Spanish La Liga
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Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid: Ronald Koeman blames VAR for Clasico loss

By Emlyn BegleyBBC Sport
Clement Lenglet's foul on Sergio Ramos
Clement Lenglet's shirt-pull on Sergio Ramos was the turning point of the game

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman says the video assistant referee system seems to be "only used to make decisions against Barca" after Sergio Ramos' penalty helped Real Madrid win El Clasico.

Federico Valverde smashed Real, who had lost their previous two games, into the lead from Karim Benzema's pass.

Barcelona's Ansu Fati, 17, levelled from Jordi Alba's cross, becoming the youngest scorer in El Clasico history.

Ramos scored from the spot and Luka Modric smashed in a late third.

The turning point was a lengthy VAR decision for the Ramos penalty. Referee Juan Martínez Munuera did not spot Clement Lenglet's pull on Ramos' shirt but eventually gave a penalty after viewing it on the screen.

Barca had two penalty appeals turned down - for a Raphael Varane challenge on Lionel Messi and a possible Varane handball.

"I don't understand VAR, I think it is only used to make decisions against Barca," said Koeman, whose side have only picked up seven points from five games.

"You always get shirt tugs like that in the area and I think Ramos makes a foul on Lenglet first. There's a tug of the shirt, but not enough to make him fall behind as he did. For me it's not a penalty.

"We have had five matches and [VAR] has only been used to go against Barca. It's never gone our way.

"The decision had a big influence on the final result, because we were playing well up to the penalty."

Ramos said: "I think it was a very clear penalty. He tugged my shirt when I was jumping for the ball and it's as clear as daylight. It's unfair to criticise a referee for a decision as clear as that."

The result takes Real top of the fledgling La Liga table with 13 points from six games, six points above Barcelona.

'Perfect display' from Real

Luka Modric
Luka Modric came off the bench to score Real's third goal

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has not lost any of his six matches as a manager at the Nou Camp, with three wins and three draws.

After the game he called it a "perfect display".

Morale may have been low after defeats in their previous two games by Cadiz, in La Liga, and Shakhtar Donetsk, in the Champions League.

But they started brightly when Benzema fed Valverde, who slammed the ball into the far corner, leaving Neto with no chance.

Fati's almost immediate equaliser made it the first time both sides scored in the opening eight minutes of a Clasico in La Liga since 1940.

After that, Barca threatened to take control but Real did well to turn the tide.

Ramos' low penalty beat Neto and marks the first time he has scored 10 La Liga goals in a calendar year.

There was time for a late third as Luka Modric stepped past Neto before a classy finish.

Real are unbeaten in three Clasicos for the first time since 2012-13.

"I'm thrilled for the players," said Zidane. "It's a team victory.

"Given the criticism we've faced recently, we have to stay calm, stick together and play when we have to play, just as we did today.

"Ultimately, we've put in a great performance against a team that we know play wide open."

Questions for Koeman?

It is perhaps too early to talk about real pressure but Barcelona's tally of seven points from five games is as bad a start as boss Koeman could have feared.

They were OK for large parts of El Clasico and dominated for a period but Real deserved their win in the end.

Scorer Fati was one of three teenagers in Barca's team, alongside Pedri and right-back Sergino Dest, who was the first American to play in El Clasico.

Fati - who became the first player under the age of 18 to score in El Clasico - and Dest, who joined from Ajax at the start of this month, were two of Barca's better performers.

Koeman will surely be quizzed on how Philippe Coutinho, who did not have a good game, played the full 90 minutes - or why he did not make any changes until the 81st minute.

Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, two of the most expensive players of all time, came on too late for any real impact.

Lionel Messi was far from his best and has not scored in six Clasicos.

