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Three things we learned from Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona

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The champions have been knocked off top spot

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Barcelona’s title hopes take a hit

Barcelona could have moved five points clear of La Liga with another victory at the Santiago Bernabeu but instead have been knocked off the top by Real Madrid.

Of course the title race is not over yet, Quique Setien’s side are only a point behind with 12 games left to play, but it’s definitely advantage Real Madrid after El Clasico.

Looking at the season so far and how Barca and Real Madrid have both played you would expect both teams to drop more points between now and the end of the season.

Barcelona have less margin for error and still have some tough games left, starting with a visit from Real Sociedad on Saturday at the Camp Nou.

The champions also have Atletico Madrid at home next month and still have potentially tricky away trips to Sevilla and Celta Vigo to negotiate.

Real Madrid also have some testing fixtures left. They are at Betis next and still have Real Sociedad, Valencia and Getafe left to play.

Quique Setien made it clear after the match he expects more twists in the title race which now looks set to go down to the wire.

Barcelona’s Bernabeu dominance is over

Barcelona headed to the Bernabeu with a brilliant record over their rivals that had seen them win six of their last eight visits to the Spanish capital.

Setien’s side looked set for another good result at half-time with the game scoreless, but their decade of dominance was brought to an end in the second half.

The visitors will rue their missed chances in the opening 45 minutes too. Lionel Messi, Arthur and Antoine Griezmann all spured good opportunities to break the deadlock.

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Sonia Canada/Getty Images

It was a different story after the break though as Real Madrid overran Barca in midfield to pick up their first win in the fixture since 2017.

Los Blancos may have had a bit of good fortune with both goals but deserved to take the three points and end their poor run against Barca.

Messi’s Clasico goal drought continues

Lionel Messi has reportedly been playing through a thigh injury this season and certainly didn’t look himself against Real Madrid.

He was seen limping after getting off the Barca bus ahead of the game and had a quiet night at the Bernabeu, although Messi being Messi he could still have scored.

The GOAT saw a good chance saved by Thibaut Courtois and was then denied by Marcelo when racing through on goal.

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Messi is the Clasico’s all-time leading goalscorer with 26 goals in the fixture but has now gone five games against Real Madrid without a goal or an assist.

It’s a surprising drought for Messi and one that stretches back to May 2018 when he scored in the 2-2 draw. As for Barcelona. well they have now failed to score against Real Madrid in consecutive Clasicos for the first time since 1975.

Goals against Real Madrid haven’t usually been a problem for Barcelona, but they will need to rediscover their Clasico goalscoring touch by the time the fixture rolls around again.