Real Madrid once again sent Barcelona a stark reminder of the chasm in class after easily navigating their way past the visitors at the Bernabeu in the El Clasico to take a three-point lead at the top of the La Liga table.

Karim Benzema and Federico Valverde gave the hosts an early lead before Ferran Torres made things interesting in the latter stages of the game but Rodrygo converted a penalty in the added time to complete the 3-1 scoreline.

Having not conceded a goal in 636 minutes of action, Barcelona went behind after just 12 minutes as a swift counter-attack ended with Benzema tapping the ball home after Marc-Andre ter Stegen had denied Vincius Jr.

The German was beaten again in the 35th minute, this time by Valverde who found space outside the box and guided the ball home with a perfectly placed shot.

With Lewandowski missing easy chances at the other end, Madrid seemed to have gotten a third in the opening stages of the second half before Benzema’s effort was ruled out for offside.

Ferran Torres finally managed to get Barcelona on the board with just 10 minutes left on the clock but their late push was not enough as Sergio Busquets fouled Rodrygo in the penalty area and the Brazilian scored the resulting spot-kick to seal all three points.

The el Clasico wins sees Real Madrid move three points clear of Barcelona at the top of the standings with 25.

With their progress into the Champions League knockout stages also unlikely, Barcelona would need to bounce back quickly from this defeat in order to mount a title challenge once again.

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