Trouble for Ronald Koeman, trouble for Barcelona. And that’s before you even get to the VAR.
It looked that way from the start, when Sergio Busquets did not track his runner, Federico Valverde, and the Uruguayan ran onto Karim Benzema’s pass and rifled home.
Barcelona reacted quickly, with Ansu Fati finishing well after Leo Messi chipped in Jordi Alba down the left. The youngster goes from strength to strength and is the one player that you look at in this team and get excited about.
Madrid dominated possession in the first half but both teams managed one more good chance to score each before the break, with Messi shredding Sergio Ramos but seeing his effort saved by Thibaut Courtois. Karim Benzema might have scored at the other end but Neto was equal to his effort.
Barcelona took over the in the second half and pegged Madrid back, but it was the visitors who went ahead. Sergio Ramos and Clement Lenglet tussled in the box, the latter grasping at the former’s shirt, and after referring to VAR, the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
It was, of course, Ramos who took the penalty, rolling it bottom left beyond Neto’s dive. And that was that. Barcelona didn’t look like getting back in the game and Madrid grew as Koeman threw on more and more forwards.
Ramos should have scored again and Luka Modric eventually did, rounding Neto and tucking home at the death. Barcelona and Koeman have a lot of work to do, especially with VAR against them too.