Barcelona’s slow start to the La Liga season continues as the Blaugrana lost 3-1 to Real Madrid at Camp Nou in the first El Clásico of the season. Barça played well in the first half, feel apart in the second after a controversial penalty for Los Blancos and lost three points at home to their biggest rivals.
Barça made a very slow start to the game and paid for it just five minutes in, when a terrible defensive breakdown left Federico Valverde all alone inside the box to give Madrid the lead. Barça quick woke up after conceding and instantly equalized after a brilliant pass from Lionel Messi, and assist for Jordi Alba and a tap-in from Ansu Fati.
After just eight minutes the game already had two goals, and the fun continued after that. Barça pressed very high up the pitch looking to recover the ball and create chances, and they had a big one on a counter attack that ended with Messi on a one-on-one situation with Thibaut Courtois, who made a brilliant save. In the very next play, Neto stopped Karim Benzema, and we came very close to a 2-2 score in the first 25 minutes.
The game slowed down a bit after that in terms of chances, but both teams were intense and traded periods of dominance in attack, and the two sides were solid enough in defense to avoid any more trouble at the back.
At halftime, a very entertaining game was all square and clearly up for grabs ahead of the final period.
The second half started very much like the first ended, with both teams doing a good job of stopping each other, though Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho had a couple of really good chances but couldn’t hit the target.
Fifteen minutes into the period, the controversy: Lenglet pulled Sergio Ramos’ shirt inside the box, Ramos threw himself to the ground to try and earn a penalty, and it was given after a VAR review. Ramos scored from the spot, and Madrid that the lead.
Barça needed a response but couldn’t create any danger, and Ronald Koeman refused to make any substitutions until the 80th minute when a trio of attacking players came on to try and score the equalizer. Nothing happened, desperation kicked as Neto had to make three amazing saves to keep Barça alive, and time was quickly running out.
Then Luka Modric scored Madrid’s third, and the game was over. The final whistle came, and Barça have just seven points after five La Liga matches. And they’ve lost El Clásico. My weekend is ruined. Yay.
Barcelona: Neto; Dest, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba (Braithwaite 87’); Busquets (Trincão 81’), De Jong; Pedri (Dembélé 81’), Messi, Coutinho; Fati (Griezmann 81’)
Goal: Fati (8’)
Real Madrid: Courtois; Nacho (Vázquez 43’), Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Valverde (Modric 69’), Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio (Rodrygo 81’), Benzema, Vinicius
Goals: Valverde (5’), Ramos (62’ pen.), Modric (90’)