Sergiño Dest: First American in Spanish “El Clásico”
U.S. Men’s National Team defender Sergiño Dest made more history Saturday, becoming the first American to appear in the Spanish “El Clásico. The debut was bittersweet as FC Barcelona fell 3-1 to Real Madrid at Camp Nou.
After going the distance for Barcelona in the club’s 5-1 Champions League win against Ferencveros on Tuesday, the 19-year-old started his third-straight match and first for the Catalan club at his customary right back position.
Dest showed well going forward, showcased in the 15th minute when he beat two defenders before laying a pass for Philippe Coutinho whose effort was saved by Real Madrid ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois.
In the 54th minute, Dest sprung a ball for Fati on the right which the Spanish international used to swing a cross to Coutinho at the back post, but the Brazilian nodded his opener header just wide.
Defensively he matched up well with Vinicius Jr., giving the Brazil winger little room to operate on the flank throughout the match.
The sides traded goals inside the first eight minutes, with Federico Valverde opening the scoring for Madrid in the fifth before a swift response from Barcelona’s Ansu Fati in the eighth.
The winner came amid some controversy on the other side of halftime when the Video Assistant Referee ruled that Barca’s Clément Lenglet was guilty of a shirt pull in the box on Sergio Ramos. The Spanish international stepped up and powered his effort past Neto in the 62nd minute.
After Neto spilled a ball when he came off his line, Luca Modric added an insurance strike to confirm the three points for Real Madrid. Dest, who went the distance for the third-straight match, will turn his sights back to the Champions League next week when Barcelona visits USMNT teammate Weston McKennie and Juventus on Wednesday, October 28.