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Guardiola Tries To Play Down El Clasico Win

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola is refusing to read too much into a 3-1 derby success over arch-rivals Real Madrid, with the title still up for grabs.

The reigning Primera Liga champions returned to the top of the table on Saturday as they picked up three priceless points at Santiago Bernabeu.

Real, who were on a 15-match winning run, burst out of the blocks and led after just 23 seconds when Karim Benzema benefitted from a mistake by Victor Valdes.

Barca hit back, though, and took the spoils courtesy of goals from Alexis Sanchez, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas.

Guardiola was pleased with the performance of his side but, with Real still holding a game in hand, he acknowledges that the result is unlikely to determine the destiny of the Spanish crown.

“I am delighted with the performance,” he said. “Madrid will recover. To win here, you have to play a very good game and we have done that. But there is still much to do and Madrid will again be the leader if they beat Sevilla. There are no champions in December.”

Barcelona once again turned to their home-grown stars against Real, with Guardiola quick to point out that the vast majority of his starting XI had been educated by the Catalan giants.

He added: “Eight of these players here today were born at the club. For us, we are so proud of that.”