A victory that counts? FC Barcelona won 1-0 against their great rival Real Madrid in a “Clasico” disputed on Saturday near Las Vegas, in the United States, during which Robert Lewandowski made his grand debut in his new colors with the Barca.
Another Catalan rookie Raphinha scored the only goal of the match, in the 27th minute, with a shot in the top corner after a completely missed recovery from Éder Militao. Thibaut Courtois, yet decisive on other occasions, notably against Franck Kessié (72nd) and Ousmane Dembélé (87th), could not do anything.
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The Brazilian, who arrived in early July from Leeds United for around 70 million euros according to the Spanish press, scored his second goal in two games for Barça, after scoring in the 6-0 victory against Inter Miami on Tuesday .
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Valverde on the post
The Allegiant Stadium (65,000 seats) was sold out for this prestigious poster, which was played on American soil for the second time, after the Catalan victory (3-2) in Miami on July 30, 2017, in a Hard Rock Stadium filled by more than 64,000 spectators.
Despite the friendly nature of the meeting, it displayed a frank intensity, at the height of the long rivalry between these two giants of football. Real Madrid, who were playing their first warm-up match, almost opened the scoring in the 18th minute, on a shot from Federico Valverde pushed back by the post. Two minutes later, Fati, well served by Pedri after Eduardo Camavinga lost the ball in front of his goal, took Thibaut Courtois off his line but placed his shot just wide of the post.
Benzema did not play
Overall, Barcelona dominated the first half, the one played by Polish striker Robert Lewandowski after his transfer from Bayern Munich. He was replaced at the break by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The first act ended in a small altercation after a nasty tackle from Jordi Alba on Vinicius. The players had to intervene to separate Madrid newcomer Antonio Rüdiger and Ronald Araujo.
In the 59th, Real Madrid came very close to equalizing, Marco Asensio, came into play, narrowly missing the frame in front of goal, after a pass from Lucas Vazquez. The European and Spanish champion continues his American tour on Tuesday against Club America in San Francisco. Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Karim Benzema, out against Barca after returning late from vacation, will play 45 minutes against the Mexican club.
For its part, FC Barcelona will face Juventus the same evening in Dallas. The two sides will play again on July 30, with Barca taking on New York Red Bulls and Real Madrid taking on the Old Lady.
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