At the end of Barcelona’s 4-0 thrashing by Real Madrid, a moment it summed up the entire game for the hosts. With five minutes and stoppage time remaining at the Camp Nou, Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo approached Vinicius Junior and engaged in a heated altercation before pushing the Madrid player to the ground. With that, it was evident that Xavi’s side’s Clasico was done.
Barcelona will win La Liga, but the 4-0 Clasico loss hurts!
Head-to-head battles between Brazil’s forward and Uruguay’s defender have become a highlight of recent Clasicos, with Araujo playing at right-back to counter Vinicius Jr’s danger. It’s always been a competition between two players who have a mutual respect for one other that has captivated fans of both clubs — and that Araujo has generally won. When Vinicius Jr locked his gaze on Araujo after last night’s dispute, it heralded the end of the rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid for 2022-23, after a total of five Clasicos this season.
Only about half of the over 95,000 spectators in attendance at Camp Nou remained for the final whistle. Many disappointed fans had left the stadium when Karim Benzema completed his hat-trick as Madrid overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit to advance to next month’s Copa del Rey final against Osasuna. Barcelona forward Ansu Fati exited the field immediately, while teammate Alejandro Balde laid his hands on his thighs and kept his gaze fixated on the ground.
Gavi walked to the tunnel with his hands on his hips, looking distraught. Sergio Busquets, X serving as captain, attempted to motivate his teammates. This was his tenth and possibly final Clasico in the Copa del Rey. If he decides to go when his contract expires in the summer, it will be a terrible way for the record appearance-maker in the Barcelona-Madrid rivalry to depart.