‘Tiki tata’ Xavi and hey Jude - 3 talking points as Bellingham's Clasico winner puts Real Madrid in LaLiga driving seat | Football News - Hindustan Times
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‘Tiki tata’ Xavi and hey Jude - 3 talking points as Bellingham's Clasico winner puts Real Madrid in LaLiga driving seat

By, New Delhi
Apr 22, 2024 03:30 PM IST

Jude Bellingham scored the dramatic winner as Real Madrid came from behind twice to outclass FC Barcelona in the El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Jude Bellingham's legs were shaking when Real Madrid faithful serenaded the England playmaker with the iconic Beatles song ‘Hey Jude’ following his injury-time winner against Getafe in a derby at the Santiago Bernabeu. By Bellingham's admission, it was the 'loudest moment' he heard at a packed stadium. A month later, the former Borussia Dortmund star announced his arrival at the grandest stage in Spanish football by netting a stunning brace against Barcelona at the Olympic Stadium.

Bellingham scored the dramatic winner against Xavi's Barca in the Clasico(AP)
Bellingham scored the dramatic winner against Xavi's Barca in the Clasico(AP)

Extending his impressive run against the Blaugrana in the Clasico encounters on Sunday night, Bellingham picked up right where he left off at the temple of football - the Santiago Bernabeu. Fresh off Real Madrid's statement win over UEFA Champions League holders Manchester City, Bellingham proved to be the difference-maker for Real Madrid as the Englishman scored a dramatic winner to seal a come-from-behind win for the Los Blancos.

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Andreas Christensen silenced the Bernabeu with his six-minute opener against Carlo Ancelotti's men. Goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, who was Madrid's hero against Manchester City in the Champions League, strayed from his line while dealing with a corner, which gave Christensen an opening to coin Barca's opener. Tripped in the danger area by Barcelona defender Pau Cubarsi, veteran Lucas Vazquez handed Vinicius Junior a spot-kick opportunity in the first half. Restoring parity in the first half, Vinicius converted an 18th-minute penalty as nothing separated the two heavyweights of the Spanish top flight.

Ghost goal because La Liga has no goal-line technology

Giving left-bank Eduardo Camavinga Clasico nightmares, Lamine Yamal almost cashed in on Raphinha’s corner by guiding the ball towards the goal. While Barca dugout was convinced that the entire ball rolled over the line, the match official summoned the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for the final verdict. After several replays, VAR concluded that the ball hadn’t completely crossed the line. If the goal had been given to Barcelona, Yamal would have earned the tag of the youngest Clasico goalscorer at 16. It should be noted that La Liga is not using the goal-line technology as league president Javier Tebas expressed his reservations about paying 2.6 million pounds for the equipment fee this season.

However, Barcelona nosed ahead of Real Madrid with Fermin Lopez's second-half strike in the 69th minute. Fermin brought out a Bellingham-like celebration to tease the Madrid loyalist at the Bernabeu. Issuing a swift response in typical Real Madrid fashion, Vinicius managed to set up Vazquez as the scorer turned into a provider for Real Madrid's crucial equaliser in the 73rd minute.

Hey Jude!

Putting on a show for Real Madrid, Vazquez fired a teasing ball towards the far post, which was met by Bellingham in the 91st minute of the Clasico. Delivering the sucker punch in the stoppage time, Bellingham slotted home the winner for the hosts as his left-footed strike sealed the deal for Real. Bellingham is the first Real Madrid player to find the back of the net in his first two Clasicos after 2007. The same feat was previously achieved by former Manchester United forward Ruud van Nistelrooy. The England midfielder has smashed two last-minute goals for Real Madrid against Barcelona in his debut season.

‘Tiki tata’ Xavi

Barcelona legend and head coach Xavi Hernandez lashed out at LaLiga after the Spanish top flight refused to employ the goal-line technology. The Barcelona manager is stepping down at the end of the 2023-2024 season. Interestingly, passmaster Xavi has seen more red cards in the difficult season as Barcelona coach than in his entire year playing career, which lasted for 21 years. Xavi has been sent off thrice as a Barca manager. Even though Xavi is not throwing in the towel, the race for the La Liga title looks over for the Catalan giants after the 3-2 trouncing at the hands of Real Madrid. Already out of the Champions League, Xavi's Barcelona side is 11 points behind league-leaders Real Madrid in his La Liga swansong. A heartbreaking Clasico defeat has completed Xavi’s miserable week.

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