Real secure Clasico bragging rights


Real Madrid secured the bragging rights in El Clasico with a 2-0 success over FC Barcelona to reclaim top spot on Sunday evening.

Real made just two changes from their defeat to Manchester City, as Marcelo and Luka Modric came in, while Barcelona also went with two changes in Jordi Alba and Arthur Melo.

Los Blancos were eager to wipe out their midweek collapse, and Antoine Griezmann should’ve had his side ahead on 20 minutes after hoofing a low cross from inside the area.

At the other end, Real shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois denied the Catalans a way back with a double save off close-range efforts from Griezmann before the break.

Just before the halftime break, Lionel Messi, who had been quiet, put on the afterburners to go clear on goal after a pass through the middle but met up with a resilient Courtois.

Marc Andre Ter Stegen was brought into action for the first time ten minutes from the halftime break as he palmed Isco’s curler for a corner, while Isco was denied again after Gerard Pique came to Ter Segen’s rescue to produce a goal-line clearance following a header on 60 minutes.

Barca stopped the rot with the introduction of emergency signing Martin Braithwaite, who got to make his El Clasico debut nine minutes later and the striker almost made an instant impact as he raced down the right to fire in from close-range, but his effort was saved.

Los Blancos hit the front within the 71st minute after Vinicius Junior ran down the byline to see his shot from a tight angle deflected home by Pique's clearance.

Barca strongly pushed for the equaliser as Pique headed over from a free-kick in the remaining few minutes.

The home side wrapped up the match in stoppage time after substitute Mariano Diaz got goal-side from the right to drill beyond Ter Stegen, as the hosts reclaimed top spot.