Real Madrid vs Barcelona result: Vinicius Jr leads Clasico victory

Real Madrid vs Barcelona result: Vinicius Jr leads Clasico victory

Real Madrid showed their character by beating Barcelona 2-0 in Sunday’s top-of-the-table ‘Clasico’, leapfrogging their rivals at the La Liga summit after a week in which their pride had taken a beating at home and in Europe.

Brazilian teenager Vinicius Jr scored the opener in the 71st minute with a strike that deflected off Gerard Pique, flummoxing goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen who had made some jaw-dropping saves, and substitute Mariano added the second in added time.

Real’s victory means they lead the standings on 56 points after 26 games, with Barca slipping to second spot on 55, while Zinedine Zidane’s side also crucially have the better head-to-head record in the event both sides finish level on points.


Real swallowed chastening defeats by Levante in La Liga and Manchester City in their Champions League last 16, first-leg tie in the past week but in the second half they overwhelmed Barca, threatening on numerous occasions before breaking the deadlock.

“We deserve our victory for everything we did, in attack and defence,” Zidane told reporters. “It has been a complicated week for us and we had the chance to turn things around and we did that.

“But this win also doesn’t change anything. We have a long way to go and we have to continue. We’ve got three important points but we’ll have more difficult games and we will be criticised again.”

Barcelona had bossed the first period and twice could have taken the lead but were powerless to stop Real after the interval and their impotence was summed up when Lionel Messi raced towards goal but was easily tracked down by Marcelo.

Marcelo’s tackle got as loud a cheer as the goals from Madrid’s fans who had not been able to toast a league win over Barca at the Santiago Bernabeu since 2014.

The long-awaited victory was confirmed by an unlikely source in forward Mariano, who had only just come off the bench to make his first league appearance of the season.

Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets believed his side deserved better.

“We played very well in the first half then in an unfortunate move they score thanks to a deflection. We had a great chance to open up a big gap but it wasn’t to be,” he said.

“There’s a long way to go in the season and we have to remember the positive things and how well we played in the first half.”

Barca coach Quique Setien had remarked before the game that Real were under greater pressure to win after they had surrendered a three-point advantage over Barca by drawing with Celta Vigo and losing to Levante.

They were left further frustrated by their 2-1 home defeat by Manchester City which has seriously jolted their hopes of remaining in the Champions League and put Zidane back under pressure for the second time this season.

The first half was end-to-end but lacked quality.

Barcelona created clear sights of goal for Messi and Arthur Melo, both of whose efforts were well saved by Thibaut Courtois.

Madrid’s main threat was the electric but raw Vinicius, who routinely got down the left but rarely knew what to do next.

Real looked far more determined in the second half, and Isco forced Ter Stegen into an outstanding flying save and then saw a downward header scrambled off the line by Pique.

The missed chances galvanised the home fans, however, who could sense their team were close to an opening.

There was a touch of fortune to the deflected opening goal, but Real’s victory was thoroughly deserved.





Welcome to our coverage of El Clasico as Barcelona travel to Real Madrid with the title race delicately poised.

The La Liga champions have a two-point edge, but Zinedine Zidane will be determined to seize the initiative with victory here.

Both sides are flawed right now and experiencing growth problems as they undergo major squad surgery.

Stay with us for all the build-up to the game at the Bernabeu.



Team news

Eden Hazard has been ruled out after suffering another injury to his ankle, while Marco Asensio remains sidelined. Luka Jovic has been left out of the matchday squad, while Rodrygo is suspended.

Barcelona are still struggling with numerous injuries, as both Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele remain out until the end of the season. Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba and Arda Turan will also miss out. ​



Predicted line-ups

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Isco, Benzema, Bale

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Firpo; Arthur, Busquets, De Jong; Vidal, Messi, Griezmann



The Nou Camp took to its feet. Then it froze. Even Ernesto Valverde had to double-take, still not quite registering what was right in front of him. All an injured Lionel Messi could do was smile wryly, slouch back ever so slightly into his chair, and wipe away the nostalgia.

On his first start forBarcelona, it had taken just 111 seconds forAnsu Fatito thrash a shot into the bottom corner. And there he stood: arms outstretched, almost statuesque, a teenage Redeemer soaking in the worship of over 80,000 people. Rarely has a generational shift felt so sudden – largely because Barcelona have waited for it for so long. In an instant, Fati went from anonymity to the youngest goalscorer in the club’s history. As a graduate ofLa Masia,he didn’t just inherit a new world but the weight of past glories, and almost a decade of frustration.

Here, Tom Kershaw takes a look at the history of La Masia and the future, with Ansu Fati shouldering the burden of a struggling generation since the glory days under Pep Guardiola.



Zidane on El Clasico

“We know it’s a delicate moment, with three games without a victory in our stadium,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said.

“But these things can happen, we have to stay positive. We will need our fans supporting us from the first minute to the last.

