Sport Messi misery as Madrid toast brilliant Benzema – An Opta look at El Clasico
Real Madrid 2-0 Eibar: Champions maintain LaLiga ambitions before Liverpool clash
Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema took Real Madrid up to second, at least until Monday, ahead of huge games against Liverpool and Barcelona.Struggling Eibar were the first of three visitors to Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano in succession, with games against Liverpool and Barcelona set to go a long way to deciding Madrid's season.
Real Madrid prevailed 2-1 over Barcelona in a rain-soaked and chaotic Clasico in the Spanish capital.
Saturday's showdown proved a contrasting story for the two star forwards on display as Zinedine Zidane's men replaced city rivals Atletico Madrid at the top of LaLiga.
There were also a couple of moments of history before a red card in a frantic finale.
Here, we look at some of the standout statistics to emerge from the latest chapter in the eternal rivalry.
Seven not heaven for Messi
Lionel Messi had seven attempts on goal, including when he hit the post with an audacious effort directly from a corner towards the end of the first half.
Benzema: Real Madrid must treat every game like a final in LaLiga title race
Real Madrid can alter the outlook in LaLiga with a win in El Clasico on Saturday, having already beaten Barcelona once this season.Atletico Madrid at one stage in the season held a commanding lead at the summit, but Diego Simeone's side have now won just four of their past 10 fixtures, allowing their rivals to close the gap.
No Barcelona player had more shots, but Messi could not find a way through in what could potentially be his final tangle with Madrid in this famous fixture.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has now gone seven Clasicos in all competitions without scoring – the longest drought of his career against Los Blancos.
Simply the Benz
At the head of Madrid's attack, Karim Benzema simply cannot stop scoring, irrespective of the opponents.
Video: Eleven madridistas have already netted Clásico goals (Real Madrid)
His sensational backheel flick to convert Lucas Vazquez's 13th-minute cross was a finish that is sure to be cherished for years to come.
Benzema has now scored in his past seven LaLiga games, netting nine times overall during this period.
«World's Great Game»: Clásico Heijing title fight on
Karim Benzema did not have any effort to make the meaning of the game small. "For me and everyone, it's the biggest game in the world," said the striker of Real Madrid. © Indira / Dax Via Zuma Wire / DPA «Clásicos are games looking of childhood at everyone," says Real striker Karim Benzema. for the French and his team stands on Saturday (21.00 pm / Dazn) the highlight of the season: the Clásico, the meeting of Real and the FC Barcelona, the game that electrizes the Spanish football trailers.
The Frenchman is the fourth Madrid player in the 21st century to have scored in seven consecutive top-flight outings after Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Kroos ends dead ball torpor
From Ronaldo to David Beckham, Madrid have rarely been shy of free-kick specialists.
It comes as a surprise, therefore, that Toni Kroos' strike on Saturday made him the first player in white to score a direct free-kick in El Clasico this century.
Sure, it deflected off Sergino Dest and bounced off Jordi Alba's head on the goal line, but they all count. Right, Toni?
Mignueza opens his account
Oscar Mingueza endured a torrid first half as Vinicius Junior ran him ragged, but the Barcelona defender bounced back after the break.
Mingueza appeared in the Madrid penalty area to convert when substitute Antoine Griezmann dummied Alba's cross.
The previous Barca defender to score on his first appearance in El Clasico was Marc Bartra in the 2014 Copa de Rey final.
Ref on Casemiro's case
Mingueza was also involved in another key moment, when Casemiro fouled him outside the Madrid box in the final minute of normal time.
That earned the combative Brazilian his second booking and only the second sending off of his Madrid career.
During this time, Casemiro has committed 478 fouls in all competitions. All in all, not a bad ratio.
Reasons for Liverpool to be cheerful ahead of visit of Real Madrid .
Liverpool will have to defy the odds once again in Europe on Wednesday night if they want to secure their passage to the Champions League semi-finals. Jurgen Klopp's side are on the brink of crashing out of Europe following a tame 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of the quarter-final tie in the Spanish capital last week.Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio were on the scoresheet for Los Blancos as they put one foot in the semi-finals. But Madrid will know that Liverpool have been here before, most recently when they stunned Barcelona at Anfield after a 3-0 deficit from the first leg at the Nou Camp two years ago.