Kessie gives Barcelona a 2-1 “clasico” win over Real Madrid in extra time

Barcelona, Mar 19 (EFE).- A goal by Barcelona’s Franck Kessie in extra time, when rival Real Madrid was desperately seeking another goal, gave the 2-1 win to the Catalan squad in a vibrant and exciting El Clasico contest at Spotify Camp Nou stadium before 95,745 fans in the stands.

Barca now sits 12 points in front of their capital rivals, last year’s La Liga champions, and the win today – barring some kind of unexpected catastrophic implosion – may even be definitive.

It was a match with much back-and-forth action, but it started out badly for Barcelona when the team’s Ronald Araujo scored an own-goal, heading Vinicius Jr.’s cross into the Barca net, just nine minutes into play After Araujo’s unfortunate own-goal, Barca was able to even things up just moments before the break on a shot-on-goal by Sergi Roberto after Raphinha’s attempt had been blocked.

Real Madrid made sally after sally throughout the match, and it looked like they might break the prevailing 1-1 deadlock very late in the match, but a look at VAR nullified a goal by late substitute Marco Asensio for offsides – by millimeters – canceled the team’s hopes and set the stage for Kessie’s winning strike just minutes later.

Real Madrid came into Sunday’s contest after downing Liverpool 1-0 last Wednesday and moving into the Champions League quarterfinals, and Karim Benzema got a good look and went for the goal within the first 60 seconds, but his shot was stopped by Barca netminder Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

A number of shots-on-goal that failed for assorted reasons kept the fans on the edge of their seats throughout the contest, and Raphinha almost got the game-winner on a header for Carlo Ancelotti’s squad in the 74th minute only to be stymied by netminder Thibaut Courtois, and with Lewandowski also getting a good opportunity from 25 yards but firing wide.

Kessie came into his own two minutes into stoppage time for Xavi Hernandez’s men on an assist by Alejandro Balde for the 2-1.

Both Barca and Real Madrid have 12 remaining La Liga outings but Barca, with its significant lead at the top of the table, is in the catbird seat for the title for the first time since 2018-2019.


Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Araujo, Kounde, Christensen, Balde; Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto (Kessie, min.77), Frenkie de Jong; Raphinha (Ferran, min.83), Lewandowski and Gavi (Ansu Fati, min.90).

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Ruediger, Nacho (Mendy, min.61); Camavinga (Asensio, min.76), Modric (Tchouameni, min.76), Kross (Rodrygo, min.61); Valverde (Ceballos min.76), Benzema and Vinicius.

Goles: 0-1, min.9: Araujo, en propia puerta. 1-1, min.45: Sergi Roberto. 2-1, min.90+2: Kessie.

EFE vmc/bp

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