BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 19: Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Jules Kounde of FC Barcelona during the LaLiga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Spotify Camp Nou on March 19, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
FC Barcelona and Real Madrid went into the interval level pegging at 1-1 at the Camp Nou on Sunday evening.
Madrid kept the same eleven that did duty in the 1-0 win over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, whereas Barca had Ronald Araujo back from suspension and started him in defence.
It was a lively opening with chances at either end although Barca went closest as a smart header from a tight angle by Raphinha drew a strong one-hand save from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois five minutes in.
Los Blancos, though, made the breakthrough against the run of play after four minutes when Araujo directed a cross from Vinicius Junior into his own net and handed the visitors the lead.
The table-toppers recovered and came close to drawing level midway in where Andreas Christensen snapped a header from a perfectly weighted ball in the area wide of the mark.
Barcelona applied more pressure and reaped the rewards on the stroke of halftime when Sergi Roberto picked up a loose ball from a scramble in the area and slotted into the near corner.
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