CLOSINGS: View Closings

Real Madrid edge Barcelona to spoil what could be Lionel Messi's final home El Clasico

El Clasico is one of the biggest and most intense games in the world of soccer. It's involved some of the greatest ever players and featured plenty of incredible moments.

Posted: Oct 24, 2020 4:31 PM
Updated: Oct 24, 2020 4:31 PM

Real Madrid spoiled what could be Lionel Messi's final El Clasico at the Camp Nou, beating its bitter rival Barcelona 3-1.

The away side took the lead inside the opening five minutes, a penetrating run from Karim Benzema splitting the Barcelona defense before he could slip the ball through to the driving Fede Valverde to smash home.

It didn't take long for Barcelona to level however, with Messi perhaps unsurprisingly at the heart of it. His incisive through-ball to Jordi Alba split the Madrid defense allowing the left-back to lay the ball on a plate for 17-year-old Ansu Fati.

The away side retook the lead midway through the second half from the penalty spot as captain Sergio Ramos nonchalantly converted before a late Luka Modric goal wrapped up the three points.

The defeat is Barcelona's second in a row, while Real Madrid got back to winning ways.

"We played a perfect game. It's three points, nothing more," Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said afterwards.

"We've faced a lot of criticism over the past few days. We have to remain calm and play the way we want to play. I'm happy for the players. It was a team victory today. I'm proud of my side."

READ: Lionel Messi breaks Champions League record as teenagers give Barcelona hope for the future

To and fro

During the opening stages of an extraordinary season, Barcelona and Real Madrid have shown signs of fallibility.

Both of the Spanish giants lost their last outings in the Spanish league, while Real Madrid was stunned at home on Wednesday by an under-manned Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

But travelling to an empty Camp Nou, the reigning Spanish La Liga champions showed no hint of nerves in the early stages of El Clasico, the fiery and fierce rivalry between the two.

French striker Benzema, driving through the wide-open Barcelona defense in the opening minutes, was able to pick out a completely unmarked Valverde who had darted between players into the box to get the scoring started.

But as they showed on Wednesday against Shakhtar Donetsk, Real struggled to keep the opposition at bay and like he has been so often before, it was Messi at the heart of Barcelona's excellent attacking.

His delightfully weighted pass just three minutes later from the halfway line fell almost perfectly into the stride of a galloping Alba who was able to square for Fati to emphatically finish.

In scoring, Fati became the youngest player to score in El Clasico in all competitions in the 21st century at the age of 17 years and 359 days.

While no more goals followed in the first half, both sides put on a show for the fans watching at home, with no spectators allowed into the Camp Nou because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It was more of the same after the break until a careless tug of Ramos' jersey from Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet was caught by the video assistant referee (VAR). After awarding the penalty, Ramos duly stepped up to put the Madrid side ahead once again.

Ramos became the first Real player to score a penalty in El Clasico in the league since Ruud van Nistelrooy in March 2007.

"We couldn't allow ourselves to get bogged down in that bad run," Ramos said afterwards. "It was a sh*t week but we put the criticism to one side. It's always good to win away at a direct rival. Two games is a crisis at Real Madrid but we have to carry on doing things our way."

And although they huffed and puffed, Barcelona could not find a way back into the game and Modric's jabbed finish finally sealed the game in the dying moments.

"I think we played well," Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman said after the game. "I think we created good opportunities to score. Some parts of the game we were the better team and it's difficult to understand because we did not deserve to lose the game today."

An unhappy end

Having spent the whole of his professional career at Barcelona, it is hard to imagine Messi would have envisioned the end of his time at the Catalan club being this messy.

The 33-year-old announced that he wanted to leave the club in August and has admitted he had wanted to leave "all year."

He claimed a clause in his contract meant he could do so for free, but in the end the Argentine was forced to stay as Barcelona disagreed and wasn't willing to reduce its €700 million ($897 million) release clause.

Messi said his love for the club meant he had no intention of disputing the club's decision in court and dragging out a legal dispute.

And with the chances of him staying on after this season looking increasingly unlikely, there is a chance that today's El Clasico could be the final one at Camp Nou for the diminutive Argentine.

Without the opportunity to appear at home in front of Barcelona fans, it will be a disappointing final appearance in El Clasico for Messi after the success he has brought the club in his 20 years there.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videos

The Argentine has helped Barcelona win 10 league titles and four Champions League trophies, as well as winning six Ballon d'Or's himself.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
Olmsted665634
Sherburne587641
Clay498457
Carver474213
Blue Earth414116
Rice412836
Kandiyohi408122
Crow Wing359634
Otter Tail314322
Chisago311611
Nobles308730
Benton299451
Winona276930
Mower261623
Douglas260337
Polk256324
Morrison231629
Lyon218711
Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
Goodhue203228
Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
Mille Lacs153631
Freeborn15336
Le Sueur147011
Cass143710
Brown141315
Waseca139211
Pine13658
Meeker12879
Roseau11964
Hubbard114925
Martin113320
Wabasha10561
Redwood94619
Chippewa8877
Cottonwood8664
Renville86527
Dodge8600
Watonwan8544
Wadena8016
Sibley7934
Rock7779
Aitkin76730
Pipestone72518
Fillmore6990
Houston6984
Yellow Medicine64812
Pennington6478
Kanabec61913
Murray5873
Swift5838
Faribault5612
Pope5391
Clearwater5248
Stevens5103
Marshall4979
Unassigned49359
Jackson4881
Lake4226
Koochiching3926
Wilkin3895
Lac qui Parle3773
Lincoln3591
Norman3497
Big Stone3182
Mahnomen2964
Grant2796
Kittson2248
Red Lake2133
Traverse1481
Lake of the Woods1001
Cook720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
Cerro Gordo357144
Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
Benton170619
Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
Calhoun10617
Floyd105016
Mills10487
Fayette103910
Lyon10338
Butler10216
Poweshiek99313
Winneshiek97613
Iowa95812
Winnebago93023
Hancock8677
Grundy86311
Louisa86216
Sac8608
Chickasaw8574
Cherokee8484
Allamakee81811
Cass81623
Mitchell7984
Appanoose79312
Humboldt7715
Union7706
Shelby76511
Emmet76424
Guthrie75415
Franklin73921
Jefferson7142
Madison6864
Unassigned6690
Palo Alto6554
Keokuk5997
Howard5599
Pocahontas5584
Greene5250
Osceola5241
Ida48913
Clarke4874
Davis4709
Taylor4653
Montgomery46311
Monroe44412
Adair4418
Monona4352
Worth3630
Fremont3583
Van Buren3585
Lucas3256
Decatur3170
Wayne3007
Audubon2962
Ringgold2112
Adams1702
Rochester
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 19°
Mason City
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 23°
Albert Lea
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 22°
Austin
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 21°
Charles City
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 19°
Colder Conditions To Start The Workweek
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Kindness tree on display in Rochester

Image

Advice for safe holiday decorating

Image

Aaron's Sunday Night Forecast

Image

Active shooter police standoff resolved after 9 hours

Image

Standoff in Albert Lea after 3 people shot

Image

Christmas tree shopping

Image

MC 'grateful' to play, adjusting with schedule changes

Image

Small business Saturday

Image

Sean's Weather 11/28

Image

Sidelined in quarantine: Coach Fennelly talks about his experience away from the game

Community Events