Lionel Messi once again failed to score in El Clasico as Real Madrid beat rivals Barcelona 2-1 at home in an entertaining, rain-soaked encounter to go top of La Liga for the first time in three months.
The last time Messi scored in El Clasico was 2018 and has now gone seven straight games without scoring against Madrid.
Karim Benzema put Madrid ahead in the 14th minute while a deflected Toni Kroos free kick doubled their lead in the 28th.
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Barca hit back on the hour mark through Oscar Mingueza and the defender almost found the equaliser later on, while the Catalans had a huge penalty appeal waved away when Martin Braithwaite fell following a challenge by Ferland Mendy.
Real midfielder Casemiro was sent off in stoppage time for picking up two yellow cards in the space of a minute while Barca substitute Ilaix Moriba hit the crossbar in the fourth minute of added time.
The hosts survived the nail-biting finish to complete the double over Barca in a league season for the first time since 2008 and round off a sensational week after beating Liverpool 3-1 in a Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.
Zinedine Zidane’s side joined Atletico Madrid on 66 points and moved top of the table, although Atletico can reclaim first place when they visit Real Betis on Sunday.
Barca, who lost for the first time in the league since early December, dropped to third on 65.
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