French striker Karim Benzema scored as Real Madrid picked up a narrow 2-1 win over rivals Barcelona in the second El Clasico of the season to send them to the summit of the Spanish La Liga at the expense of city rivals, Atletico Madrid.
Benzema, who is the stand-in captain for the side in the continued absence of captain Sergio Ramos due to injury opened the scoring with a deft heel flick as he showed brilliant improvisation in the 14th minute to steer the ball past Barcelona keeper, Marc Andre Ter Stegen for his 10th goal in his last 9 matches. German midfielder Toni Kroos made it 2-0 in the 28th minute after his direct freekick deflected off both Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba to beat Ter Stegen in the Barcelona goal. Barcelona came out for the second half the better side and were rewarded for their persistence when young defender Oscar Mingueza scored in the 60th minute to halve the deficit for his side. Barcelona were unable to find a way past the Real Madrid defence as they closed out the 2-1 win. Real Madrid lost midfield schemer, Casemiro to two bookable offences late in the game but Barcelona were unable to make their extra man count as Real Madrid picked up a priceless victory.
Real Madrid have now completed a league double over Barcelona for the first time since the 2007/2008 season, and have momentarily reached the summit of the Spanish league pending the outcome of Atletico Madrid’s game this weekend against Real Betis.