Zinedine Zidane was hailed on the night his Real Madrid side made it two big wins in the week. The head coach masterminded a win against Liverpool in the Champions League and followed it up with a much more significant result in the Spanish league.
Real Madrid climbed to the top of La Liga on Saturday after Karim Benzema’s flicked finish helped them claim a thrilling 2-1 victory over Barcelona in a wild Clasico at Valdebebas.
Benzema’s superb piece of skill and a deflected Toni Kroos free-kick put Madrid in charge and while Oscar Mingueza pulled one back for Barca, they fell to defeat in what could be Lionel Messi’s final appearance in this fixture.
Victory means Real Madrid go level on points with Atletico, with the top three now separated by a single point.
Atletico, without the injured Luis Suarez, face Real Betis on Sunday.
But Real Madrid now own the better head-to-head against both of their rivals while Barcelona and Atletico still have to play each other at Camp Nou in the run-in.
What the coaches said
Barca coach Ronald Koeman: “We’re still in it. We’ve lost a game against a team who is also fighting for the league but we have eight game left and we will fight to the end.”
Real coach Zinedine Zidane: “It was a difficult game, the first half was ours, but we suffered in the second. We deserved the victory, because we had a lot of chances to score the third.”
Here are more reactions the El Clasico: