Real Madrid 0 - 1 FC Barcelona: Barca Fans Enjoying Second Win Within This Week Against Madrid Fans "Ivan Rakitic Goal Was Engouh To Earn A Win"

Real Madrid 0 - 1  FC Barcelona

Ivan Rakitic's first-half strike was enough for Barcelona to see off Real Madrid 1-0 and move a step closer to retaining the Spanish title.

The Croatian's cheeky lob over Thibaut Courtois midway through the first half gave Barcelona the lead and despite sustained pressure from the hosts, the Catalans held on for a second Clasico win at the Santiago Bernabeu in the space of three days.

The hosts came storming out of the blocks in the first few minutes and Sergio Busquets set the tone with a cynical early foul on Toni Kroos, which earned him a booking inside the first two minutes.
But then Lionel Messi, after a quiet start, came into his own and after being sent through with a delightful pass from Luis Suarez, the Argentinian playmaker was unfortunate to his delicate lob bounce just wide of Thibaut Courtois's goal.

Then it was Real Madrid's turn to crank up the pressure. Some good work from teenager Vinicius Jr down the left allowed the Brazilian to find Karim Benzema and after laying it off to Luka Modric, the Ballon d'Or winner struck a low effort that was blocked by Gerard Pique.

Despite Real's pressure, it was Barca who took the lead. Sergi Roberto spotted the run of the Croatian inside the right channel and with his first touch, he lofted a delicate chip over Thibaut Courtois to hand Barca the lead.
Messi nearly made it two later when he struck one of his trademark free-kicks from 25 yards narrowly over the bar.

Sergio Ramos, who has a long history of red cards in this fixture, was perhaps fortunate not to see the red card come out when he tussled with Messi off the ball, appearing to catch the Barca star with a flailing arm. The pair came to blows and referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco blew for half-time.
The game maintained its electric atmosphere and breathless nature in the second half and Madrid again went close when Benzema really should buried Dani Carvajal's pinpoint cross, but he didn't connect well and the flag went up anyway.
Madrid continued to come forward and only a fantastic clearance from Jordi Alba denied Gareth Bale a clear-cut opportunity on goal.

The Welshman, having been anonymous for the majority of the match, received whistles from the home crowd as he was replaced by Marco Asensio late on.
Ousmane Dembele had the chance to give Barca a vital two-goal cushion but the Frenchman scuffed his effort wide of the far post.
Solari threw on Isco with a quarter of an hour to go, while Ernesto Valverde sent on forgotten man Philippe Coutinho in the latter stages, but neither could influence the game and Barca held on quite comfortably to all but end Madrid's faint title hopes.

 Right, that's it for tonight's coverage of El Clasico, with Barcelona once again leaving the Bernabeu as victors.
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