11 Dec '11, 3am

Barcelona overcome early setback against Real Madrid to clinch El Clasico 3-1, and take top spot

Barcelona overcome early setback against Real Madrid to clinch El Clasico 3-1, and take top spot

Barcelona players celebrate at the end of the match against Real Madrid during their Spanish first division soccer match, the 'Clasico', at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Dec 10, 2011. -- PHOTO: REUTERS MADRID (AFP) - Barcelona overcame the shock of conceding a goal after just 23 seconds to defeat bitter rivals Real Madrid 3-1 on Saturday in the first El Clasico of La Liga season and take top spot. French striker Karim Benzema scored the early goal to give Real a 1-0 lead after a terrible clearance from Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Alexis Sanchez, who was chosen ahead of David Villa, levelled in the 30th minute after a sublime through ball from Lionel Messi. A drive from Xavi in the 53rd minute took a wicked deflection off Marcelo and beyond the desperate reach of Iker Casillas in the Real goal as Barcelona went into a 2-1 lead. Cesc Fabregas added the thi...

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