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World News

Barça stun Real at Camp Nou and head for the title

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In a decisive clasico for the title, FC Barcelona largely dominated Real Madrid (2-1), Sunday evening at Camp Nou. The Catalans, who have a twelve-point lead at the top, find themselves in an ideal position to win the championship.

FC Barcelona takes a big step towards the coronation. Barça won on the line the clasico return counting for the 26th day of La Liga (2-1) against Real Madrid, Sunday March 19. The Catalan club now has a twelve-point lead with twelve rounds to go.

In a packed Camp Nou (95,745 spectators, season record), the Catalans started the game badly, with an own goal from Ronald Araujo, who deflected a cross from Vinicius into his own cages from the 9th minute, then equalized just before half-time, thanks to a goal from Sergi Roberto’s right, well placed on the fall of a blocked shot.

And in additional time (90th + 2), Kessié, who was expected to start the game in place of Sergi Roberto (whom he replaced in the 77th minute), delivered the Catalans from a flat foot recovery straight after a cross from Alejandro Balde.

Joined by the entire bench and all his teammates, the Ivorian midfielder who arrived from AC Milan celebrated his goal with effusion in front of the boiling north corner of Camp Nou.

An unexpected end to the match: a few minutes earlier, Xavi’s men thought they had lost this 253rd clasico in history. Because in the 81st, Marco Asensio, who had barely entered the game (76th in place of Fede Valverde) thought he was offering victory to the people of Madrid… But his goal from the left, similar to Kessié’s goal, was canceled by the video referee due to an offside position.

Next match: the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg

Off the field, this shock was tinged with controversy. The Whites have joined the legal action taken against the Catalans over alleged attempts to influence the referees.

The most watched club match in the world made Barca the first team in the world to reach the 100-win mark against the ‘White House’.

Real can almost already say goodbye to their Spanish champion crown, which now seems destined for Xavi’s Barça and will have to quickly focus on the Champions League, where they will face Chelsea in the quarter-finals.

But the two teams will meet again very quickly: from April 5, in the semi-final return of the King’s Cup at Camp Nou, Real will have the opportunity to erase this setback and rebalance the accounts. Because this season, the Catalans have won three of the four clasicos disputed.

With AFP and Reuters

France 24-Trans

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