Barcelona moved back to the top of La Liga after a hard fought 1 – 0 victory over Real Madrid in the first ‘El Clasico’ of the season.

Barca’s Swedish international striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the match winner, coming off the bench to score the only goal of the game with a stunning left foot volley from a Dani Alves cross.

Barcelona, who are now 2 points clear of their arch-rivals, had to play with 10 men for nearly half an hour after Sergio Busquets picked up two yellow cards. And they rode their luck somewhat as the visitors wasted a number of chances, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo among the offenders.

Barca captain Carles Puyol twice crucially denied Marcelo with last-ditch blocks as the Brazilian prepared to shoot and, despite a fraught last few minutes, Barca held on for victory.

Real ended the game with 10 men too, as Lassana Diarra was booked for the second time in the last minute after a reckless kick out at Xavi.

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