FC Barcelona’s Joker beats Real Madrid – Sport
FC Barcelona can plan the celebration of its 27th title win in the Spanish football championship after a Clasico triumph against arch-rivals Real Madrid. With national goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the Catalans won the decisive summit meeting with the defending champion 2-1 (1-1).
With his third success in a row, Barca extended their lead over the team of international Antonio Rüdiger and former world champion Toni Kroos to twelve points at the top of the table twelve rounds before the end of the season. For the hosts, who last won the championship four years ago, the prestigious duel started extremely unfavorably. Barca fell behind after just nine minutes with an own goal from Ronald Araujo, who headed a Real Madrid cross from Vinicius Junior into Ter Stegen’s own goal. Shortly before the break, however, Sergi Roberto equalized for Barcelona (45th).
After the change of sides, both Barca and Real looked in vain for opportunities to score the decisive goal. The goalscorers Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) and Karim Benzema (Madrid) were accordingly unable to stage themselves. Frank Kessie redeemed the hosts in the second minute of stoppage time with his winning goal. Kroos was substituted 28 minutes before the end of the game.
Second leg on April 5th in Barcelona
The success meant Barcelona’s third win in the fourth Clasico of the current season. The Blancos from the capital had won the first leg 3-1. After that, however, Ter Stegen and Co. first won the final of the Spanish Supercup in Saudi Arabia 3-1 and at the beginning of the month in Madrid in the first leg of the semifinals of the Spanish Cup competition 1-0. The second leg will take place in Barcelona on April 5th.
The duel of the giants, which was groundbreaking for the championship, was even more explosive by the referee affair about Barcelona, which has been making waves for weeks. In the scandal surrounding years of payments by the Catalans to a referee official of the national association, Real wants to appear as a party in the event of a trial. Barcelona President Joan Laporta has denied any wrongdoing by his club since the suspicion was unveiled.