Real Madrid 0 Barcelona 3: The Alternative Clasico Awards
A Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona bided their time to break Real Madrid's midfield shackles and tighten their grip on LaLiga with a 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.
A 14-point advantage over their bitter rivals mean Barca head into the mid-season break in high spirits, deservedly so after a tactically assured and disciplined performance.
In terms of on-field histrionics, it was a relatively low-key affair but we've picked out the performers who did the best job of making a classically Clasico nuisance of themselves or excelled in unexpected areas.
Here are Omnisport's Alternative Clasico Awards...
Pepe Pantomime Villain Award
Now with Besiktas, Pepe's departure from Real Madrid is a sad loss for all fans of snide antics, gamesmanship and general nonsense in El Clasico. Sergio Busquets might have tried to match him snipe for snipe on occasions, but the Portugal centre-back is without compare in the modern era when it comes to the dark arts in this game.
He has a natural heir in the Barcelona line-up in the form of Luis Suarez. The Uruguay striker opened up with an extended verbal volley at the officials when a marginal offside call went against him. The 30-year-old, who has ample previous form in this department, upped the ante after opening the scoring. A challenge with Casemiro by the touchline and an unseemly coming together with Sergio Ramos left Suarez prone on the turf with his hands on his face. It's not unreasonable to think he was laughing underneath them.
Luis Figo Crowd Antagonism Award
For all the things Messi has accomplished in his incredible career, having a pig's head thrown at him is not one of them. However, he's well on track to match Figo if he keeps up this level of mirth at the expense of the Santiago Bernabeu.
Last season, the mercurial Argentinian famously lifted his shirt up for the braying masses to get a good look after a brilliant late winner. On this occasion, his successful penalty was followed by a prolonged celebration including a theatrical bow and blown kisses. Who knows what lies in store next time he bamboozles Madrid?
200 - Lionel Messi has provided his 200th assist for Barcelona in all competitions. Extra-terrestrial. pic.twitter.com/FZIJbLPRZE— OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 23, 2017
Zamora-Casillas Goalkeeping Hero Award
Real Madrid and Barcelona boast some of the finest purveyors of the goalkeeping art across their decorated histories. Keylor Navas and Marc-Andre ter Stegen did their bit to uphold a proud tradition with respective world-class saves from Paulinho and Cristiano Ronaldo before half-time.
But it was Madrid and Spain full-back Dani Caravjal who really went above and beyond. Sure, he got a red card for handball and Messi dispatched the resulting penalty, but his lightning reactions to deny Paulinho while falling backwards would have made Lev Yashin purr.
Sergio Ramos Red Mist Award
Carvajal stoically accepted his red without an iota of protest and, Suarez's efforts aside, this was an encounter notably lacking in the usual rage and silliness. Even Ramos resisted the urge to combust as Madrid's afternoon unravelled. However, it is worth casting our minds back to the first half for when Luka Modric propelled himself skywards, caught Andres Iniesta's head with a wayward boot and winded himself by landing on his back. In a career littered with examples of sublime elegance, this was not one of them.