In another preseason El Clasico, Barcelona beat their rivals Real Madrid 3-0 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. They also won the summer El Clasico games in 2017 and 2022, which will be played on U.S. soil.
Ousmane Dembele’s goal in the 15th minute, which came from a set-piece move on the training field, got the La Liga champions going. Two late goals, set up by Fermin Lopez, a 20-year-old academy player, sealed the deal.
Real Madrid had a lot of chances, but Vinicius Jr. hit the crossbar with a penalty kick in the first half, and Madrid hit the post four other times as the finishing failed for a team trying to find its way without longtime captain and top scorer Karim Benzema, who moved to Saudi Arabia.
It was a welcome win for Barcelona, who had to cancel a friendly against Juventus because many of their players got sick with gastroenteritis and then lost 5-3 to Arsenal. They play AC Milan on Tuesday, Tottenham on August 8, and then start the season on August 13 at Getafe.
After wins over AC Milan (3-2) and Manchester United, Real Madrid’s winning preseason run ended (2-0). They play Juventus in Orlando on August 2, then return to Spain before the season starts on August 12.
The score between Barcelona and Real Madrid
|– Ousmane Dembele (Pedri) 15′
– Fermin Lopez (Sergi Roberto) 85′
– Ferran Torres (Fermin Lopez) 91′
Barcelona 1st minute (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Ter Stegen (GK) — 4. Araujo, 23. Kounde, 15. Christensen (24. Eric Garcia, 28′), 3. Balde — 21. De Jong, 21. 14. Gundogan (20′ S. Roberto), 18. Romeu, 7. Dembele (22′ Raphinha), 9. Lewandowski, 8. Pedri (29′ Fermin 66′), 9. Lewandowski.
Barcelona, 75th minute (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Ter Stegen (GK) — 2. Dest, Eric Garcia, 23. Kounde, 24. 12. Marcos Alonso to 20. Sergi Roberto, Ten. Ansu Fati, Fermin Lopez—Raphinha, 22, and Ferran Torres, 11. 16. Abde EZ
Real Madrid (4-3-1-2, from right to left): 1. Courtois (GK), 2. Carvajal, 3. Militao, 4. 4. In Alaba, 23. F. Mendy (45′ by F. Garcia) — Valverde (15), Tchouameni (18), Modric (58′), 12. Camavinga (8:58), 5. Bellingham (14:73), 7. Vinicius Jr., 11. Rodrygo (21:83 Brahim).
Real Madrid already misses Karim Benzema.
Real Madrid didn’t do much with the ball on this day, and it was most obvious when a penalty was given in the first half after Barcelona was called for a handball in the box. Vinicius Jr. stepped up, but according to Transfermarkt, he has only taken two penalties in his professional career. He missed, and the ball hit the crossbar. But it wasn’t a good way to punish him.
People will ask if Rodrygo, who is good at set pieces, or even Jude Bellingham should take those penalty kicks instead of Vinicius. But Vinicius seems ready to play a bigger role on the team, and taking away his penalties would hurt his status.
Even though Vinicius missed the penalty and hit the crossbar twice, he was still the best Real Madrid player on the field. He should keep doing what he does best on the left wing, but he will need help from someone in the middle of the box. In this game, Rodrygo and Bellingham didn’t do it, and Joselu only played for a few minutes (and missed a big chance).
How Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-0
When it all comes down to it, Real Madrid should have won this game. But Vinicius Jr. (who missed a penalty and hit two crossbars), Rodrygo (who Ter Stegen stopped with a diving save on a set piece), and Jude Bellingham (who hit the post with a header) could not score. Then Aurelien Tchouameni hit the crossbar from a long way out and forward sub-Joselu missed the goal with a wide-open header.
After taking an early lead, Barcelona’s first-choice defense defended well, but the Blaugrana were also very lucky. For example, Tchouameni’s shot hit the crossbar and then went out of the back of Ter Stegen’s head.
Fermin Lopez of Barcelona took advantage of a Real Madrid team that was out of sync and trying to tie the game late by scoring and setting up two goals to seal the win. So the scoreline is good for Barcelona, but it also shows that Real Madrid has trouble finishing, which could worsen if they don’t keep winning to start the season.
What’s Fermin Lopez’s name?
He is a 20-year-old midfielder who joined Barcelona’s youth program seven years ago. He has played for the club’s youth teams, the reserve team Barca Atletic, and Linares, in the third division.
Against Real Madrid, he played in the middle of the field in the right and left midfield channels. Even though he didn’t do much to stand out outside the goal, his long-range shot and perfectly weighted chip over the top showed his strong attacking instincts.
With Gavi, Pedri, Ilkay Gundogan, Frenkie De Jong, Oriol Romeu, and Sergi Roberto on the team, it seems likely that Fermin Lopez won’t play much in 2023/24. Alfredo Martinez said that manager Xavi Hernandez told him that he would stay with the first team, even though another loan spell would make sense.
