The Los Blancos have reclaimed the top spot in the La Liga table after a narrow victory over their fiercest rivals Barcelona in the El Clasico and now await Atletico’s result. The Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano in Madrid played host to this season’s second “El Clasico” in La Liga Santander.
Much was resting on the shoulders of Barcelona captain Lionel Messi who was silenced into submission by Real Madrid who won the thrilling clash 2-1. Many had hoped to see Messi finally putting his name back on a Clasico scoreboard after having failed to do so since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid to join Juventus in 2018. However, Barcelona’s lone goal for the evening came through Oscar Mingueza, coming off his shin after a brilliant move by Antoine Griezmann allowed the ball to go through his legs to set up his teammate.
In the end, Real Madrid emerged victorious after Karim Benzema drew first blood in the 13th minute with a perfectly calculated flick outwitting Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Toni Kroos then made it a double whammy in the 28th minute thanks to a deflection on his free kick.
Mingueza’s second half goal gave Barcelona fresh momentum but they were unable to find an equaliser despite dominating the later stages of the match
The inclement weather with the torrential rain made the conditions very difficult as players and even the referee started to lose their footing. Messi was even seen shivering on the sidelines as he requested to change his rain-drenched shirt.
The Argentine was a strong presence on the pitch but the Real Madrid defence was simply ready for whatever he pulled out of his pocket.
It was a tense match as Barcelona fought hard to find the equaliser in the closing minutes. Ilaix Moriba struck the crossbar right on top of Thibaut Courtois in the final seconds just before the final whistle was blown. Real Madrid barely survived in the end, but a win is a win and only the three points matter now.
The result takes the defending champions above city rivals Atletico Madrid based on their head-to-head record even as both teams sit on 66 points. However, Atletico has the opportunity to take the lead back with a game in hand.