Barcelona beat Real Madrid 1-0, inch closer to La Liga title

Barcelona beat Real Madrid for the second time in four days

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 1-0, inch closer to La Liga title Ivan Rakitic (right) celebrates his goal with Lionel Messi | AFP

La Liga leaders Barcelona registered a decisive 1-0 win against Real Madrid on Saturday to inch closer to the Spanish league title.

Barca had knocked Madrid out of the Copa del Rey with a 3-0 win on Wednesday and returned to the Santiago Bernabeu to score a victory that may see the Champions League title holders being eliminated from the La Liga title race.

Ivan Rakitic came through for Barcelona in the 26th minute, placing the the La Liga leaders 12 points clear of Real Madrid. Rakitic played the ball wide to Sergi Roberto, continued his run behind Ramos and received it back, before feathering a delightful chip over Thibaut Courtois.

Madrid struggled to score an equaliser, but didn't capitalise on the opportunities they got. Benzema and Vinicius' efforts went in vain. Raphael Varane went for a late equaliser, but his shot was weak and didn't connect.

The match lacked the high drama that is usually associated with a Clasico, with the only highlight being Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos butting heads when the latter's outstretched arm caught Messi in the face.

(With inputs from agencies)