Home Sports Real Madrid fall short of Cristiano Ronaldo as Barcelona wins 3-2 victory

Real Madrid fall short of Cristiano Ronaldo as Barcelona wins 3-2 victory

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— Barcelona drew first blood against Real Madrid ahead of the new season with a 3-2 victory in a pulsating Clasico friendly on Saturday in Miami.
— Cristiano Ronaldo still on holiday as Barcelona beats Real Madrid 3-2 victory
–Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 3: Messi, Rakitic and Pique secure El Clasico win as Neymar rumours

Barcelona beat rivals Real Madrid 3-2 in the International Champions Cup in Miami.

In front of 66,014 fans at the Hard Rock Stadium, Barca raced into a two-goal lead thanks to goals from Lionel Messi (3) and Ivan Rakitic (6) before Real hit back through Mateo Kovacic (14) and Marco Asensio (36).

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But Pique (50) proved to be the match-winner early in the second half, handing new Barca boss Ernesto Valverde victory in his first taste of El Clasico.

Madrid were missing Cristiano Ronaldo, still on holiday, but both teams were close to full strength. Ernesto Valverde, getting a taste of Clasico drama early in his career as Barcelona manager, selected Neymar despite speculation swirling over the Brazilian’s future at the club.

However, it was stalwart Lionel Messi who opened the scoring after just three minutes, beating Luka Modric and firing home, with his strike deflecting off Raphael Varane and beating Keylor Navas.

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The historic rivals will meet again twice in August in the Spanish Super Cup and this International Champions Cup match set the entertainment bar high, with Gerard Pique’s strike settling a fiercely contested clash.