Real Madrid silence Barca to move top


Real Madrid continued their dominant form over FC Barcelona in El Clasicos with a 2-1 victory at Alfredo di Stefano Stadium on Saturday.

Madrid made just one change from their 3-1 victory over Liverpool in the Champions League midweek. Fede Valverde replaced Marco Asensio on the right. Barca also make just one alteration as Ronald Araujo started ahead of Griezmann who dropped to the bench.

Barca created the first decent attacking move of the game as Lionel Messi fed Alba in down the left. Courtois fumbled Alba's cross with his defenders coming to his aid by clearing the danger.

Despite Barca having the majority of possession and territory it was Real who took the lead in the 13th minute. Valverde went on a brilliant run from deep and slipped in Lucas Vazquez, who crossed low from the right and Karim Benzema backheeled it in at the near post.

In the 26th minute, Araujo was dubiously adjudged to have fouled Vinicius on the edge of the box and received a yellow card. Toni Kroos stepped up and his set-piece deflected off Sergio Dest and past Jordi Alba, who almost cleared it off the line.

Los Blancos were looking a threat on the counter. Vinicius showed his pace before finding Valverde on the opposite flank who drilled the ball across goal but it hit the post and bounced back out.

Barca almost halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time. Messi was found at the back post from a corner and he controlled before fizzing the ball towards goal but Thibault Courtois cut down the angle well to keep Madrid's two goal lead intact going into the break.

Blaugrana boss Ronald Koeman responded by brining on Antoine Griezmann for Dest at the break.

The rain began to get stronger and stronger and in the 55th minute, Barca squandered a gilt-edged opportunity. Frenkie de Jong teed up Griezmann at the back post with a clever ball behind the Real defence with the Frenchman's effort going just wide of the post.

Five minutes later, Koeman's side would pull a goal back. Jordi Alba delivered and Mingueza caught it slightly on the shin with the volley but it still found the back of the net.

With time running out, Messi sent in a corner in the 75th minute and Moriba was there to meet it with his head but it was straight at Courtois.

Casemiro was sent off in the 90th minute but it was too late to change the course of the game as Real came away with the bragging rights.

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