It’s advantage Real Madrid in the La Liga title race.
Zinedine Zidane’s side beat Barcelona 2-0 in El Clasico on Sunday night to leapfrog their rivals at the top of the table.
With 12 matches remaining, they’re now one point clear and with the cushion of a superior head-to-head record after a 0-0 draw between the two sides earlier in the season.
Goals from Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz gave Los Blancos the win and consigned Barca to their fifth league defeat of the season.
The away side had their chances, though. Lionel Messi had a one-on-one saved by Thibaut Courtois in the first half before he denied by a fantastic last-gasp tackle by Marcelo as he closed in on goal.
Messi’s frustrations were clear to see as he got booked for a rash tackle on Casemiro.
But another El Clasico passed by without Messi being able to make an impact.
That’s now 11 times Messi has failed to score in his previous 15 El Clasico appearances in all competitions.
In fact, since a certain Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus, Messi hasn’t registered an assist or scored a goal in El Clasico.
That’s only five games but, by Messi’s standards, that’s pretty surprising.
In fact, he last goal against Real Madrid came back in May 2018 when both he and Ronaldo scored during a 2-2 draw.
Ronaldo was actually sitting in the stands at the Bernabeu to watch his former side take a big step towards the La Liga title. His Juventus clash against Inter Milan was postponed due to fears surrounding the Coronavirus, so returned to his former home to cheer on his side.
And he will no doubt delighted to see Real win - and Messi struggle.
- Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Marcelo makes goal-saving tackle on Messi and celebrates wildly
- Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-0 in El Clasico to go back top of La Liga
- Sergio Ramos reveals "huge respect" for Lionel Messi ahead of El Clasico