Real Madrid, the current European Champions came from a goal down to claim a 3-1 victory over their arch rivals FC Barcelona in the first El Clasico between the two teams in the La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Saturday. Madrid’s victory means that they are just a point behind the leaders Barcelona at the top of the table.
Barcelona were unbeaten coming into the game this season and were looking to increase their lead over Madrid to seven points, but their plans were spoiled by a spirited Madrid team led by their talismanic striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
The match was also the first competitive game for Luis Suarez in a Barcelona shirt who was making a comeback after his 10-match ban for biting Italian Giorgio Cheillini in the World Cup this year. Suarez though failed to score, but made a strong return as he was the one who set up Neymar’s opening goal. He wasn’t fit to play the entire game and was substituted at the 70th minute.
Barcelona were the better side in the first half, but they couldn’t carry it through the second half. Ronaldo equalized for Madrid with a penalty in the 35th minute after Gerard Pique handled the ball in the box. Pepe then gave Madrid the lead as he headed in a corner at the 50th minute. Benzema then made sure that Madrid got all three points by slotting in a goal at the 61st minute. Coach Carlo Ancelotti’s was praised for his decision of replacing the injured Bale with Isco. Barcelona coach Luis Enrique though faced a lot of flak for taking off Xavi when they were 2-1 down.
Sevilla gained the most from Madrid’s victory as they share the top spot with Barcelona. Both teams desperately want to win the La Liga crown which eluded them last season and the battle between the top five teams is expected to be very close.