Real Madrid virtually sealed the La Liga title with a 2-1 win over Barcelona at Camp Nou. The fully-deserved victory puts Real seven points clear of their rivals with just four games to play.
Cristiano Ronaldo got the crucial winning goal after Alexis Sanchez has cancelled out Sami Khedira's opener.
Barcelona made two changes from the team that suffered defeat at Chelsea in midweek. Thiago Alcantara and Cristian Tello coming in for Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez. Jose mourinho, meanwhile, decided to go with the same lineup that went down 2-1 against Bayern Munich.
With Real holding a four point lead over their rivals in La Liga, Jose Mourinho was perhaps expected to merely sit back and defend. However, Real looked dangerous when attacking from the outset.
And Los Blancos were rewarded for their endeavor when they took the lead in the 17th minute. Victor Valdes started to come for a Real Madrid corner and then retreated and was unable to hold onto the ball from Pepe's header. Carlos Puyol then failed to clear the ball allowing Khedira to sneak in and poke the ball home.
Barcelona really should have tied things up just before the half-hour mark. Xavi was played through after a good ball by Messi, but the midfield maestro hit his shot too close to Casillas who got the faintest of touches to send the ball wide.
Barcelona pushed forward at the start of the second half, but struggled to find a way through Real's impressive defense. Cristian Tello missing the best chance in what was a poor game for the youngster.
But Barca gave themselves hope of getting the win they needed when substitute Alexis Sanchez grabbed an equalizer after 70 minutes. Tello's shot was saved by Casillas before Adriano followed up and Sanchez eventually prodded home at the second attempt. It was hard on Caillas, who made a quite spectacular reaction save to deny Sanchez first-time around.
But Barca were not on level terms for long as Ronaldo scored a superb goal to give Real the win, just three minutes later. The Portuguese forward collected a great pass from Mesut Ozil before finishing clincally past Valdes.
In the end Real held on fairly comfortably as Barca seemed devoid of ideas. Real were more clinical throughout and their fully-warranted win puts Jose Mourinho's side seven points clear in La Liga and all but wraps up their first title since 2008.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.