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Madrid come from behind to win El Clasico in overtime

MATCH REPORT. 26/01/2023. Edu Bueno. Photographer: Víctor Carretero

Our side beat Barça thanks to Deck, Musa and Llull as they remain at the top of the Euroleague.

Real Madrid's win in the Clásico is worth its weight in gold, especially given the level playing field in the Euroleague and more so due to the way it came about. They had to dig in and show their true colours as they trailed for much of the game. But they never gave up believing and pulled off the comeback with a superb final quarter, coming from nine points down to send the game into overtime. In overtime, they were vastly superior and secured an important playoff spot. Deck was fantastic (23 points, 7 rebounds and 33 PIR), Llull's amazing performance in the last quarter (15 of his 19 points) and Musa's in overtime sealed Madrid's fourteenth win in the competition.

Barça got into the game easier and made the most of it to seize the initiative in the first quarter and take an 11-point lead after 8' (9-20). Chus Mateo made changes from the bench, and the madridistas found their rhythm with Sergio Rodríguez leading the way. Tavares had been the only scorer for our team until then (6 points). But a 7-0 run in less than two minutes saw a reaction, with Deck displaying some grit and Musa (5) landing the team's only three-pointer of the opening period (16-20).

Madrid called on their character
Barça stretched the lead back to +10 thanks to the outside success of Abrines. Madrid, however, showed another side to the game, as Rudy turned the game around. The forward brought out his leadership and inspired the team and the WiZink Center with his energy. From a much more aggressive defence and hard work on offensive rebounds (9 at half-time), our team began to close the gap on the scoreboard (28-31, min.18). Trailing by three, we missed some comfortable shots and they took them from 6.75 with three-pointers from Satoransky and Laprovittola. That was a key factor in the visitors taking the first half 32-39.

Video.91-86: Madrid come from behind to win El Clasico in overtime

It was a similar scenario in the second half. Barça chained together three-pointers and baskets and regained a 10-point lead (34-44, min.23). Madrid hit back with another surge led by Deck. An 8-0 run brought Jasikevicius' time-out as our team got within two points (42-44, min.25). But Barça were inspired from the outside. Two consecutive three-pointers from Kalinic broke Madrid's run and the scoreboard read 50-59 at the end of the third quarter.

Madrid never gave up and that saw them mount a spectacular comeback in the final stretch, led by our captain. Llull carried the team on his shoulders and showed that he is a special player, a different kind of player. Scoring 15 points in the last quarter, he sparked madness in the Palacio. Barça were unable to find an answer to the Incredible One. A 17-6 run to make it 69-67 with three minutes to go. Higgins saved the moment for Barça with five points, which were neutralised by two free throws from Llull to make it 73-73 at the end of the 40 minutes after a number of possessions that neither team took advantage of. 

Madrid dominate overtime
Hard work deserved reward and our team were not going to let it slip away. Madrid stormed into overtime as Musa took over from Llull and Hezonja from Rudy in defence. The Bosnian forward hit five straight points and another three from the Croatian and two rebounds sent Madrid on their way with a 14-5 run and 87-78 on the scoreboard with two minutes to go. Barça didn't throw in the towel, but the team showed its strength and Llull, from the free throw line, clinched a great win by 5 points to win the basket average (91-86, min.40).