“I understand why they are upset, but we need them now. And they need us. We need to stick together.”



Setien on El Clasico

“For them it’s a key game, maybe not decisive, but more important than for us because if we win we’ll go five points clear,” said Setien.

“In these games the past is forgotten,” the 61-year-old added. “It’s a Clasico, both teams will always give their all regardless of the situation they’re in.

“I’m expecting a tightly contested game, very evenly matched. And it’s a question of who gets things right to win the game.”



It was Narcís de Carreras, a lawyer with close ties to the Catalan Regionalist League, who coined Barcelona’s iconic slogan, selling line and soporific cliché: Mes que un club. The late club president is, of course, of no relation to Jeffrey Wright’s eponymous Dr Valentin, but then the modern Barcelona boasts all the division, distrust, and necessary evil to rival an East Coast cartel.

Rarely has a motto touted so religiously stood for so little. “More than a club because we feel that such values as humility, ambition, effort, teamwork and respect are just as important a part of the way we play as winning,” reads a sleek doctrine on the club’s website. Yet,Barcelonahead into Sunday’s Clasico againstReal Madridhaving charged from dispute to accusation and internal catastrophe to public scandal.

In the last weeks alone, Josep Maria Bartomeu, the club’s 40th president, has been forced to deny paying a social media firm nearly €1 million to discredit Barcelona’s own players, and rivals to his presidency, on social media. Well, they paid, he accepted, just not for those posts. Gerard Pique, one of those targeted in the tweets, responded by calling a journalist defending Bartomeu a “puppet”.Lionel Messi, with typical reticence, described it as “a bit weird”.

Tom Kershaw takes a look at the slow death of a super club that once claimed to be special.



Real Madrid XI

Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Isco, Benzema, Vinicius



Barcelona XI

Ter Stegen, N. Semedo, Piqué, Sergio, Arthur, Messi, Griezmann, Jordi Alba, F. De Jong, Vidal, Umtiti



Zidane admits Real vulnerability

“This is a delicate time for us because we have not won the last three games in our stadium, but we know things like this can happen and we have to keep a positive mindset,” Zidane said.

“We will only come out of this situation by staying strong and by not listening to what people say about us.

“We will need our fans on our side from the first to last minute. I can understand why our fans are upset but we need them and they need us and at the very least we will give everything on the pitch.”



The magic number

Barcelona have won more games against Real Madrid in LaLiga than any other side with 72. Whilst Real Madrid have beaten Barcelona more than other of side in the competition, also 72.

Weird.



A very bad streak

Real Madrid have not defeated Barcelona in the last seven LaLiga meetings between the sides drawing three times and losing four. If they fail to win tonight it will be the longest they’ve gone without winning a Clasico in the league.

To make matters worse Barcelona have won the last four El Clasicos at the Santiago Bernabeu, making them the only team to win four consecutive away matches against Real Madrid in the history of La Liga.



Two points separates the sides in the title race but who will triumph tonight?



Three in a row?

After their 0-1 defeat to Valencia last time out and then the 1-2 loss to Manchester City in the Champions League, Real Madrid are looking at three straight losses at home should Barcelona prevail tonight.

It would be the second time Zinedine Zidane’s Real have lost consecutive home matches in LaLiga and the first time since the last two matchdays of the 2018/19 season.



It’s raining in Madrid:



Poor defending

Barcelona have only won one of their last four La Liga away games. The very last one with a 3-2 victory over Real Betis. In each of the four games they’ve conceded at least two goals, are we in for a goal fest tonight?



The teams are out on the pitch for the warm ups, have a watch here:



We need the fans says Zidane

“What we need is for our fans to be with us from the first minute to the 90th. I can understand if they are frustrated or annoyed, but we need them.

“Anything can happen in a game against such good opposition, but the important thing is how we react and we’ll have to play how we did for 78 minutes against Manchester City,” he said.



15 minutes to go until the 180th El Clasico gets underway. Who’s your money on?

When is it and what time is kick-off?

The match kicks off at 8pm on Sunday 1 March at the Santiago Bernabeu.

How can I watch it online and on TV?

The match will be broadcast live on LaLigaTB in the UK, with coverage beginning at 7.30pm.

Sky and Virgin customers can sign up for both Premier Sport channels and LaLigaTV for £9.99 a month, while Sky subscribers can get LaLigaTV on its own for £5.99 a month.

What is the team news?

Eden Hazard has been ruled out after suffering another injury to his ankle, while Marco Asensio remains sidelined. Luka Jovic has been left out of the matchday squad, while Rodrygo is suspended.

Barcelona are still struggling with numerous injuries, as both Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele remain out until the end of the season. Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba and Arda Turan will also miss out. ​

Predicted line-ups

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Isco, Benzema, Bale

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Firpo; Arthur, Busquets, De Jong; Vidal, Messi, Griezmann

Odds

Real Madrid 6/5

Draw 5/2

Barcelona 21/10

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