

Springing a major Champions League upset away at Manchester City earlier in the week as they edged their way past the defending champions and booked a semi-final spot, Real Madrid are certainly firing on all cylinders.

Collecting a pair of iconic scalps over the past few days and with the mood in Ancelotti’s camp at a red-hot high, the former AC Milan boss will now have a famous double-winning campaign at the top of his agenda.

Mounting a stunning comeback against their arch-rivals here, it appears almost certain that Sunday’s 3-2 victory will prove to be a season-defining win for the Spanish giants.

With just six La Liga fixtures remaining this season, Madrid now hold a remarkable 11-point buffer at the top of the table and appear to be cruising their way to a history-making 36th domestic crown.

Now unbeaten in all of their previous 17 consecutive appearances across all competitions, Ancelotti’s men will be heading into their Champions League semi-final showdown against Bayern Munich with the mood in their camp at a red-hot high.

Barca face another backlash

While Barcelona might have certainly come flying out of the traps when opening the New Year, Sunday’s guests have endured a nightmare week.

Crashing out of the Champions League after suffering an infamous collapse in Catalonia as they fell to a 4-2 aggregate defeat against PSG, Xavi’s side have certainly taken a real psychological blow.

Slumping to their knees at the final whistle here and knowing that they have officially relinquished their La Liga crown, Barcelona will be bracing themselves for another public backlash.

While there might have been some speculation last month that Xavi could be tempted to make a U-turn on his decision to leave Catalonia at the end of the season, it appears that the Barca hierarchy will not be changing their minds.

Hit with a major double blow over the past week and suddenly watching their late flurry come to an abrupt end, it will be interesting to see if Xavi’s side can avoid their season fully fizzling out.

Who else but Jude?

Making the move from Borussia Dortmund last summer for a fee of £100million, there is no doubt that Bellingham has already cemented his spot as a modern-era icon in the Spanish capital.

Rightfully regarded as one of European football’s latest superstars and a future Ballon d’Or winner, the 20-year-old sensation once again stole all of the headlines on Sunday night.

Popping up at the back stick in injury-time and sending the emotional home support into overdrive, the former Birmingham starlet has continued to break a string of records since arriving at Los Blancos.

Notching 21 La Liga goals this season and registering a further 10 assists, Bellingham is leading the chase to claim the Golden Boot in his maiden campaign among Spain’s elite.

Quickly becoming the poster boy in Madrid and already repaying his £100million price tag, the England international is expected to play a leading role when the Three Lions travel over to Germany for this summer’s European Championships.

Match Report

Real Madrid: Lunin, Vazquez, Tchouameni, Rudiger, Camavinga, Modric, Kroos, Valverde, Bellingham, Rodrigo, Vinicius Junior

Subs: Militia, Joselu, Garcia, Diaz

Barcelona: ter Stegen, Kounde, Araujo, Cubarsi, Cancelo, de Jong, Gundogan, Christensen, Gamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha

Subs: Pedro, Lopez, Felix, Torres

Goals: Real Madrid: Real Madrid: Vinicius Junior (18’ P), Lucas (73’), Bellingham (90+1’) – Barcelona: Christensen (6’), Lopez (69’)

Yellow Cards: Real Madrid: Camavinga, Vinicius Junior, Modric – Barcelona: Kounde, Cubarsi

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Cesar Soto Grado


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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