Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-1 to win El Clásico
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By defeating Real Madrid 2-1 in Sunday’s Clasico, Barcelona made a huge stride toward LaLiga greatness. Franck Kessie scored a stunning late winner.
Kessie, a midfielder for the Blaugrana, scored in the 92nd minute at Camp Nou to put Xavi’s team 12 points ahead of Madrid, who thought they had already won it when Marco Asensio had a goal disallowed in the 81st.
A very farcical Ronald Araujo own goal had handed Madrid an early lead but Sergi Roberto restored parity in the 45th minute.
With 12 league games remaining, Barca was within one win of winning the championship when Kessie made a last-second contribution, putting the ball past Thibaut Courtois after Asensio’s goal had been disallowed for offside.
Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha were stopped by Courtois’s excellent saves, but Madrid scored first after nine minutes.
Araujo, who was defending Vinicius Junior’s hopeful left-wing center, strangely headed into his own net at the near post.
When Xavi’s team ultimately fought back on the cusp of halftime, Courtois stopped a Barca rally by stopping clever flicks from Andreas Christensen and Raphinha.
Sergi Roberto received the ball after a frantic Eder Militao block on Raphinha, and he blasted into the bottom-right corner after a tiny deflection caught Courtois off guard.
At the break, Lewandowski’s shot off Eduardo Camavinga almost undid Madrid once more, but it whistled wide to Courtois’ left.
Dani Carvajal’s right-wing cross appeared to have given Asensio the advantage, but a VAR review determined that the substitute was offside.
After more late drama, Kessie calmly completed Alejandro Balde’s low center into the bottom right corner as Barcelona moved closer to winning its first top-flight championship since 2019.