Bellingham Show returns as Real Madrid win Clasico thriller

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Madrid – With the assistance of Jude Bellingham's final objective, Actual Madrid defeated Barcelona 3-2 in an exciting match. the traditional On Sunday, Madrid moved prime of the desk with 11 factors and – with six video games remaining – inching nearer to the LaLiga title.

Barca went forward early on the Santiago Bernabeu via Andreas Christensen, earlier than Vinicius Junior equalized from the penalty spot. Barça may need gone forward earlier than halftime, however with no goal-line expertise in LaLiga, Lamin Yamal's shot didn’t cross the road.

Substitute Fermín López's close-range end put Barca again in entrance halfway via the second half, however Lucas Vázquez equalized 4 minutes later, earlier than Bellingham scored in additional time.

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– Learn on ESPN+: What should Barça do to catch Madrid?

Alex Kirkland and Sam Marsden in Spain clarify what that outcome means for every of the LaLiga giants.


Actual Madrid's inevitable LaLiga title heads to Bellingham

After all, it was Jude Bellingham. Was there ever any doubt?

The midfielder scored twice for the primary win classico The season premiere in October was what may solely be referred to as the Bellingham Present. Right here, he shocked once more with one other dramatic objective in additional time, firing previous Marc-Andre ter Stegen to successfully finish the title race. Actual Madrid will win LaLiga this season and Bellingham's function in that victory couldn’t have been greater.

Madrid is now 11 factors forward of second-placed Barca. six of them got here from level two classico Win, each because of Bellingham. Twice Barca went forward right here on the Santiago Bernabeu, and twice Madrid hit again – with unsung hero Lucas Vazquez the important thing man on each events – earlier than Bellingham secured the three factors within the 91st minute.

it was not classico That Madrid needed to win. They simply had to ensure they didn't lose, keep their lead on the prime, and keep away from giving Barca a late lease on life within the title race. So it wasn't like all or nothing the traditional Often felt. However that is nonetheless the largest membership sport in world soccer, and the environment on the Bernabéu was becoming for the event. Even the stadium's new, spectacular 360-degree big wraparound display screen was switched on for the primary time.

This was not Madrid's strongest eleven, as a result of some fatigue from the 120 minutes performed towards Manchester Metropolis in midweek. Coach Carlo Ancelotti made three adjustments, with Dani Carvajal, Nacho Fernandez and Ferland Mendy out. Luka Modric – which can be his final classico Appearances – Got here in midfield, whereas Vazquez changed Carvajal, and Aurelien Tchoumeni joined Antonio Rüdiger at centre-back. Mendy's absence meant the tough activity of going up towards Lamine Yamal reverse Eduardo Camavinga at left-back.

It was not all constructive for Madrid. Barcelona's opener might be an uncomfortable state of affairs for goalkeeper Andrey Lunin, who was the penalty shootout hero towards Metropolis. Lunin got here off his line to attempt to attain Raphinha's nook, however couldn’t get near it and was simply overwhelmed. Metropolis acquired 18 corners towards Madrid in Manchester and couldn’t rating on any of them. Right here, Barça solely wanted one.

One other concern was how tough Lamine was making life for Yamal Camavinga, earlier than he was ultimately changed within the second half. Nevertheless it's one other, much less thrilling large participant, Vazquez, who deserves simply as a lot consideration. The 32-year-old's dribbling run led to Madrid's first objective, beating Joao Cancelo and passing via the legs of Pau Cubarci, with Vinicius changing the penalty. And when Barca bought again in entrance within the second half, Vazquez responded to make it 2-2, assembly Vinicius' cross with an outstanding far-post end.

Vazquez additionally bought the help for the winner, though by then the main target was, naturally, on Bellingham and one other essential objective in a exceptional debut season. Again and again, when Madrid have wanted it most, Bellingham has served as a quintessential clutch participant. And he may need simply received them the league title. –Alex Kirkland

With trophy-less season assured, unsure Barca rebuild begins

Barcelona's season will finish trophyless.

The week begins with hopes of reaching the Champions League closing for the primary time since 2019 and lowering the hole on La Liga leaders Actual Madrid to 5 factors. It ended with a European exit and a 3rd the traditional Lack of the season.

There have been moments in Madrid on Sunday when it appeared as if they might revive their fading title hopes. Christensen's opening objective and Lopez's strike to make it 2-1 have been clearly standout moments, but it surely was one other night time when 16-year-old Lamin Yamal as soon as once more confirmed how particular he’s.

There have been different moments that might have modified the sport. Barça might be unhappy that objective line expertise just isn’t utilized in Spain, as Yamal's first-half effort, spooned by Lunin, was dominated to not have crossed the road. They can even bemoan the poor ending of Ferran Torres and the lapses in protection by Joao Cancelo.

Vazquez beat Cancelo with ease, who was then fouled by Pau Cubarci, giving Madrid a penalty. The Portuguese full-back left the identical participant large open for Madrid's second equalizer simply when the momentum appeared to be in Barca's favour.

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Did Barca's defensive weaknesses price them the LaLiga title?

Dan Thomas joins Craig Burley and Alejandro Moreno on ESPN FC to look again at Barcelona's El Clasico defeat to Actual Madrid.

If particular person errors have hampered Barça's title protection all through the season, accidents have additionally performed their half. One other incident occurred right here when Frenkie de Jong needed to go away the sector on the finish of the primary half as a result of an ankle downside.

However, the reality is that even a win on the Bernabéu wouldn’t have been sufficient. They are going to nonetheless want Madrid, which has misplaced solely as soon as within the league this season, to drop factors in at the least two extra video games, whereas profitable all of its final six matches. Maybe it will be higher to maneuver ahead with out the false hope introduced by the three factors.

Now Barcelona can concentrate on what occurs subsequent. It stays to be seen what the long run holds for coach Xavi Hernandez. Earlier than this week, there have been rising requires him to reverse his choice to step down in the summertime after going 13 matches unbeaten. Consecutive defeats to Paris Saint-Germain and Madrid may change that.

Xavi led Barca to their first LaLiga title since 2019 final season, however it’s laborious to argue that they’ve improved this season, regardless of the additions of Cancelo, Joao Felix and Ilkay Gundogan. They fell behind on three events towards Madrid and misplaced towards PSG regardless of blowing a two-goal lead when Ronald Araújo was despatched off within the second leg in midweek.

Gundogan instructed ESPN this week that these are experiences that can assist make the group higher subsequent season. That's a constructive means of it. There’s additionally a gifted younger group that is filled with potential, however the group additionally has monetary points and areas that want enchancment. Though the long run is unsure, the defeat to Madrid means planning can start now. –Sam Marsden

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