Raphinha screamer ensures a well-maintained El Clasico victory for Barca

Raphinha followed up his stunning debut with the game-winning goal in the high-profile pre-season clash.

Raphinha scored his second goal in two games as Barcelona overcame Real Madrid 1-0 in their Las Vegas Clasico on Saturday.

Raphinha, who was signed from Premier League Leeds United earlier this month for about $60 million, scored the lone goal in the high-profile match at Allegiant Stadium, the $1.97 billion, 65,000-seat home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders.

The Brazilian was in an ideal position to intercept an erroneous pass from Real Madrid’s Eder Militao along the top of the area. In the 27th minute, he smashed a left-footed shot over Thibaut Courtois into the top right corner of the net to put Barcelona up 1-0.

The fourth Clasico played outside of Spain, and the second ever hosted in the United States, had all the fervor of the old rivalry.

Real Madrid nearly opened the score in the 18th minute when Federico Valverde seizes the ball after a poor clearing by Jordi Alba and blasts a volley from 25 yards out that beat Marc-Andre Ter Stegen only for the post to intervene.

Two minutes later, Barcelona let an opportunity slip by when Eduardo Camavinga lost possession in front of Real’s goal to Pedri. Pedri found Fati, who forced Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois off his line but fired wide of the far post.

Overall, Barcelona dominated the first half against the reigning Champions League and La Liga champions, spurred by the debut of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski following his move from Bayern Munich.

The first half finished on a tense note, with Jordi Alba earning a yellow card for a sliding tackle on Militao.

Players had to step in to separate Madrid newcomer Antonio Rudiger and Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo after some jawing and shoving.

Lewandowski’s night ended without a goal as he was replaced at halftime by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as part of a flurry of substitutions.

Aubameyang missed a header from the center of the box off a cross by Raphinha only two minutes into the second half.

Real Madrid had a fantastic opportunity in the 59th minute after a back-and-forth between replacement Marco Asensio and defender Lucas Vazquez, but Asensio dragged his effort wide after Vazquez threw the ball back to him in front of goal.

They pushed for an equalizer in the last minutes, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side plainly missed French star Karim Benzema, who was granted an extended holiday by the club and sat out the game after only joining up with his colleagues in Los Angeles a few days before.

On Tuesday, Real Madrid will continue their US trip against Mexico’s Cub America in San Francisco’s Oracle Park baseball venue, while Barcelona will face Italian giants Juventus in Dallas.

On July 30, Barcelona will face the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer, while Real Madrid will face Juventus.

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