Karim Benzema scored Real’s opener after Vinicius Jr’s shot had been saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Federico Valverde doubled the defending champions’ lead before half-time with a lovely 20-yard drive. Ferran Torres equalised from Robert Lewandowski’s flick-on but Rodrygo settled it with a penalty.
The rivals started the day with seven wins and a draw from their opening eight games – but Real go three points clear now as they remain unbeaten. This was the first away La Liga defeat in almost a year in charge of Barcelona, Xavi.
Xavi’s post-match interview
“We have to be self-critical. We’re not doing well at all. We’re in a very bad dynamic and we have to change it immediately. I feel bad and frustrated. We weren’t as aggressive as we should have been.
“I don’t think Madrid have beaten us in intensity but they have in maturity, they have known how to compete better, they are a more accomplished and mature team than us at the moment.
“I won’t ever blame the players. It won’t happen. I am the captain of this ship and I take responsibility.”
Real Madrid now lead the Spanish league table and have established a three-point lead over Barcelona. Both sides were unbeaten in the league coming into the match, having won seven and drawn one each.