Barcelona moved closer to regaining the La Liga trophy after beating Real Madrid at home to move clear at the top of the table.
Sergi Roberto and Frank Kessie scored for the hosts to cancel out an own goal from Ronald Arujao as Xavi Hernandez’s men continued their recent dominance over Real.
The signs of an instant classic were there from the start as Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski tested Marc Andre ter Stegan and Thibaut Courtois within the first two minutes.
Real’s early pressure paid off in the 9th minute when Vinicus Jr’s harmless-looking cross bounced off Arujao and into the back of his own net for a freak own-goal.
Barcelona eventually increased the intensity as the half wore on with Raphinha, Roberto and Lewandowski all drawing saves from Courtois.
The Belgian was finally beaten in the 45th minute when Roberto fired in an equaliser after a scramble in the penalty box.
Barcelona and Madrid then traded chances again in the second half but neither side managed to make a mark until the 81st minute when Marco Asensio tapped the ball home only for VAR to deny him a winner.
Their misfortune was enough for Barcelona to mount one last attack that ended with Kessie firing the ball home for what proved to be a winner in the 91st minute.
Barcelona now leads La Liga with 68 points from 26 games, 12 clear of Real Madrid in second and 17 clear of Atletico in third.
If Xavi can complete the league and Copa del Rey double, it will still be a successful season despite the champions league and Europa League hurt.