Sergio Ramos scored from the penalty spot as Real Madrid claimed victory over Barcelona in the first Clasico of the season.
The Real Madrid captain had been a serious doubt for the match having picked up a knee injury in the defeat to Cadiz, but returned to the starting lineup to deliver the decisive moment and effectively give the visitors to the Camp Nou a valuable win.
It took Los Blancos just five minutes to open the scoring, with Fede Valverde finding the back of the net after being played through by Karim Benzema. The response from Barca was almost immediate, though, as Ansu Fati turned home from close range after a Jordi Alba square ball.
Ansu Fati of Barcelona celebrates after he scores his team's first goal during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on October 24, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.
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Lionel Messi should have put the Catalans ahead when he created a clear sight of goal with a nice piece of skill to beat his man, but Thibaut Courtois made a stunning save at his near post to keep out the Argentine.
Just as Barca appeared to be turning the screw on Real Madrid, Ramos was presented with a chance to convert from 12 yards following a lengthy VAR review which spotted a foul by Clement Lenglet. The 34-year-old made no mistake in rolling home a finish.
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Luka Modric added the finishing touches to the win late on, showing great composure to control a Rodrygo pass, take his time and guide a shot into the back of the net after a Neto tackle on Rodrygo off his line.
TALKING POINT - Ronald Koeman will come under scrutiny for his decisions
Eyebrows were raised when Barcelona’s team sheet dropped an hour before kick off, with three teenagers (Ansu, Sergino Dest and Pedri) picked from the start. In hindsight, Ronald Koeman may have been better opting for a more experienced group of players, but more damning was his refusal to change things when the game was getting away from Barcelona.
Zidane and Koeman
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Indeed, the Dutchman waited until the 81st minute to make his first substitution, throwing on Antoine Griezmann, Francisco Trincao and Ousmane Dembele all at once. There appeared to be no strategy other than to pack the pitch with as many attackers as possible and hope that something happens. This was not Koeman’s best tactical showing.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
This was archetypal Ramos. The Real Madrid captain was a doubt for the game, missing the defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk during the week through injury, but returned to drive his side to a Clasico win. It wasn’t just the penalty kick to put Real Madrid ahead at 2-1. It was the way he marshalled his team at the back and played a key role in keeping Barcelona’s potent attack as quiet as possible. Don’t overlooked Ramos’ contribution at the back.
Real Madrid's Spanish defender Sergio Ramos celebrates with Real Madrid's Spanish forward Lucas Vazquez (R) after scoring a penalty during the Spanish League football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou
Image credit: Getty Images
Barcelona - Neto, Dest, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Busquets, De Jong, Pedri, Coutinho, Ansu, Messi. Subs -
Real Madrid - Courtois, Nacho, Varane, Ramos, Mendy, Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos, Asensio, Benzema, Vinícius. Subs -
5’ GOAL! Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid: It's an early opener for Real Madrid! Where was the Barcelona defence? Benzema slotted the pass through for Valverde after picking the ball up from deep and the Uruguayan midfielder lashes a right-footed finish past Neto! What a start for Los Blancos!
9’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid: A rapid response from Barcelona who have restored parity! Alba was played to the byline down the left side, he squared the pass for Ansu and the teenager tucked away past Courtois. What an incredible start to this match! We are back on level terms!
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23’ Big chance for Messi! The Barcelona number 10 beat his man and had a clear sight on goal, but Courtois got across to the near post to make a stunning diving save. That looked like being a Barca goal!
62’ PENALTY KICK TO REAL MADRID! The referee points to the spot after a lengthy VAR review. Lenglet fouled Ramos in the box!
63’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid: Real Madrid have regained the lead at the Camp Nou and it's Ramos, who else? Neto was anticipating the Panenka from the Real Madrid captain, but Ramos rolls a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner. The award of the spot kick was a controversial one!
90’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid: Three points in the bag for Real Madrid. There is no way back for Barcelona now. Neto comes out to tackle Vinicius, Rodrygo shows composure to find Modric, who takes his time and guides a finish into the back of the net! So calm when it mattered most.
Age 17 years and 359 days old, Ansu Fati became the youngest player to ever score in a Clasico breaking the previous record held by Vinicius Junior (19 years and 233 days old).
For only the second time in the last 13 seasons, Real Madrid won the first Clasico of the season (La Liga).