zondag 11 december 2011

Barça go top with Clasico win

Jose Mourinho vents his anger as Real Madrid slipped to a home defeat to Barcelona


Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-1 at the Bernabeu, having gone behind to a shock Karim Benzema goal after just 23 seconds, and leapfrog their rivals to go top of La Liga.

The game got off to a blistering start as Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes miskicked a clearance to Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil's shot rebounded to Benzema, who slotted home from close range.

Madrid pressed hard and forced Barca into more errors, but could not get another goal and, after letting Lionel Messi slide a through ball to Alexis Sanchez, the Catalans were level. Sanchez broke away and shrugged off the attentions of Pepe before firing a low shot past Iker Casillas.

After half-time, Barca took control, but were fortunate to go ahead. A long shot from Xavi rebounded off the heel of Marcelo and spun past Casillas, dropping in off the far post. As Madrid tired, the wind went out of their sails and Ronaldo spurned a glorious chance to level the scores; he headed wide from five yards out after a great cross from Xabi Alonso.

Minutes later Cesc Fabregas showed him how to do it as he got on the end of a Dani Alves cross to head the third goal and send Barcelona fans into raptures.

Two injury-time goals from Ruben Castro saw Real Betis spring a major surprise by beating third-placed Valencia 2-1.

The visitors had gone ahead midway through the second half thanks to Jose Antonio Dorado's own goal and, despite exerting a lot of pressure, it appeared Betis would finish the game empty-handed.

However, Castro headed home to level before firing a winner to earn the Andalucians their first win in 11 and ease some of the pressure on coach Pepe Mel.

Levante extended their advantage in fourth place over Sevilla to five points with a scrappy 1-0 win at the Ciudad de Valencia.

Nano bundled home the only goal 10 minutes into the second half after a terrible mix-up between Emir Spahic and Javi Varas left the defender with the easiest of finishes from a yard.

Sevilla were the better side throughout the game but were guilty of not taking their chances, particularly when Jesus Navas and Spahic failed to hit the target when presented with clear sights of goal.

Substitute Freddie Kanoute should also have guaranteed a point but headed straight at Gustavo Munua with 13 minutes remaining.

Source: ESPN

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