La Liga 2023-24: Real Madrid almost confirms title after Clasico win against Barcelona

Real Madrid clinched a dramatic 3-2 El Clasico win over defending champion Barcelona to take it 11 points clear at the top of La Liga with six matches remaining.

Published : Apr 22, 2024 03:20 IST , MADRID - 4 MINS READ

Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham, Antonio Rudiger and Vinicius Junior celebrate after the match.
Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham, Antonio Rudiger and Vinicius Junior celebrate after the match. | Photo Credit: SUSANA VERA

Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham, Antonio Rudiger and Vinicius Junior celebrate after the match. | Photo Credit: SUSANA VERA

Jude Bellingham snatched Real Madrid a dramatic 3-2 El Clasico win over champions Barcelona on Monday to take it 11 points clear at the top of La Liga with six matches remaining.

Los Blancos twice came from behind with Vinicius Junior and Lucas Vazquez netting to level Andreas Christensen and Fermin Lopez’s strikes, before Bellingham rammed home the winner in stoppage time to virtually guarantee his team the title.

Barcelona, second in the table, bounced back with a strong performance after its Champions League exit at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain but its last stand was demolished by Bellingham.

Madrid showed the same grit to stay in the match as they did midweek against Manchester City on the way to the final four in Europe before Bellingham’s knock-out blow left the Santiago Bernabeu crowd delighted.

AS IT HAPPENED: RMA vs BAR Clasico highlights

The England international, Madrid’s top scorer with 21 goals across all competitions, netted twice in Madrid’s Clasico win over Barcelona in October and is shining in his first season in Spain.

“We had a great night with our fans, something we all deserved, we took a huge step towards La Liga,” Vazquez, key in all three Madrid goals, told  Real Madrid TV.

“We’ve had a very good season, we’re on a very good path, now we just have to polish it off and we’ll go for everything.”

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti made three changes from the side that beat City, with Eduardo Camavinga moving to left-back to replace Ferland Mendy, while Luka Modric started in midfield.

Madrid’s penalty-saving hero against City, goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, made an early mistake to hand Barcelona the lead.

The Ukrainian strayed from his line to try and deal with a corner but got nowhere near the ball and Christensen nodded into the empty net.

However, Madrid were quickly level through Vinicius, who fired over a fine chance before levelling from the spot.

Vazquez escaped Joao Cancelo far too easily and was tripped in the area by 17-year-old Barca centre-back Pau Cubarsi.

Vinicius rolled home from the spot for his 19th goal of the season across all competitions.

Barcelona was not deterred and made inroads down their right flank with Lamine Yamal giving Camavinga a torrid time.

Crossed the line? 

Lamine Yamal thought he had equalised with a clever flick from a corner in the 28th minute but Lunin pushed the ball to safety, with Barcelona arguing it had already crossed the line.

La Liga does not contract goal-line technology and using VAR the officials could not confirm the ball had completely entered the goal, so the Catalans were left frustrated.

Yamal appealed for a penalty minutes later when Camavinga clipped him in the area but the referee waved their cries away.

ALSO READ: FA Cup - Manchester United beats Coventry on penalties to set up final against Man City

Raphinha and Ilkay Gundogan both sent free-kicks narrowly off-target, with Barcelona only having converted one since Lionel Messi departed in 2021.

Barcelona was dealt a blow on the stroke of half-time when midfielder Frenkie de Jong was taken off on a stretcher after hurting his ankle in a challenge by Fede Valverde.

Xavi also brought Lopez on for Christensen at half-time and it paid dividends for the coach after a slower start to the second half.

The midfielder was in the right place at the right time to finish after 69 minutes when Lunin could only parry Yamal’s low effort back into danger.

However, Madrid swiftly struck back when Vinicius crossed to the back post, and Vazquez arrived to finish, having lost his marker Cancelo.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen made a brilliant save to thwart Vinicius at his near post as the forward sprinted through on goal with Madrid looking to strike and virtually wrap up their La Liga title.

Bellingham dealt the killer blow, despite largely being kept quiet by the Catalans until he appeared to emphatically decide the match in stoppage time from Vazquez’s cross.

“We fight until the end, and we never accept we’re beaten,” Vazquez added.

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment