You don’t always get what you want. The 255th El Clásico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid should have been a Catalan ode to the Rolling Stones, but in the end the Barcelona fans did not go home with too much ‘satisfaction’.
Rolling Stones legends Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood could already cheer in the stands after just six minutes when Ilkay Gündogan gave Barcelona the lead. After the break, Jude Bellingham beautifully made it 1-1 and in injury time the young Englishman also made it 1-2.
And now Bellingham has ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles as its anthem.
Fifty years after Cruijff
The first Clásico of this season was played on the day that Johan Cruijff was fifty years ago made his debut for Barcelona. Cruijff celebrated his debut in 1973 with two goals against Granada in a sold-out Camp Nou.
Due to the renovation of the iconic stadium, ‘only’ 50,112 spectators were now present in the windy Olympic Stadium on Montjuïc. It was the first time since 1957 that a Clásico was played outside Camp Nou in the Catalan capital.
One of those spectators was Frenkie de Jong, who resumed training on Friday after his ankle injury, but is not yet fit enough to participate. Robert Lewandowski, also just back from injury, and Raphinha started on the bench.
There were also doubts about the physical condition of Real revelation Bellingham, but La Liga’s top scorer was there. Luka Modric was on the bench and therefore had to wait a little longer for his 500th match in the shirt of De Koninklijke.
After just six minutes, Ilkay Gündogan already benefited from a sloppy build-up at Real Madrid. The German, who came over from Manchester City this summer, entered into a combination with Fermin López.
The ball was touched by Aurélien Tchouameni and ended up right in the path of Gündogan, who then coolly pushed the ball into the goal under goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Stones in Barcelona
It was only the midfielder’s first competitive goal in the Barcelona shirt, a shirt that was once decorated with the famous tongue of the Rolling Stones. That action was a stunt by streaming service Spotify, normally the shirt sponsor.
The fact that in the 1990s a banner with the famous Stones tongue could also be seen every week among the hard core of Barcelona was a nice bonus for the marketing stunt.
Not much later, the experienced Toni Koos also made a mistake: the German hesitated too long, was thrown off the ball by Gavi and Fermín – one of the many players from his own training who have excelled in this early season – was able to score freely. However, his placed shot hit the post.
Then the pace slowed considerably. Only João Félix succeeded with phenomenal passing movements, including a delicious panna through the legs of Antonio Rüdiger. However, that did not provide any opportunities.
Things quickly escalated when Vinicius got into a fight with coach Xavi on the line, but that was also quickly calmed down. The frustration at Real Madrid was understandable, because apart from a hard shot from Carvajal in the side net, the Madrid team did nothing in the first half.
After the break, Real came out of the dressing room with different intentions and immediately became dangerous through Rodrygo. However, the Brazilian attacker overlooked the free-standing Vinicius and shot wildly into the side netting.
Barcelona’s first counter-punch almost made it 2-0. Inigo Martínez headed a corner kick onto the post and Ronald Araujo’s rebound was cleared by Kepa.
At the other end, Gavi intervened just in time to prevent Bellingham from scoring.
After an hour, Lewandowski and Modric made their appearance on the field. For the Croatian playmaker, this meant his 500th game in a Real Madrid shirt.
First Bellingham tested goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen with a blistering shot from distance, but the German goalkeeper stood at his post. That turned out to be only a warning, because a minute later Ter Stegen was beaten by Bellingham, whose long-range strike struck into the top corner.
Jagger, who has often been a passionate supporter of the England team in crucial World Cup matches in the past, responded stoically to his compatriot’s ninth competition goal.
The match then seemed to be heading for a draw, until Bellingham crawled in front of his opponent in injury time and fired the ball into the goal again from close range: 1-2.
Whether the Englishman left the stadium humming (‘na na na na na naaaa, naa naaaa…hey Jude’) we don’t know, but Bellingham did not miss the reference to The Beatles, as was evident from a post he made on X after the match.
Without explanation, he posted an image of himself between teammates Valverde, Camavinga and Tchouameni on the Abbey Road zebra crossing. And of course that referred to the cover of the Beatles’ 1969 album Abbey Road.
Real in the lead with Girona
Thanks to the victory, the Madrilenians now have 28 points, as many as the surprising Girona. Daley Blind’s team won 1-0 against Celta de Vigo on Friday.
The post first appeared on nos.nl