According to Relevo, after the game about Fermin Lopez, Xavi said, “I like him, I see talent, and I like his final pass.” “This is what we were missing in the last third year.”
📽️ – Férmin López vs Real Madrid. 🌟
— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) July 29, 2023
Will Ousmane Dembele stay on with Barcelona?
Given the rumors about a possible move to PSG, seeing the French player in the starting lineup was a surprise. But Xavi Hernandez has always praised the winger and discussed his importance to the team. Dembele’s goal was a great shot from a tight angle after a complicated set-piece play, but he should have done better on a one-on-one. Compared to the quiet Robert Lewandowski, he was the most active attacker that day.
Barcelona needs him, and it would take a very big offer for them to give up a game-changer like Dembele. The club doesn’t have a player with his skills and speed on the wing, and if the team had trouble scoring at times last season, it’s hard to say if those dry spells will get worse in 2023/24.
91st minute: Barcelona scores! Fermin Lopez did chip the ball over the top, and Ferran Torres did the rest by lofting it over the goalkeeper and into an empty net.
Fermin Lopez I'm in love with you already 😭❤️pic.twitter.com/fS87hrYnXZ
— 𝙈𝙓 𝟲 🕊️ (@MagicalXavi) July 29, 2023
Chance, Real Madrid, in the 90th minute! Joselu has a free header on a set piece into the box, but he can’t score from right in front of the goal!
At 87 minutes: Chance Los Blancos! Vini Jr. makes another run down the left side, gets to the end line, and tries a risky shot from a tight angle that hits the crossbar. At AT&T Stadium, Real Madrid hasn’t had much luck.
85th minute: Barcelona scores! Fermin Lopez gets the ball 25 yards away and shoots a shot that Thibaut Courtois cannot stop.
83 minutes: Chance Los Blancos. Vini Jr. goes alone down the left side, gets past the defenders, and tries to hit the far post, but misses it. Rodrygo will play with Brahim Diaz.
75 minutes: Barcelona SUBS. Xavi Hernandez has thrown on several new legs. But it looks like this game is coming to an end.
73 minutes: SUB Los Blancos. Jude Bellingham is on for Joselu. We’ll see if the super-sub can score again after his bicycle kick goal against Manchester United.
At 68 minutes: Barcelona. Fermin Lopez is coming on for Pedri, and Raphinha is coming on for Dembele. Lopez will play in the right middle of midfield, Raphinha on the right wing, and Sergi Roberto on the left attacking wing.
83rd: Chance True Madrid. Vini Jr. goes alone down the left side, gets past defenders, and tries to hit the far post but misses just wide. Rodrygo has picked Brahim Diaz.
At 75 minutes: Barcelona. Xavi Hernandez has thrown on a lot of new legs. But it looks like this game is coming to a close.
73rd minute: True Madrid. Jude Bellingham is on Joselu. We’ll see if the super-sub can score another goal after his bicycle kick against Man Utd.
At 68 minutes: SUBS Barcelona. Fermin Lopez is playing for Pedri, and Raphinha is playing for Dembele. Lopez will play right central midfield, Raphinha will play on the right wing, and Sergi Roberto will play on the left attacking wing.
Chance at 62 minutes. Los Blancos! Aurelien Tchouameni is not being chased, so he shoots 20 yards away. It hits the crossbar and the back of Ter Stegen’s head, giving him a lucky break.
At 58 minutes: Real Madrid SUB. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric have replaced Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga. If these two experienced players can’t take control of the game with some possession, no one else will be able to.
In the 57th minute, Barcelona keeps kicking the ball, but nothing comes of it. Jude Bellingham of Real Madrid almost scored with a header, but defender Ronald Araujo pushed him out of the way. Madrid will try to change the game with substitutes.
52 minutes: A chance Los Blancos! Vinicius is in the middle of the field and shoots with his left foot. The ball goes straight to Ter Stegen, who easily stops it.
50th minute: The second half is getting off to a slow start, but Barcelona is on the attack. They work together in and around the Madrid box but can’t get any clear looks.
Real Madrid kicks off to start the second half in the 46th minute. There are no subtitles (probably because several were already made in the first half). It’s important to note that Sergi Robert is on the left wing, and Pedri is in the middle of the field, where Gundogan used to be.
Barcelona leads Real Madrid, 1-0, at the half.
At halftime, there had been a lot going on in football. Three players had already been taken off because of injuries, and four yellow cards had been given out.
We’ve also seen teams hit the post four times (! ), take a penalty kick, score a great goal from a set piece, and make two great saves.
Barcelona is in the lead, but they haven’t been able to keep up attacks after a strong start. Real Madrid seems to be getting closer to the next goal.
Most people will talk about Gundogan’s health, who will take Real Madrid’s penalties after Vinicius Jr. missed, and Dembele’s future, given how important he is still. Enjoy this play by Barcelona’s Alejandro Balde while you wait for the second half to start.
