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  • Barcelona takes the league against a frustrated Real Madrid in a final of drama and ecstasy

The Spotify Camp Nou hosted a historic classic yesterday. All the matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid have their own narrative, but this match was different. The judicial explosion of the 'Negreira Case' conditioned the previous, during and post of a duel that at the same time was vital for the fight for the League title. The investigation of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office into the payments of 7 million euros that the Barça team made for years to the former vice president of the referees Enríquez Negreira and the accusation against former presidents Bartomeu and Rosell were a key part of the classic.

This denunciation and the media war that has been waged since also reached the box of the Camp Nou, where he missed for the first time since his arrival to the presidency of Madrid Florentino Pérez. As this newspaper advanced, the head of the white club decided not to travel to Barcelona so as not to increase the tension of an already hot clash. In the Madrid expedition they expected a more hostile reception than usual and the refusal of Barcelona to hold the traditional lunch of directives prior to the classic was the turning point for the president's decision.

Guardiola, Colau, Gaspart...

Florentino, who had not missed Luis Figo's first game at the Camp Nou after his signing for Madrid or the first post-pandemic classic, left his place in the box to Eduardo Fernández de Blas, vice president of the club. At his side, Joan Gaspart, Pep Guardiola and Ada Colau, among others, who came to the cause against Madrid, and a Joan Laporta who had raised the tone against the eternal rival in the previous days. "We will defend ourselves and attack. The campaign we are suffering is no coincidence," he said on Friday, days after hundreds of 500-euro bills with his face were thrown in the vicinity of the Bernabeu. The words of the culé president are different since Madrid decided to appear as a private accusation in the judicial process against Barça "in defense of their legitimate interests". The Catalan knows that a media war against Madrid is the best way for his public to forget the mistakes of the club in the 'Negreira Case'. And for the reception of whites, he is right.

The buses of the Madrid expedition arrived at the Camp Nou under a rain of insults and chants against them, something normal in a classic, and without major incidents. Of course, the decibels increased within the stadium. The public received Madrid with a monumental whistle when it came out to warm up and protested when the two squads posed mixed next to a banner against racism.

After the initial whistle, sports hatred gave way to personal hatred. "Vinicius, die, Vinicius die!" sang much of the stands after protests from the Brazilian to De Burgos Bengoetxea. Vinicius, who had already received racist insults during last season's classic, reacted by pointing to the shield.

It was a first part not without controversy. The Real Madrid bench protested the yellow to Nacho in the 18th minute, just a couple of minutes after a hard tackle by Sergi Roberto on the white academy. Ancelotti even addressed Xavi, beckoning him to the place on the pitch where the previous foul had occurred, to which the Barça coach nodded. An anger that spread to the culés, who asked for a foul by Nacho to Raphinha on the edge of the area and sang the "so, so, so Madrid wins!" when the referee did not point out the infraction.

The VAR review

Sergi Roberto's goal before the break increased Barça's anger and knocked out Ancelotti's team for a few moments, which after the intermission included Mendy and Rodrygo instead of Nacho and Kroos to give electricity to the team. It was not enough, and 15 minutes from the end he burned his ships giving the opportunity to Tchouaméni, Ceballos and Asensio.

The Italian died in the League with everything he had. And it could go well if Asensio gets to be a few millimeters behind to score the 1-2, canceled by the VAR after throwing the lines and deciding for a few minutes. "The match was won. We are hurting, but also proud. We have not won it for an offside that we still have the doubt. It is not 100% proven, we go to Madrid with the doubt, "said Carlo Ancelotti at a press conference, upset with the VAR. "The offside in the World Cup seemed very clear, now I don't know. I'm left with this doubt, I'm not sure. If VAR is right, so much the better." Xavi, for his part, was "surprised" by Ancelotti's statements: "It's a clear offside, it's a scientific issue. I am surprised by these statements. If today we talk about VAR, it is already a traca".

Kessie's goal, already with Madrid looking for a win that would hold him to the fight for the title, sentenced the classic, executed Madrid's first defeat at the Camp Nou since 2018 and decided the League. The culés have 12 points of advantage with 12 days left. "Yes, you have to be honest. We never give up, but it's already four games apart. There is nothing impossible, but the truth is that it is very difficult. We will have to come and win in the Cup," said Courtois, while Carletto insisted on "fighting" until the end of the season. "We are sad, hurt, but proud. It's even harder, but we're going to fight."

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  • Articles Abraham Romero
  • Real Madrid
  • FC Barcelona