Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde, and Rodrygo scored as Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 3-1 at home in “El Clasico” on Sunday to move into first place in La Liga.
Barca and manager Xavi Hernandez were on the verge of being eliminated from the Champions League after drawing with Inter Milan in the previous week.
Barca had no response for Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr.’s unrelenting speed and Toni Kroos’s crisp passes, which created numerous opportunities, including the first two goals.
Benzema scored the game’s first goal after goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied Vinicius from close range in the 12th minute. The France striker scored on a rebound after goalie ter Stegen denied Vinicius from close range.
Vinicius took advantage of a mistake by defender Eric Garcia to move into the penalty area and create space for Valverde, who, unmarked on the edge of the box, fired a bullet shot past the goalkeeper ten minutes before halftime.
Real were seldom bothered by their lifeless opponents until the penultimate minute, when substitute Ferran Torres scored from close range from Robert Lewandowski’s low cross to halve the margin.
Rodrygo sealed the victory from the penalty spot in extra time after Garcia fouled him inside the penalty area.
Real are now in first place with 25 points, three more than Barcelona.
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