Barcelona may have been beaten by Real Madrid, and suffered a fifth successive Clasico defeat in the process, but Wednesday’s game between the two rivals showed the gap between the two is undoubtedly closing.
Madrid took the lead through Vinicius Junior, who raced in behind the opposition backline on 25 minutes and converted a one-on-one, before Barca striker Luuk de Jong levelled the score just before half-time.
? Watch All Goals and Highlights: FC Barcelona 2-3 Real Madrid – EL Clasico
Karim Benzema put Madrid back in front midway through the second half, but Barca equalised again when forward Ansu Fati headed home on 84 minutes, forcing extra time.
Madrid struck the first blow as Vinicius opened the scoring, collecting a through ball from Benzema before striking past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Barca pulled level just before half-time through De Jong, who was in the right place at the right time when Madrid defender Eder Militao attempted to clear a low cross from Dembele but was blocked by De Jong and into the goal.
Benzema fired Madrid back into the lead on 72 minutes, first forcing a save from ter Stegen before prodding home from a cutback from teammate Dani Carvajal.
But Xavi’s side fought back, and Fati, who was playing for the first time since November due to injury, found space in Madrid’s 6-yard box and provided a glancing header to send the two sides to extra time.