Real Madrid have earned the bragging rights in the first El Clasico of the year, beating arch-rivals Barcelona 2-1 in their own backyard.
The defeat puts more pressure on Ronald Koeman as Barcelona sit 9th on the table, 5 points adrift of the number one spot.
Barcelona and Real Madrid both had their moments in the opening stages of the match, but the first genuine goalscoring opportunity of the match fell to Sergino Dest in the 27th minute.
But, the American agonisingly hit the ball over the crossbar 12 yards out.
That miss proved to be costly as Real Madrid took the lead five minutes later.
David Alaba won the ball from Memphis Depay and sent the ball on Rodrigo’s path.
Rodrigo collected the ball with composure and returned the ball to the Austrian with a defence-splitting pass.
Alaba followed up with a brilliant left-footed finish that made the scoreline 1-0 for the visitors.
Barcelona had a chance to draw level only minutes later.
Depay’s corner found Gerard Pique in an ideal position to score. But, his header could not find the back of the net.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men went down the tunnel after the first-half,maintaining their slim lead. The home side, on the other hand, were plotting a tactical tweak to get back into the game.
Koeman makes changes
Ronald Koeman introduced Philippe Coutinho in the second half, withdrawing Oscar Mingueza. This pushed Sergino Dest to a deeper role than he had started in.
The move almost yielded an immediate return as Coutinho found himself inside the Madrid box only a minute after the restart.
The Brazilian could not deliver the lethal touch, however, as his effort got blocked.
Karim Benzema had a relatively quieter game, considering the form he is in.
It was not until the 62nd minute, we got to see the Frenchman involved in a promising move.
Luca Modric teed up Benzema, but he could not overcome Marc Andre-ter Stegen in the Barcelona goal.
Aguero comes on
Ansu Fati made way for Barcelona’s new signing Sergio Aguero in the 72nd minute.
The Argentine came close to scoring 10 minutes later when Depay floated an enticing cross towards him. But, Aguero could not make the most of it.
In the final minutes, Lucas Vazquez extended the lead and all but ensured all three points for Madrid.
Ter Stegen thwarted a low drive from Marco Asensio. But, Vazquez was able to direct the rebound into the net with his outstretched leg.
Sergio Aguero scored his first Barcelona goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time, but the match was already beyond salvation at that point.
Dest, who looked lively throughout the match, burst forward and put in a cross into the Madrid box. Aguero deftly tucked it in to nick a consolation goal for the Blaugrana.