Tuesday 1 December, 2020

Ramos, VAR help give Madrid 3-1 win at Barcelona

Real Madrid's Luka Modric scores his side's 3rd goal during the Spanish La Liga football match against Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort).

Real Madrid's Luka Modric scores his side's 3rd goal during the Spanish La Liga football match against Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort).

Sergio Ramos scored the winning goal in Real Madrid’s 3-1 win at Barcelona after a video review awarded him a penalty in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Ramos restored Madrid’s advantage in the 63rd from the spot after a brush with Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet in the area. After consulting the video screen on the touchline, referee Juan Martínez ruled that Lenglet had impeded Ramos from contesting a high ball by grabbing his shirt.

Federico Valverde opened the scoring for Madrid in the fifth minute when he fired in a pass from Karim Benzema.

Barcelona's Ansu Fati levelled three minutes later from an attack cued by Lionel Messi.

Barcelona were taking the match to Madrid’s area when Ramos was sent to the spot by the VAR review.

Substitute Luka Modric capped the win for Madrid in the 90th with Barcelona searching for an equaliser.

Madrid lead the league with 13 points. Barcelona have seven with a game in hand.

Gone was the listless Madrid that had been embarrassed in home losses against Cádiz and Shakhtar Donetsk over the previous week.

Ramos had been knocked out of the loss Cádiz at halftime with a knee knock that also sidelined him for the Shakhtar defeat in the Champions League.

With him back barking orders in the center of the defense, Madrid were the aggressive, compact side that had won the league from Barcelona last season.

Ramos also proved key in attack when he used his wiles to grapple with Lenglet and then complain vehemently after he collapsed to the turf following the defender’s tug.

“Both Lenglet and I take our defending to the limit, and in this case, it was very clear,” Ramos said. “He grabbed me as I was jumping. The VAR is there to help and I think it was a penalty. We then went looking for a third goal after they had suffered that blow to their morale instead of just sitting back.”

Barcelona’s US defender Sergiño Dest, making just his third start for his new club, had his doubts.

“I don’t know (if it was a penalty),” said Dest. “But for me, it is like play on.”

It was the first “clásico” match played without fans since the Spanish league closed all stadiums to the public since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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