Franck Kessie scored a dramatic late winner as Barcelona took a major step towards LaLiga glory with a 2-1 Clasico win over Real Madrid on Sunday.
Blaugrana midfielder Kessie stroked home in the 92nd minute at Camp Nou to send Xavi’s side 12 points ahead of Madrid, who thought they had won earlier when Marco Asensio saw an 81st-minute strike ruled out.
A somewhat comical own goal from Ronald Araujo gave Madrid an early lead before Sergi Roberto restored the balance in the 45th minute.
Kessie’s late save from Thibaut Courtois came after Asensio’s finish was ruled out for offside as Barca cruised to the title with 12 league games to play.
Courtois produced impressive stops to deny Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, but Madrid struck first after nine minutes.
Araujo inexplicably headed into his own net at the near post as he tried to save Vinicius Junior’s promising left cross.
Courtois kept Barca’s response at bay, denying Andreas Christensen’s inventive flick and Raphinha’s whizzing drive, although Xavi’s men eventually fought back at half-time.
Eder Militao’s desperate block against Raphinh saw the ball fall to Sergi Roberto, who fired into the bottom right corner after a slight deflection off Courtois’ wrong foot.
Another deflected effort after the break nearly put Madrid back, though Lewandowski’s effort on Eduardo Camavinga whistled wide to Courtois’s left.
Asensio thought he had sealed victory when he turned in Dani Carvajal’s right-wing cross, only for VAR to rule the match was offside.
More late drama was to follow when Kessie coolly finished into the bottom right corner from Alejandro Baldeo’s low cross as Barca edged closer to a first top-flight crown since 2019.
Barcelona player ratings
GK – Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 6/10 – Made a few decent saves.
RB – Ronald Araujo – 5/10 – Scored a very early own goal and contested a fierce battle with Vinicius on the flank.
CB – Jules Kounde – 6/10 – Dealt with Benzema well.
CB – Andreas Christensen – 6/10 – Was a constant threat from set pieces.
LB – Alejandro Balde – 7/10 – His brilliant cross led to the winning goal.
CM – Sergi Roberto – 7/10 – Scored a wonderful goal to draw Barca level before half-time.
CM – Sergio Busquets – 4/10 – Sloppier than usual on the ball at times.
CM – Frenkie de Jong – 7/10 – Worked his socks off and used the ball well throughout.
RW – Raphinha – 8/10 – Barca’s best player. Caused Los Blancos a whole host of problems.
ST – Robert Lewandowski – 7/10 – Missed a few decent chances on the night but his hold-up play was exceptional.
LW – Gavi – 6/10 – Ran himself into the ground.
SUB – Franck Kessie – 7/10 – Great finish with win the game for Barca.
SUB – Ansu Fati – N/A.
SUB – Ferran Torres – N/A.
Real Madrid player ratings
GK – Thibaut Courtois – 8/10 – Made a number of brilliant saves.
RB – Dani Carvajal – 4/10 – Struggled to get forward. You can see why he’s been criticised recently.
CB – Eder Militao – 5/10 – Not a bad outing.
CB – Antonio Rudiger – 6/10 – Had his hands full with Lewandowski. He did quite well.
LB – Nacho Fernandez – 3/10 – Poor. First man to be subbed off.
CM – Luka Modric – 4/10 – Not quite at his best and struggled to deal with De Jong’s energy.
CM – Eduardo Camavinga – 4/10 – He’s much, much better as a left-back. Carlo, play him at left-back.
CM – Toni Kroos – 4/10 – A quiet outing for the German legend.
RW – Federico Valverde – 2/10 – A nothing performance.
ST – Karim Benzema – 5/10 – Held the ball up well at times but just didn’t get the service on Sunday evening.
LW – Vinicius Junior – 6/10 – His cross led to the opening goal. At the heart of everything good Real Madrid did.
SUB – Ferland Mendy – N/A.
SUB – Rodrygo – 5/10 – Missed a good chance when introduced.
SUB – Aurelien Tchouameni – N/A.
SUB – Marco Asensio – 5/10 – Scored an offside goal.
SUB – Dani Ceballos – N/A.
Clicks on ADS 👇👇.