Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the Bernabeu for the first time since leaving the Spanish giants on Sunday night.
The Portuguese superstar, who left Real Madrid for Juventus in the summer of 2018, was at his old stomping ground for the eagerly-anticipated Clasico after his current club’s Serie A clash against Inter Milan was called off due to health concerns.
And he didn’t leave disappointed.
Real Madrid leapfrogged Barcelona into pole position after beating the Catalan club 2-0 in front of their home supporters.
Second-half goals from Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz, in the 71st and 92nd minutes respectively, sealed all three points for Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Barcelona were extremely disappointing on the night, with Lionel Messi and co. failing to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
But full credit must go to the hosts, who deserved their 2-0 victory.
Ronaldo, who was spotted in one of the Bernabeu’s executive boxes, watched on as Vinicius broke the deadlock via a deflection off Gerard Pique.
Vinicius celebrated with a rendition of Ronaldo’s trademark ‘Siiiiu!’ celebration, which the five-time Ballon d’Or winner surely appreciated.
Cameras were on hand to catch Ronaldo’s reaction to Madrid’s opening goal. The 35-year-old didn’t stand but he did show his appreciation by giving Vinicius a round of applause.
Watch the footage here…
Another image from the evening saw Ronaldo smiling away, clearly pleased with his former club’s dominant display.
Zidane, whose side now sit one point above their fierce rivals with 12 fixtures remaining, praised Vinicius for playing a key role in the victory.
“Vinicius played well not just going forward but also defensively. He has the physical capacities,” the Frenchman was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
Admitting it had been a “difficult week” following last week’s defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League, Zidane added: “We had a tough game against Manchester City and we played well for 80 minutes against them but lost the game.
“I wouldn’t say the players were affected by the defeat but we did speak a lot about this game being an opportunity. I have a great team and this result gives us a boost.”
- Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona: Match report
- Marcelo’s epic tackle on Messi
- Mariano Diaz scored with his first touch