Barcelona maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the first El Clasico to the season to move six points clear of their bitter rivals,
Both big money summer signings Gareth Bale and Neymar both made their Clásico debuts, and it was the Brazilian who had the biggest impact on the game when his shot picked out the bottom-right corner through a crowd of Madrid defenders in the 19th minute. Bale on the other hand was probably Madrid’s poorest player and was substituted in the second half.
Barcelona owed the victory to the brilliance of Victor Valdés. First he denied Sami Khedira from point-blank range and then made a stunning stop from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real should have had a penalty when Mascherano pushed Ronaldo over in the box, and then Karim Benzema’s thunderbolt cracked off the crossbar.
Barcelona still seemed to have a little bit extra magic than Madrid, and they wrapped up the win in the 78th minute when substitute Alexis Sánchez spotted Diego López off his line and clipped a sublimely-weighted lob over the stranded goalkeeper. A simply brilliant goal.
Jesé Rodríguez’s got his first Madrid goal came in added time but it was too late and Barca were comfortable winners.
Elsewhere Celta Vigo put five past Málaga, inflicting a third straight defeat on last season’s Champions League quarter-finalists. Alejandro López Sánchez’s smart instep finish got the ball rolling, and Augusto Fernández crashed in the second from close range for a commanding half-time lead. The ever-alert López Sánchez was on hand to nod in a third and Nolito’s sublime curler made it four. Charles Dias de Oliveira completed the ‘manita’ (5-0 win) as Celta leapfrogged their opponents in the standings.