After Barcelona’s humiliating 3-0 defeat over Real in Madrid last year, the European and Spanish champions had all the bragging rights over the under-performing side from the capital.
However goals to club captain Raul Gonzalez and new season signing Ruud Van Nistelrooy gave the ‘Galacticos’ a well earned win in trying conditions, keeping them in touch with the La Liga leaders.
“This is a total change of image. I spoke to the team for a long time after last week’s defeat at Getafe,” said Real coach Fabio Capello.
“We knew that we had to take this match seriously. We were playing the European champions not a third division side.
“The first 20 minutes we played very well, very dangerous, but they could have still come back and equalised. However, in the second half we were much better than them.”
Real, 29-time Spanish champions, opened the scoring after just two minutes when Raul headed home unmarked from the edge of the six yard box after good work from Sergio Ramos out wide.
29-year-old Raul almost had his second after 14 minutes, but hit the woodwork with his left foot shot that crashed against the crossbar, this time after Robinho had provided the lead up.
Barcelona should have equalised when striker Eidur Gudjohnsen had a clear shot on goal after excellent work down the right wing by Lionel Messi, however the Icelandic striker hit his shot wide of the target.
Robinho was again in the action early in the second half when he set up Van Nistlerooy who volleyed home with his left foot past Barca keeper Victor Valdes to make it 2-0.
Real then piled on the pressure and could have had more goals as Van Nistlerooy and Robinho had great chances to score.
Down the other end, Barca were clearly missing injured striker Samuel Eto’o, who is out with injury until early next year, as only two of their 11 shots were on target.
Disappointed but not worried
Guti (L), Robinho (C) and Raul
The visitors’ best chance came from a Ronaldinho free kick that was saved at full stretch by Iker Casillas to end a dismal night for Barca.
“I’m disappointed but not worried,” said Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard.
“They are three points closer now to Barcelona and psychologically that is important.
“But from the first day I said that Real were going to be competitive,” Rijkaard added.
“It’s always possible to lose games like this because this is a league with many teams that are close together, like Valencia and Sevilla as well.”
Real, who still have the best defensive record in La Liga, climbed up to fourth place with just two points covering the top five clubs in the first division after seven matches.
“This game we concentrated hard,” said Real left back Roberto Carlos.
“It’s a long season ahead but to beat the Spanish champions and the European champions in this fashion will be a great boost to our confidence.”
Barcelona still remain on top of the league table after their loss, but they are now equal on 16 points with Valencia, one point ahead of Sevilla and two ahead of Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna.