Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid: Last-gasp Kessie winner settles Clasico and pushes Blaugrana closer to LaLiga title

By Sports Desk March 19, 2023

Franck Kessie scored a dramatic late winner as Barcelona took a significant step towards LaLiga glory with a 2-1 Clasico victory over Real Madrid on Sunday.

Blaugrana midfielder Kessie stroked home in the 92nd minute at Camp Nou to send Xavi's side 12 points clear of Madrid, who thought they had won it earlier when Marco Asensio saw an 81st-minute strike ruled out.

A somewhat comical Ronald Araujo own goal had offered Madrid an early lead before Sergi Roberto restored parity in the 45th minute.

Kessie's late intervention, placing past Thibaut Courtois, arrived after Asensio's finish was ruled out for offside as Barca closed on the title with 12 league games left to play.

Courtois produced impressive stops to thwart Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha but Madrid struck first after nine minutes.

Araujo inexplicably headed into his own net at the near post when attempting to defend Vinicius Junior's hopeful left-wing centre.

Courtois kept a Barca response at bay, denying Andreas Christensen's inventive flick and a fizzing Raphinha drive, although Xavi's men finally fought back on the stroke of half-time.

A desperate Eder Militao block against Raphinha saw the ball fall to Sergi Roberto, who fired into the bottom-right corner after a slight deflection wrong-footed Courtois.

Another deflected effort almost undid Madrid again after the interval, though Lewandowski's attempt off Eduardo Camavinga whistled wide to Courtois' left.

Asensio thought he had snatched victory when turning home Dani Carvajal's right-wing cross, only for a VAR review to adjudge the substitute offside.

More late drama was to follow when Kessie coolly finished into the bottom-right corner from Alejandro Balde's low centre as Barca edged closer towards a first top-flight crown since 2019.

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