Real Madrid claim first El Clasico of the season

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Real Madrid claimed the first El Clasico this season after defeating Barcelona 3-1 at Camp Nou on Saturday afternoon.

Barca were boosted by the return from injury of Jordi Alba while Pedri started ahead of Antoine Griezmann. Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos shrugged off his injury to start alongside the return of Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema for Madrid.

The game got off to a bright start as Federico Valverde fired Zinedine Zidane’s teams ahead in the fifth minute with a strike past goalkeeper Neto after a perfect through ball from Benzema.

The Blaugrana replied almost immediately after Alba beat the offside trap to go through on the left side and gave youngster Ansu Fati an easy tap-in with a low cross.

There were chances at both ends in a space of a minute midway into the first stanza after goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved Lionel Messi’s low shot and Neto denied Benzema from close range after a quick counter-attack but there wew no further clear opportunities as the sides were level pegging at half-time.

Philippe Coutinho had the perfect opportunity to put Koeman’s side in the lead ten minutes from the break after receiving a cross from Fati unmarked at the back post, but he headed wide.

Los Blancos eventually restored their lead in the 63rd minute with a Sergio Ramos penalty. Real had numerous opportunities to kill the game but Neto made a string of fine saves to keep the match on score draw.

It was only in the final minute that former Golden Ball winner Luka Modric sealed the win for Madrid, condemning Barcelona to a second consecutive defeat.

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