Actual Madrid 2-1 Barcelona: Benzema and Kroos seal El Clasico triumph

Actual Madrid moved most sensible of LaLiga for the primary time since November as targets from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos sealed a 2-1 win over Barcelona in El Clasico. 

Contemporary from their Champions League quarter-final first-leg conquer Liverpool, Zinedine Zidane’s aspect began in blistering type on Saturday and have been two up throughout the opening 30 mins due to an elegant Benzema flick and deflected Kroos free-kick. 

Oscar Mingueza arrange a dramatic last 30 minutes together with his 2d target of the season and Casemiro was once despatched off within the 90th minute, however Madrid hung on at a sodden Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium to seal a 3rd consecutive win in opposition to Barca in all competitions for the primary time since 1978.

The end result manner Los Blancos leapfrog Ronald Koeman’s aspect and neighbours Atletico Madrid to the league summit, even though Diego Simeone’s males can reclaim most sensible spot with only a draw in opposition to Actual Betis on Sunday.

Benzema ended a run of 9 appearances in opposition to Barca in all competitions with no target – his longest such run in opposition to a unmarried opponent as a Madrid participant – within the 13th minute. 

Federico Valverde launched Lucas Vazquez down the precise and his low move was once diverted into Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s bottom-left nook courtesy of a luxurious backheel from the Frenchman at the fringe of the six-yard field.

The hosts doubled their merit after 28 mins when Kroos’ 20-yard free-kick ended up at the back of the web by means of a mix of Sergino Dest’s again and Jordi Alba’s head.

Madrid nearly made it 3 earlier than the period, however Valverde’s fizzing strike cannoned backpedal the publish and Vazquez was once not able to influence the follow-up previous Ter Stegen. 

A subdued Lionel Messi two times went shut in first-half stoppage time when his nook floated over Thibaut Courtois and bounced backpedal the publish, whilst the Belgium goalkeeper thwarted him on the again publish from Ousmane Dembele’s nook. 

Barca did halve the deficit at the hour mark, Mingueza prodding house from 10 yards after replace Antoine Griezmann had cleverly dummied Jordi Alba’s move. 

Ronald Araujo diverted Vinicius Junior’s move onto his personal publish quickly after as Madrid threatened to revive their two-goal merit.

Barca have been adamant they will have to have had a penalty within the remaining levels when Martin Braithwaite went down underneath a problem from Ferland Mendy, however referee Jesus Gil Manzano was once unmoved.

Casemiro gained a 2d yellow card for a overdue problem on Mingueza, earlier than Ilaix Moriba rattled the crossbar with nearly the final kick of the sport as Madrid sealed a league double over their competitors for the primary time because the 2007-08 season.

What does it imply? LaLiga name race completely poised 

There have been no supporters there to peer it and it was once performed in opposition to a backdrop of relentless, riding rain, however this was once probably the most easiest Clasico fits in years. 

Madrid will means the general 8 video games of the season with a spring of their step, but Barca – whose run of 9 consecutive away wins in LaLiga was once delivered to a crashing halt – are only a level at the back of Zidane’s males and are nonetheless very a lot within the name race. 

Benzema in 7th heaven

Benzema has been in majestic shape this season and he set Madrid on their strategy to a very important win with an impudent early strike – his first in 10 fits in opposition to Barca. 

In finishing that run he turned into simply the fourth Madrid participant to attain in seven consecutive LaLiga video games this century, becoming a member of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in that elite membership. 

Messi’s deficient Clasico streak continues

With hypothesis rife he’ll depart Camp Nou on the finish of the season, this may neatly had been Messi’s last Clasico. 

Messi was once within the thick of the motion – his seven pictures was once 4 greater than some other participant at the pitch and he had two key passes – however he has now failed to attain in his final seven video games in opposition to Madrid, which is the longest streak of his occupation in opposition to Los Blancos. 

What’s subsequent?

Madrid will guide their Champions League semi-final spot in the event that they steer clear of defeat at Anfield in opposition to Liverpool on Wednesday, whilst Barca give you the option to dance again through securing silverware subsequent Saturday once they face Athletic Bilbao within the Copa del Rey last.

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