Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona: 5 Talking Points | LaLiga 2019-20
- Five talking points from Barcelona's loss to Real Madrid
The 244th edition of the El Clasico was played out at a packed Santiago Bernabeu, with Real Madrid getting the better of their old rivals with a 2-0 victory.
Both sides had played out a dour goalless draw in December - which happened to be the first Clasico without a goal in 17 years - and for much of this game, it looked like we would have a repeat scenario.
In what was a classic tactical battle in the first half, neither side gave much away although Barcelona managed to fashion the best chances, with Antoine Griezmann inexplicably missing the target from 10 yards out after a brilliant cutback from the returning Jordi Alba.
The French international soon found Lionel Messi but the Argentine international could only muster a weak right-footed shot from an acute angle but should have done better when he was played through by Sergio Busquets, instead shooting straight at Thibaut Courtois.
Real Madrid upped the tempo in the second half and played with improved intensity, with Isco drawing a smart save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen with his shot from just outside the area, while he saw a header cleared off the line by Gerard Pique soon after.
Karim Benzema blasted wide when he should have done better but the hosts got the breakthrough their performance deserved when Toni Kroos played Vinicius in and the Brazilian international found the back of the net off a deflection by Gerard Pique.
This should have sparked Barcelona into life but that failed to happen and Real Madrid wrapped up the game when Mariano Diaz stepped off the bench to make it 2-0 with his first touch of the game.
The win gives Los Blancos bragging rights in club football's biggest game and here, we shall be highlighting five talking points from the LaLiga fixture.
#5 Real Madrid regain advantage at the summit of LaLiga
Real Madrid and Barcelona are the two most dominant teams in LaLiga history and while some other clubs have mounted challenges in recent years, the pair largely remain the big dogs in town.
Despite their poor start to the campaign, both sides soon found their bearing and occupied the top two spots at the midway point of the campaign but Barcelona's loss to Valencia saw Los Blancos usurp them at the summit.
A one-point advantage is never ideal and the capital side saw themselves playing catchup following their surprise loss to Levante last week and came into this fixture two points behind their eternal rivals.
Anything other than a victory here would have handed a massive blow to their title aspirations but Real Madrid had other ideas and their victory means that they have regained their position at the top of the standings.
Although their lead on paper is one point, the head-to-head rules for classification in LaLiga means that this is effectively a two-point lead and although there is still a lot of football to be played in the season, the advantage is very much with Los Blancos.