Físicamente, está a otro nivel pic.twitter.com/uq66PWHr6Q
— Martín (@martinminan_) July 29, 2023
After 48 minutes, the players for Real Madrid seem to be feeling the pressure. They are angry that play has to be stopped again when Ronaldo Araujo hits the field board after Jude Bellingham hits him hard on the sideline.
Captain Dani Carvajal got a YELLOW card for protesting. The players are getting in the face of the American referee, which is wrong. But Allen Chapman tells them to stop.
45 minutes: SUB Los Blancos. Ferland Mendy is hurt, so Fran Garcia, who has started at left back in the last two friendlies, takes his place. Mendy gave Dembele the chance when he fell awkwardly earlier. There may be a reason why he was replaced.
The pace and flow of the game have been killed by substitutions, fouls, protests, and stops.
SUB Barcelona at 42 minutes. Ilkay Gundogan is taken off for Sergi Roberto, and it looks like he has a problem, maybe from a previous challenge.
41st minute: Frenkie De Jong gets a YELLOW card. After Dembele’s chance, the Dutchman tackles Eder Militao from behind. And the players are putting Allen Chapman, an American referee, to the test.
41st minute: Barcelona has a chance! Ousmane Dembele is one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois, but the Belgian goalkeeper makes a great play off his line.
39th minute: Real Madrid has a chance! Real Madrid scored a double goal! First, Vini Jr. hits the crossbar, and then Jude Bellingham gets to the rebound before Ter Stegen and hits the post with his header. What a crazy set of events.
In the 34th minute, Eduardo Camavinga got a YELLOW card for a late slide tackle on Ronald Araujo. The players at Real Madrid are upset, but Araujo stays down and needs help.
32nd minute: Real Madrid has a chance! Vinicius Jr. wins a free kick, and Rodrygo curls it toward the goal, but Ter Stegen knocks it away. Save a lot.
28 minutes: Barcelona SUB. Andreas Christensen leaves the field, and Eric Garcia is in the middle of the defense.
Aurelien Tchouameni got a YELLOW card in the 25th minute for a nasty tackle on Ilkay Gundogan’s ankle. Even though Real Madrid players protest, it’s clearly yellow.
In the 20th minute, Vinicius Jr. missed a penalty kick! Vinicius Jr. hits it over the crossbar. While Karim Benzema was on the Real Madrid team, he wasn’t the usual person to take penalty kicks. But the Brazilian isn’t off to a good start.
19th minute: Barcelona gets a penalty! Referee Allen Chapman from the United States gives Ronald Araujo a penalty for handball after he knocks the ball away from a Real Madrid player. It seems pretty clear.
15 minutes: The goal of Barcelona! What a great set-up play! There, Barcelona taught Real Madrid a lesson. Pedri won the free kick on the right side of the field. Gundogan passed it to Pedri outside the box, and Pedri found Dembele running in behind. Dembele finished up.
In the 14th minute, Ilkay Gundogan is playing as an attacking midfielder between Frenkie De Jong and Oriol Romeu in the middle of the field.
11th minute: A Los Blancos! Everything is going on at AT&T Stadium. Jude Bellingham is put through on a run into the attack, but Jules Kounde blocks his shot inside the box.
4th minute: Let’s go to Barcelona! Oriol Romeu is the one who hits the bar. That was a great shot on goal from the top of the box.
First minute: Let’s go. Rodrygo runs into Barcelona’s box 30 seconds later. It looks like Ronald Araujo is going up against Vinicius Jr. as the right back, and Jules Kounde will be the center back.
Five minutes before the game starts, both teams walk onto the field. Carvajal is the captain of Real Madrid, and Ter Stegen is the captain of Barcelona.
Hugo Sanchez, a famous player for Real Madrid, is in Dallas, where he used to play for the local Major League Soccer team. The game is about to start. And, of course, he says Joselu’s bike from the other day made him think of the bikes he scored with Real Madrid.
— Rafa RNMJ Real Madrid (@RafaRNMJ) July 29, 2023
Forty-five minutes until game time: Mundo Deportivo says that Barcelona’s Gavi and Inigo Martinez will not be on the bench because of physical problems, which is different from what the club said.
Also, it was announced today that Nico Gonzalez, who used to play for Barcelona, will now play for FC Porto.
We’ve already seen and heard things from the stadium about an hour before the game starts at AT&T Stadium.
One hour until game time: What talk about PSG? Barcelona’s starting lineup includes Ousmane Dembele and Oriol Romeu.
One hour and 10 minutes until the game starts. Both teams will wear their usual uniforms, but Barcelona’s new look will be shown for the first time today.
Real Madrid’s lineup is out, and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is getting his first preseason start. The game starts in 1 hour and 30 minutes.
2 hours and 30 minutes until game time: Even though some people would rather not see El Clasico played during the preseason, this is the third time El Clasico has been played in the U.S., and the first two have been great: