Barcelona claim dramatic El Clásico win to take 12-point lead over Real Madrid in La Liga


Barcelona took a big step towards their first league title since 2019 after scoring a late winner against Real Madrid in El Clásico on Sunday.

Franck Kessié’s stoppage-time goal secured a 2-1 victory for the Catalan club who are now 12 points clear of Madrid at the top of the La Liga table with 12 games remaining.

Barça were the better side throughout the match, but initially fell behind after defender Ronald Araújo converted a cross into his own net.

Supported by a large crowd inside the Camp Nou, the 26-time league champions rallied and equalized through Sergi Roberto just before half-time.

Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio then had his late effort ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for offside before Kessie tied the game in the 92nd minute.

“We never gave up, but we already have four games behind them. Nothing is impossible, but the truth is that it is very difficult,” Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois told Movistar Plus, speaking about his side’s league title hopes.

Real Madrid have suffered from inconsistency this season but came into Sunday’s game after a 6-2 win over Liverpool in the Champions League.

But at the same time Los Blancos showed quality glimpses, the team relied too often on Courtois who kept his side in the game with some impressive saves.

Although the hosts are largely the better team, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said he was proud of his squad.

“We will fight until the end in every competition, we are full of confidence. We will fight for La Liga until the end,” he said.

The Italian, however, was angered by the offside decision which ruled out Asensio’s 81st-minute goal which could have been the winner for Madrid.

VAR deemed the striker ahead of the Barcelona defenders, albeit by the narrowest of margins.

Less than 10 minutes after the decision, Kessié scored the eventual winner after crushing Alejandro Balde’s cross that gave Barcelona their 100th Clásico victory.

“We are sad, it is painful, but we are proud of the performance we have achieved,” added Ancelotti.

“It was a complete display from the first minute until the last. We didn’t win it due to offside which was extremely doubtful and we return to Madrid with those doubts still in our minds.

Barca, who remain embroiled in an alleged referee payment scandal, face Elche in their next league match after the international break while Real Madrid take on Real Valladolid.


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