Raphinha rocket helps Barcelona to narrow victory over Real Madrid

Barcelona pipped Real Madrid to the post in their first clash of the season, albeit a friendly in Las Vegas, with a 1-0 victory.

The hotly anticipated Clasico saw a sold out Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, as Real Madrid launched their preseason campaign. The thirst for the match was only increased with a number of first outings for new recruits that included Robert Lewandowski, Aurelien Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger. Meanwhile Karim Benzema and Dani Carvajal were missing for Los Blancos.

Barcelona were playing their third match of the preseason and it was noticeable that Real Madrid made several basic mistakes under high pressure. Ansu Fati couldn’t convert a one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois, who was arguably man of the match, but Raphinha could. A poor ball out from Eder Militao led to Raphinha rocketing a shot into the top corner in the 27th minute.

Fede Valverde had had his own rocket thump the post before that and Real Madrid looked threatening on the counter, leading to Jordi Alba chopping down Vinicius Junior to stop an attack. Although it was a friendly, the feel of El Clasico was present in the bundle of pushing and shoving that ensued.

With half-time and the beginning of a series of substitutions, the match cooled off a little in a second half that saw Frenkie de Jong once again take up a role in central defence. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Real Madrid team had been Rudiger’s selection at left-back.

Barcelona looked more threatening, with Courtois keeping out Franck Kessie in the clearest of the opportunities.

A breathless match, both for the fans and the players, the fitness was of both teams couldn’t quite reach the entertainment levels. It was just a preseason friendly, but the appetite was whetted for could be a fascinating season in La Liga.

Tags Barcelona El Clasico Raphinha Real Madrid

1 Comment

  1. Just seeing the intensity and sound of that sellout crowd just whet’s my appetite for the World Cup to return to the U.S. in these big, beautiful football stadiums. America is more than ready for the beautiful game and the world’s best teams and players to showcase the world’s sport.

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