Barcelona took a giant step towards the Liga title as Luis Suarez scored the winner in a 2-1 Clasico win over Real Madrid.
The result draws Luis Enrique’s side four points clear of Los Blancos in the Spanish title race, as Real continue their slump since the turn of the year, having suffered three defeats in their last four fixtures.
Sergio Busquets missed out on a starting spot through injury, with Enrique selecting a midfield trio of Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Javier Mascherano to compliment the front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Suarez. But it was a defender that opened the scoring, when Jeremy Mathieu met a Messi free-kick delivery to power a header past the helpless Iker Casillas, giving Barcelona a 1-0 lead.
The away side responded through Cristiano Ronaldo, who applied a toe-poked finish under Claudio Bravo after a neat backheel assist from Karim Benzema. Gareth Bale had a goal chalked off for offside as Real Madrid put on the pressure as the first half wound down.
However, Real Madrid’s illustrious attacking trio went missing in the second half, with Bale in particular struggling to involve himself in the contest.
That saw Barcelona take control of the contest, although Suarez’s eventual winner came somewhat against the run of play. The former Liverpool man latched on to a Dani Alves pass over the top to finish into the far corner following an exceptional touch to control.