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 Posted by PA Sport
Mar 23, 2014

Atletico top as Barca beat Real clasico

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop recaps how Barcelona earned a crucial 3 points in a 7-goal thriller at the Bernabeu.

Atletico Madrid moved to the Primera Division summit after beating Real Betis while Barcelona stayed in the title hunt with a thrilling victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Saturday: Athletic strengthen hold on 4th
• Tyler: Barca win frantic clasico

Barcelona reignited their La Liga challenge with a 4-3 victory over Real Madrid in a pulsating clasico that had a little bit of everything.

There were stunning individual performances on both sides, three penalties, a red card, and somewhere amid it all, a Lionel Messi hat trick. Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria bossed the first half, but both found themselves substituted in the second as Madrid moved into crisis management.

Andres Iniesta put Barca ahead just four minutes in, but Benzema's brace turned it around before Messi levelled before the break. Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty restored Madrid's lead but after Sergio Ramos brought down Neymar in the area, Madrid were down to 10 and two Messi penalties won it for the visitors.

Atletico Madrid capitalised on the second-half dismissal of Real Betis forward Braian Rodriguez to win 2-0 and climb above city rivals Real.

Rodriguez saw red in the 55th minute for his second bookable offence, and Atletico scored twice in the next 10 minutes through Gabi and Diego Costa as rock-bottom Real Betis were made to pay.

It was a sudden capitulation from Betis, who had frustrated Atletico for long periods in the first half. Betis, knocked out of the Europa League by local rivals Sevilla on Thursday night, have turned their focus completely to trying to dig their way out of a significant hole at the foot of the standings but are running out of time.

Lionel Messi celeb Ronaldo woe Real Madrid vs Barcelona 20140323
Diego Costa celebrates after scoring Atletico's second goal.

Sevilla built on their dramatic Europa League triumph over Betis by comfortably beating Osasuna 2-1 away from home.

Jairo Samperio opened the scoring midway through the first half with a fine individual goal, and Carlos Bacca doubled the lead from the penalty spot just before half-time in a highly controversial incident, which saw Osasuna coach Javi Gracia sent away from his dugout for protesting the decision.

Javier Acuna scored a fine goal for Osasuna in injury time, but it only served as a consolation for the Navarrans.

Javi Fuego netted a first-half brace as Valencia got back to winning ways in La Liga with a 2-1 victory over Villarreal at the Mestalla.

Juan Antonio Pizzi's side, who cruised into the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 4-0 aggregate win over Ludogorets on Thursday, ended a three-match winless streak in the league on Sunday, moving up two places into eighth as a result.

The defeat saw derby rivals Villarreal, who scored a late consolation through Giovani dos Santos, move down a place into seventh in the standings.

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