Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-0 in the “clásico” at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday to end their seven-match winless streak against their biggest rival and return to the top of the Spanish league.
Vinicius Junior scored in the 71st minute and substitute Mariano Diaz sealed the victory in stoppage time to give Madrid a one-point lead over Barcelona and halt the team’s recent struggles.
Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid was winless in three straight games in all competitions, and also hadn’t won at home in three consecutive games.
Madrid had lost its last four league games at the Bernabéu against Barcelona, and its last win over the rival in any competition had come back in 2017 in the Spanish Super Cup.
Barcelona looked the most dangerous in the first half but Madrid took control after halftime, opening the scoring after Vinícius Júnior found the far corner with a shot from inside the area after a run into the area following a through-ball by Toni Kroos. The ball deflected on Gerard Piqué's leg before getting past Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Diaz added the second from inside the area near the end.
Lionel Messi had a quiet night, squandering a couple of good chances on one-on-one situations and being shown a late yellow card for a hard foul from behind on Madrid midfielder Casemiro.
Former Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was among the nearly 80,000 in attendance at the Bernabéu, as were players from the Wuhan Zall soccer team based in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus coronavirus outbreak. The team arrived in Spain in January for preseason training but still doesn't know when it will be able to return home.