Two late goals from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi helped Barcelona defeat Real Madrid 2-0 in 'El Clasico' at a rain-soaked Camp Nou on Saturday to move 12 points clear of their arch rivals in the title race.

Former Real old boy Eto'o had seen Iker Casillas save his penalty on 70 minutes but picked himself up to break the deadlock seven minutes from time and Messi produced a delicate chip in stoppage time to spark wild celebrations. It was Barca's first win over Real since November 2005 and was sweet revenge for last season when Real did a league double and Barca had to perform the guard of honour to salute Real as champions at the Santiago Bernabeu before losing 4-1.

For new Real Madrid coach Juande Ramos, who took over from Bernd Schuster four days ago, it was a bitter pill to swallow and the former Tottenham Hotspur manager has a mammoth task to help Real win a third consecutive title. It is a complete turnaround from last season when Real opened up a seven-point cushion with a 1-0 victory at Camp Nou before strolling to the title.

Wesley Sneijder was passed fit for the match as Ramos shuffled an injury-plagued Real side who also had their left side weakened through the suspensions of Arjen Robben and Marcelo. Sergio Ramos was asked to play at left back - possibly to try to counter Messi. Guardiola, who saw his team destroy Valencia 4-0 last time out, had no major injury worries and the three-pronged attack of Eto'o, Messi and Thierry Henry was employed to test the makeshift Real backline.

On 70 minutes Barca thought they had their breakthrough when Michel Salgado blocked Sergi Busquets and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. However, Casillas went the right way to save Eto'o's spot-kick and denied him again a minute later with a fantastic save. Eto'o sucked up the blow and showed a real predator instinct to get a slight touch to prod the ball in after Carles Puyol kept a corner alive. Messi then rubbed salt in their wounds with a 91st minute chip.

Barcelona will play Villarreal next weekend while Real entertain Valencia praying for the Christmas break.

See the highlight;



MEANWHILE, Valencia beat Espanyol 2-1. Román Martínez gave the visitors the lead in the 29th minute but they were down to ten men soon after when Francisco Rufete received his marching orders. Raúl Albiol levelled matters just before the hour mark and Vicente Rodríguez won his side – who move into second in the standings – the points nine minutes from time. fifa

Current results;
Valencia 2 - 1 Espanyol
Barcelona 2 - 0 Real Madrid
.......
Almeria ? - ? Racing Santander
Athletic Bilbao ? - ? Sporting Gijon
Getafe ? - ? Mallorca
Malaga ? - ? Numancia
Recreativo Huelva ? - ? Osasuna
Valladolid ? - ? Deportivo La Coruna
Sevilla ? - ? Villarreal
Atletico Madrid ? - ? Real Betis

1 comments

  1. Juan y Fer  

    December 14, 2008 at 9:36 PM

    Hello,
    we did not have any surprises and the best team won the game...Real Madrid played as "small" team...
    Regards,
    http://saqueneutral.blogspot.com/
    (a blog about sport in English and Español)

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