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El Clasico: Real Madrid defeat Barcelona to regain La Liga top spot

Vinicius Jr

Bengaluru, March 2: Vinicius Junior and substitute Mariano Diaz scored second-half goals as Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-0 in the Clasico on Sunday to regain top spot from their arch rivals in La Liga.

Brazilian teenager Vinicius broke the deadlock on 71 minutes before Mariano added a second in stoppage time.

The win in the most-hyped fixture of La Liga, helped Real Madrid rebound from a midweek loss to Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League and move a point clear of champions Barcelona.

El Clasico: Real Madrid and Barcelona gear up to make history

Real's victory means they lead the standings on 56 points after 26 games, with Barcelona slipping to second spot on 55.

Results | Points Table | Fixtures

Zinedine Zidane's side also crucially have the better head-to-head record in the event both sides finish level on points.

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"We deserve our victory for everything we did, in attack and defence," Zidane said in the post-match press conference.

Breaking deadlock

Breaking deadlock

Real swallowed chastening defeats by Levante in La Liga and Manchester City in their Champions League last 16, first-leg tie in the past week.

But in the second half they overwhelmed Barcelona, threatening on numerous occasions before breaking the deadlock.

Vinicius the star

Vinicius the star

Madrid's main threat was the electric but raw Vinicius, who routinely got down the left but rarely knew what to do next.

There was a touch of fortune to the deflected opening goal, but Real's victory was thoroughly deserved.

Determined team

Determined team

Real looked far more determined in the second half ain the match played at home.

Isco forced Ter Stegen into an outstanding flying save and then saw a downward header scrambled off the line by Pique.

Marcelo's tackle

Marcelo's tackle

Barcelona had bossed the first period and twice could have taken the lead but were powerless to stop Real after the interval and their impotence was summed up when Lionel Messi raced towards goal but was easily tracked down by Marcelo.

Marcelo's tackle got as loud a cheer as the goals from Madrid's fans who had not been able to toast a league win over Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu since 2014.

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Story first published: Monday, March 2, 2020, 6:44 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 2, 2020
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