Clinical Real Madrid beat Barcelona in the 250th El Clasico to go top of La Liga and inflict their rivals’ first league defeat of the season.
Karim Benzema scored Real’s opener after Vinicius Jr’s shot had been saved into his path by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Federico Valverde doubled the champions’ lead before half-time with a lovely 20-yard drive.
Ferran Torres pulled one back from Robert Lewandowski’s flick-on but Rodrygo settled it with a penalty.
The rivals started the day with seven wins and a draw from their opening eight games – but Real go three points clear now as they remain unbeaten.
This was a first away La Liga defeat in almost a year in charge of Barcelona for Xavi.
A big loss for Xavi?
Barcelona looked as if they were on their way back to the top of Spanish football towards the end of last season when they beat Real 4-0 at the Bernabeu.
They gambled in the summer by spending a lot of their future earnings on signings. The club hoped it would lead to instant success, which would in turn lead to more earnings.
But they face early elimination from the Champions League – and showed again how they are still behind their old rivals.
This is only their first defeat of the season – and they are still within three points of top spot in La Liga. But this is El Clasico – a game managers dare not lose.
Something for Xavi to think about is how they looked better after bringing on youngsters in Ferran Torres, Gavi and Ansu Fati.
Barca appeared down and out at 2-0 before those introductions. Fati’s cross was flicked into the path of Torres, who scored his second Clasico goal at the Bernabeu of the year.
Fati then hit an acrobatic volley which went just wide during their brief hope of grabbing a point – before Rodrygo settled the game.
More to follow.
- 2CarvajalSubstituted forRüdigerat 88′minutes
- 10ModricBooked at 75minsSubstituted forCamavingaat 78′minutes
- 9BenzemaSubstituted forAsensioat 88′minutes
- 20Vinícius JúniorBooked at 30minsSubstituted forRodrygoat 85′minutes
- 7E Hazard
- 26López Andúgar
- 1ter Stegen
- 28BaldeSubstituted forAlbaat 60′minutes
- 21de Jong
- 5BusquetsSubstituted forPáez Gaviraat 60′minutesBooked at 81mins
- 8GonzálezSubstituted forKessieat 83′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 22RaphinhaSubstituted forTorresat 60′minutes
- 7DembéléSubstituted forFati Vieiraat 73′minutes
- 10Fati Vieira
- 26Peña Sotorres
- 30Páez Gavira
- José María Sánchez Martínez
Match ends, Real Madrid 3, Barcelona 1.
Second Half ends, Real Madrid 3, Barcelona 1.
Hand ball by Ansu Fati (Barcelona).
Franck Kessie (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.
Goal! Real Madrid 3, Barcelona 1. Rodrygo (Real Madrid) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
VAR Decision: Penalty Real Madrid.
Penalty conceded by Eric García (Barcelona) after a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty Real Madrid. Rodrygo draws a foul in the penalty area.
Substitution, Real Madrid. Marco Asensio replaces Karim Benzema.
Substitution, Real Madrid. Antonio Rüdiger replaces Daniel Carvajal.
Attempt missed. Ansu Fati (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Attempt blocked. Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Frenkie de Jong.
Foul by Gavi (Barcelona).
Aurélien Tchouaméni (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Franck Kessie (Barcelona).
Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Real Madrid. Rodrygo replaces Vinícius Júnior.
Goal! Real Madrid 2, Barcelona 1. Ferran Torres (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Robert Lewandowski.
Attempt missed. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ansu Fati.
Attempt blocked. Jordi Alba (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Gavi.