Real Madrid lost further ground in the La Liga title race after failing to defend their early lead against Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Vinicius Jr put his side’s nose in front in El Clasico by forcing an own goal from Ronald Araújo with his clipped pass in the ninth minute. But the hosts didn’t lose their composure and secured a win and more or less the league title as well through goals from unlikely heroes – Sergi Roberto and Franck Kessié.
Los Blancos did manage to silence the home crowd for a minute or two late in the game when Marco Asensio slotted the ball past Marc-André ter Stegen following a cut-back from Dani Carvajal. But VAR ruled out the goal after spotting Asensio ahead of Kounde.
Ancelotti’s bold decision to give more freedom to Carvajal in the second half almost paid off. Interestingly, the same approach also opened the space for Barcelona to counter and find the stoppage-time winner.
Real Madrid not happy with the attitude of one Barcelona player
The Spanish right-back was also in the spotlight for his altercation with Barca’s substitute goalkeeper Arnau Tenas, and the duo had to be separated by their teammates after the full-time whistle.
In the Barcelona camp, it was Gavi who seemingly took the responsibility of showing aggression with the ball and without it. According to The Athletic, Real Madrid did not like the attitude of the youngster, who was involved in altercations with Dani Ceballos. His intensity was seen as a lack of sportsmanship rather than an act of simply showing toughness on the pitch.
Considering the number of heated exchanges and complaints (VAR’s intervention to chalk off a potential away side winner), its best players are heading off with their national teams. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid stars could use a break. But for different reasons of course!