Real Madrid won a captivating Clasico by beating Barcelona 2-0 and returning to the top of La Liga on Sunday.
Vinicius Junior‘s deflected finish and a stoppage-time goal from substitute Mariano Diaz decided a frenzied contest at the Santiago Bernabeu.
This affirming victory sends them one point clear at the top of the table and shifts focus back to Quique Setien‘s Barcelona, who were outfought and, at times, outplayed, even if they had chances too.
Lionel Messi’s rasping shot was denied by Thibaut Courtois in the first half but it was the Argentinian’s opposing captain Sergio Ramos who was thrashing his arms in celebration after the final whistle.
His reaction was an indication of the importance of this victory, not only for the effect it has on the standings but on the dynamic of the title race, which had seemed to switch firmly in favour of Barca.
Los Blancos finished third last season – 19 points behind champions Barca – but the tight nature of the title race this time around placed added significance on the fixture in the Spanish capital.
Once Madrid took the lead in the second half through 19-year Vinicius’s strike, Zinedine Zidane side never looked back and Mariano put the finishing touches on a win which gives them real hope of landing a first league title since 2016-17.