Player of the match

ModricLuka Modric

with an average of 8.09


  1. Squad number22Player nameAnsu Fati
    Average rating


  2. Squad number14Player namePhilippe Coutinho
    Average rating


  3. Squad number13Player nameNeto
    Average rating


  4. Squad number10Player nameMessi
    Average rating


  5. Squad number2Player nameDest
    Average rating


  6. Squad number21Player namede Jong
    Average rating


  7. Squad number18Player nameAlba
    Average rating


  8. Squad number3Player namePiqué
    Average rating


  9. Squad number16Player namePedri
    Average rating


  10. Squad number17Player nameTrincão
    Average rating


  11. Squad number15Player nameLenglet
    Average rating


  12. Squad number11Player nameDembélé
    Average rating


  13. Squad number5Player nameBusquets
    Average rating


  14. Squad number7Player nameGriezmann
    Average rating


  15. Squad number9Player nameBraithwaite
    Average rating


Real Madrid

  1. Squad number10Player nameModric
    Average rating


  2. Squad number4Player nameRamos
    Average rating


  3. Squad number15Player nameValverde
    Average rating


  4. Squad number9Player nameBenzema
    Average rating


  5. Squad number20Player nameVinícius Júnior
    Average rating


  6. Squad number17Player nameLucas Vázquez
    Average rating


  7. Squad number1Player nameCourtois
    Average rating


  8. Squad number8Player nameKroos
    Average rating


  9. Squad number23Player nameMendy
    Average rating


  10. Squad number14Player nameCasemiro
    Average rating


  11. Squad number5Player nameVarane
    Average rating


  12. Squad number11Player nameAsensio
    Average rating


  13. Squad number25Player nameRodrygo
    Average rating


  14. Squad number6Player nameNacho
    Average rating




Formation 4-4-2

  • 13Murara Neto
  • 2Dest
  • 3Piqué
  • 15LengletBooked at 29mins
  • 18AlbaBooked at 62minsSubstituted forBraithwaiteat 87'minutes
  • 16GonzálezSubstituted forMachado Trincãoat 82'minutes
  • 5BusquetsSubstituted forDembéléat 82'minutes
  • 21de Jong
  • 14Coutinho
  • 22FatiSubstituted forGriezmannat 82'minutes
  • 10MessiBooked at 90mins


  • 4Araújo
  • 6Aleñá
  • 7Griezmann
  • 8Pjanic
  • 9Braithwaite
  • 11Dembélé
  • 12Puig
  • 17Machado Trincão
  • 20Roberto
  • 24Firpo
  • 26Peña
  • 36Tenas

Real Madrid

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Courtois
  • 6NachoBooked at 37minsSubstituted forVázquezat 43'minutes
  • 5Varane
  • 4Ramos
  • 23Mendy
  • 15ValverdeSubstituted forModricat 69'minutes
  • 14CasemiroBooked at 19mins
  • 8Kroos
  • 11AsensioSubstituted forRodrygoat 81'minutes
  • 9Benzema
  • 20Vinícius Júnior


  • 3Militão
  • 10Modric
  • 12Marcelo
  • 13Lunin
  • 17Vázquez
  • 18Jovic
  • 22Isco
  • 25Rodrygo
  • 33López
Juan Martínez Munuera

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamReal Madrid
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 1, Real Madrid 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 1, Real Madrid 3.

  3. Post update

    Trincão (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

  5. Booking

    Lionel Messi (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Casemiro.

  7. Goal!

    Goal! Barcelona 1, Real Madrid 3. Luka Modric (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Rodrygo.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luka Modric.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Martin Braithwaite replaces Jordi Alba.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucas Vázquez.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Neto.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the top right corner.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucas Vázquez.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Trincão replaces Pedri.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Ousmane Dembélé replaces Sergio Busquets.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Antoine Griezmann replaces Ansu Fati.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Madrid. Rodrygo replaces Marco Asensio.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Ferland Mendy.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Karim Benzema.

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Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 24th October 2020

As It Stood

1Real Madrid641194513
2Atl Madrid5320101911
3Real Sociedad6321102811
10Real Betis7304711-49
15Ath Bilbao620446-26
17Celta Vigo612339-65
19Real Valladolid603359-43
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