Result: Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid

© PA Photos
Cristiano Ronaldo scores the winner as Real Madrid claim victory at Barcelona to move seven points clear at the top of La Liga.

Real Madrid have moved seven points clear at the top of La Liga after claiming victory in a wet El Clasico encounter at Barcelona this evening.

The visitors began brightly and were almost ahead when Cristiano Ronaldo met Mesut Ozil's corner and forced Victor Valdes to tip over.

Real continued to threaten with regularity from set pieces and were rewarded in the 17th minute when Pepe won another header from corner which Valdes pushed out. The ball was loose in the area but as Carles Puyol tried to shepherd it safe Sami Khedira nicked in to stab home.

As the half progressed conditions became slicker as the Catalonian heavens opened and Barca's neat interplay should have provided a goal but Xavi Hernandez pulled his one-on-one effort wide.

The home side maintained their dominance in the possession stats but failed to put a shot on target in the opening period as Madrid went in ahead.

Barca again should have levelled but this time young winger Tello blazed high and wide after being put through on goal by Thiago Alcantara.

Pep Guardiola's men pressed and pressed and found their equaliser when substitute Alexis Sanchez bundled home at the second attempt after a goalmouth scramble.

The hosts weren't level for long as, moments later, Ozil found Ronaldo and the Portuguese frontman knocked the ball to one side before fizzing past Valdes to set a new La Liga record with his 42nd of the season.

Madrid managed to hold out in the final minutes with Barca's talisman Lionel Messi regularly thwarted by some bullish Real defending.

Three points for Jose Mourinho's men mean they have cemented their position at La Liga's summit with four games of the season remaining.

Cesc Fabregas
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid22164257203752
2Barcelona23156263194451
3Sevilla23154446281849
4Atletico MadridAtletico23136443192445
5Real Sociedad2313283632441
6Villarreal23109430151539
7EibarEibar2310583631535
8Athletic Bilbao2310582828035
9Celta Vigo2210393636033
10Espanyol238873031-132
11AlavesAlaves237972228-630
12Las PalmasLas Palmas237793235-328
13Malaga236893137-626
14Valencia2375113341-826
15Real Betis2266102235-1324
16Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2247112635-919
17Leganes2346131639-2318
18Sporting GijonSporting Gijon2344152547-2216
19Granada2337132149-2816
20Osasuna2317152452-2810