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Jude Bellingham fires Real Madrid to 3-2 El Clasico win over Barcelona

Real Madrid placed one hand on the La Liga title with a 3-2 win over Barcelona on Sunday, with Jude Bellingham’s 21st goal of the season proving to be the game-winner. 

The Catalans made the perfect start when Andreas Christensen headed in the opener in the sixth minute following a botched aerial claim from Andriy Lunin. 

Madrid did not lie down and Vinicius Junior, La Liga’s Player of the Month for March 2024, missed a glorious chance to pull them level.

His effort sailed over the bar from close range, but he made no mistake from the penalty spot in the 18th minute after Lucas Vasquez was fouled.

Barcelona refused to be flustered. They were finding joy from set pieces with Lunin looking uncertain.

They thought they had retaken the lead after 28 minutes when Lamine Yamal touched a fierce near-post corner from Raphinha, but Lunin prevented the ball from crossing the line.

Yamal was causing all sorts of problems down the right flank. The usually solid Eduardo Camavinga struggled every time the 16-year-old had the ball at his feet.

He had the first chance of the second half, cutting inside and heating Lunin’s palms with a shot.

Bellingham began to assert himself more in the game and showed incredible footwork before a fierce left-footed strike that was comfortable for Marc-Andre ter Stegen. 

The Englishman set Vinicius Jr loose with a terrific pass, but the latter shanked his shot wide.

Ferran Torres came on and immediately began making a nuisance of himself. He raced clear in the 67th minute but fired his effort wide off Lunin’s post.

However, the Blaugrana took the lead moments later when Yamal put a cross into the box, and Lunin palmed it into the path of Fermin Lopez, who took the gift with grateful hands.

Barcelona held the lead for four minutes as Vinicius put in a fantastic cross that Lucas Vasquez crashed into the back of the net to make it 2-2.

Madrid showed their champion mentality to win the clash in the dying minutes when Bellingham bulldozed his way into the Barca box before finishing beyond Ter Stegen. 

His 17th La Liga goal of the season sent Los Blancos 11 points clear at the top of the table, setting them on course to claim their 36th title.

Bellingham scored the winner at Barca’s home and repeated the trick in Madrid, ensuring that the table-toppers beat their rivals three times in a row in the same season for the first time in 88 years.

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