Real Madrid, the defending champions, defeated Barcelona 3-1 in the Clasico on Sunday to pass their arch-rivals at the top of La Liga.
Fede Valverde scored the second goal outside the box before halftime after a stop from Vinicius Junior by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Karim Benzema scored the game’s first goal in the 12th minute by converting a rebound.
Ansu Fati’s excellent effort in the closing minutes allowed Ferran Torres to restore Barcelona’s lead.
Still, Rodrygo earned and successfully converted a late penalty to guarantee Carlo Ancelotti’s team suffered Barcelona’s first domestic loss of the year.
The Catalans’ seven-game league-winning run was snapped by Madrid, adding to the still-fresh anguish of their troubles in Europe, where they are in danger of missing out on the Champions League.
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Barcelona, who made significant summer purchases to catch up to its competitors, is currently three points behind them.
Before the Clasico, the Catalans had only let up one league goal in eight games. But they gave up double that amount in the first half, leaving Madrid as the only undefeated team in the division.
According to Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, “We knew there would be a point in the game when we would have to suffer because they move the ball effectively, and that’s when everyone of us had to give more, defend better, and we accomplished it.”
“We had a wonderful game,” the team manager said. “In attack, we were convincing. We scored three goals.
Jules Kounde was brought back instead of Gerard Pique after Barcelona’s European aspirations were left hanging by a thread after a devastating stalemate with Inter Milan during the previous week.
Barcelona’s most acceptable performance last season came at the Bernabeu when Xavi’s team secured a shocking 4-0 victory. Still, they were at their lowest point on this trip since the Spanish World Cup champion took over.
We seem to be in a destructive dynamic when nothing is working in our favor, Xavi told DAZN. “I can’t be delighted with anything since the 3-1 loss at the Bernabeu is terrible.