Barca winning streak at 23 with Clasico success


Barcelona stretched their winning streak in all competitions to 23 games as they beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the Clasico on Sunday.

Lieke Martens scored two goals and made another as Barca raced into a three-goal lead inside 23 minutes at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

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Kosovare Asllani pulled one back at the start of the second half for Madrid, who were unbeaten in five league games before facing Barca, but the comeback attempt ended there.

Barca have now won all 13 of their games in the Primera Division this season in addition to another five in the Champions League, where they have already booked their place in the quarterfinals with a game to spare in the group stage.

Stretching back to last season, Jonatan Giraldez’s side have now won 23 matches in a row, dating back to a 4-3 defeat at Atletico Madrid in June, when they were forced to field a weakened team having won the Copa de la Reina just 48 hours earlier.

Madrid’s women’s team is still in its infancy compared to Barcelona. This is just their second season as Real Madrid in the top flight — they absorbed CD Tacon in 2019, though didn’t officially change their name until 2020 — but there are already clear signs of improvement.

They finished second last year and, like Barca, have already qualified for the last eight of the Champions League this term.

They made a poor start to the current campaign but have improved recently, climbing to ninth in the table, but European champions Barca once again demonstrated the gap between the two teams on Sunday.

The Catalan side boast so much talent, with captain Alexia Putellas winning the Ballon d’Or last week and striker Jenni Hermoso, who finished second to Putellas, taking Arsenal apart in the Champions League in midweek.

However, it was Dutch forward Martens who tormented Madrid here. She forced goalkeeper Misa Rodriguez into an early double save before eventually heading home at the third attempt to open the scoring.

She then turned provider, crossing for defender Irene Paredes to make it two before scoring her second with a spectacular finish after a fine through ball from Mariona Caldentey.

Asllani reduced the arrears in the 52nd minute and the second half was more even, but Barca held on to move 11 points clear of Real Sociedad at the top.

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