Barcelona boss Tata Martino survives another week in charge of Barcelona, after Real Madrid succumbed to a 4-3 defeat in a seven-goal thriller.
Both teams started brightly, and it wasn't long before the first goal was in, and it was Barcelona who struck first. Poor marking from Madrid's Daniel Carvajal enabled a swift pass from Lionel Messi to be knocked in by Andres Iniesta.
It seemed like all was well for Messi and Co., however, Barcelona fell apart and the lead lasted only 13 minutes. Angel Di Maria put in a quick cross, which was powered home by Karim Benzema. Victor Valdes got a touch, but could only palm it in.
Three minutes later and Real were on top, 2-1. Another Di Maria cross from the by-line, and a sweet bit of control from Benzema put the home side ahead.
Messi made it all square before half-time, with the intensity of the game fitting the importance nicely. With a spot of luck, Messi was able to find just a bit of space and fire in his 32nd goal of the season, and 19th of the El Clasicos.
The pattern carried on, now moving into the second half. Gareth Bale looked dangerous after the break following a quiet first half, but there were no more goals until Madrid got a penalty on 55 minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up, and there was only one outcome.
Unfortunately for the majority of the 85,454 spectators, Madrid soon caved in. Sergio Ramos was sent off controversially after a last-man challenge on Neymar. I have to admit, there was very minimal contact, but Ramos was the wrong side of Neymar to make an acceptable tackle. The score was level again, 3-3.
Madrid looked vulnerable, and Ancelotti had to quickly plug the gap with an extra defender, so off went the two goal Karim Benzema and on came Raphael Varane. The defence was breached when Alves smacked the post with his right-footed drive, but nothing else came until late on.
Messi grabbed his hat-trick and was to take the plaudits not for the first time in his career, with yet another penalty awarded by referee Mallenco, when Iniesta was sandwiched by Alonso and Carvajal it gave him no choice. Up stepped Messi, and in went the goal, 4-3.
Full-time came, and it was a good win for Barcelona, yet a poor show from Real Madrid. Barcelona now move one point behind both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, but the Los Blancos' head-to-head record is absolutely awful, and it could see their downfall come the end of the season.
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