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El Clasico by the numbers

Five Aside
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Dani Alves responds to racist taunt

VILLARREAL, Spain -- Barcelona defender Dani Alves responded to a racist taunt Sunday in his side's 3-2 win at Villarreal by picking up a banana that landed at his feet, peeling and then eating it before proceeding to take a corner kick.

A spectator threw a banana at Barcelona full-back Dani Alves during his team's match with Villarreal.
A spectator threw a banana at Barcelona full-back Dani Alves during his team's match with Villarreal.

Alves said after the match that humour is the best way to combat racism in sports.

"We have suffered this in Spain for some time," Alves said. "You have to take it with a dose of humour. We aren't going to change things easily. If you don't give it importance, they don't achieve their objective."

Alves has often been subjected to racist taunts and called fighting racism "a lost war" in January 2013, after segments of Real Madrid's fans abused him with monkey chants during a match.

Alves had already played a key part in the match sparking his team's comeback  from 2-0 down when his off-target shot was turned in by Villarreal's Gabriel Armando in the 65th minute.

Shortly after the banana incident, Alves launched a cross that Mateo Musacchio headed past his own keeper before Lionel Messi scored Barcelona's winner.

The win kept Barcelona four points from league leaders Atletico Madrid.

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