La Liga: Real Madrid on top after 3-1 win over Barcelona in ‘El Clasico’ Football News – Times of India

Madrid:
">Karim BenzemaFederico Valverde and Rodrigo were all on target as a major real madrid beat old rivals barcelona 3-1 at homeel clasico‘ to go to the top of LaLiga on Sunday.
The defeat was another blow for Barca and manager Xavi Hernandez, as they were on the verge of Champions League elimination after a midweek draw with Inter Milan.
Real are now on top with 25 points, three points ahead of Barcelona.
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti said on the eve of the game that he was not going to reinvent the wheel as he sought to avoid repeating the result between the sides in March, when he defeated midfielder Luka Modric only 4-0. was put forward to defeat. by Catalan.
There were no surprises in their lineup as they left it to their Barca counterpart Xavi to be inventive.
He left midfielder Gavi on the bench and aware of the danger that the in-form Vinicius Jr. presented from the left wing, he decided to start Sergi Roberto as a full back on the right and defender Jules Condé. left behind, who has been nursing recently. Hamstring injury, to cover Brazil.
The strategy did not pay dividends for the visitors, with Vinicius being a dominant force on that shore, often free-running down the left channel.
Barca had no answer to Vinicius’s relentless pace and Toni Kroos’ accurate passes to Real and both were architects of many opportunities, including the first two goals.
After Vinicius was denied from close range by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the 12th minute, the pair combined with a good one-touch pass with Benzema’s opener to end the France striker in an empty goal on the rebound.
Ten minutes before the break, Vinicius took advantage of defender Eric Garcia’s mistake and raced towards the field and made room for Valverde, who was unmarked on the edge of the box, with a shot in front of the goalkeeper.
Apart from two opening strikes from Frankie de Jong and Rafinha, Real were barely threatened by their lifeless opponents until the last minute, when substitute Ferran Torres scored a deficit from Robert Lewandowski’s low cross with a close-range strike into an empty net. reduced.
However, substitute Rodrigo scored from the penalty spot in extra time when he was trapped inside the area by Garcia.
The referee did not foul at first, but was alerted by VAR and after examining the video awarded a penalty to Real.
“We are not only delighted for the win but the way we played, it was an amazing afternoon with our fans creating a great atmosphere,” Modric told DAZN.
“We knew there was going to be a time in the match where we would have to suffer because they handle the ball well and that’s where we have to defend strongly and we did it.
“Then we were very strong in front, and we are very happy with the match. We made a great game today.”