LaLiga News: Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona: Benzema, Valverde and Rodrigo seal El Clasico victory

    Real Madrid passed Barcelona at the top of La Liga, with goals from Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde and Rodrigo securing a 3-1 win in El Clasico on Sunday.

    Barça have conceded just one goal in eight league games this season before visiting the Santiago Bernabéu, but two goals from Benzema and Valverde saw them two goals behind at half-time.

    Xavi’s team pulled one back with seven minutes left thanks to Ferran Torres, but the hosts regained their two-goal lead in stoppage time thanks to a Rodrigo penalty.

    The result marked Barça’s first league loss of the campaign, with Los Blancos’ win putting them three points clear of their great rivals at the top of the table.

    Madrid took the lead in the 12th minute when Benzema shot from 12 yards thanks to a save from Sergi Roberto after Marc-Andre ter Stegen flew out of his line to clear Vinicius Junior.

    Barca had a golden opportunity to restore parity in the 25th minute, but a sprawling Robert Lewandowski somehow managed to take the ball over the bar just a few yards from Rafinha’s cross.

    Xavi’s men were penalized for this miss 10 minutes before halftime, when Valverde fired into Ter Stegen’s bottom right corner from 20 yards.

    Benzema thought he scored a perfect second goal shortly after the break, but his 20-yard shot was ruled out for offside.

    Substitute Torres closed the gap with a simple rear post finish after an excellent performance by Ansu Fati, but Rodrigo ended Madrid’s penalty win after being tripped by Eric Garcia, a decision made after watching VAR.

    What does it mean? Efficient hosts maintain excellent form against rivals

    The Madrid side have taken only four shots on goal, but that was enough to score three goals against Barca and claim their eighth victory in nine La Liga games this season.

    Carlo Ancelotti’s team have won six of their last seven matches against Barça in all competitions, more than in the previous 18 meetings.

    Brilliant Benzema

    The Frenchman has so far scored 21 goals in 39 matches against Barça in all competitions (12 goals and 9 assists), a record surpassed only by Lionel Messi in the 21st century (40 – 26 goals and 14 assists).

    Valverde’s winning streak continues.

    After failing to score in La Liga last season, Valverde has scored four goals in nine games this season. The good strike from the Uruguayan was the first goal Real Madrid scored at home against Barça from outside the box since Raúl did so in the 1998-99 season.

    What’s next?

    Both teams play mid-week La Liga matches, with Madrid traveling to Elche on Wednesday and Barcelona at home to Villarreal a day later.

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