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Barcelona Beats Real Madrid in Spanish Soccer’s ‘El Clasico’

Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Barcelona rebounded from an early deficit to beat Real Madrid 3-1 and join its rival at the top of the standings in Spanish soccer’s Primera Liga.

Karim Benzema scored in the opening minute last night for Real, which was seeking its 16th straight win overall and 10th consecutive in the league. Alexis Sanchez pulled Barcelona even in the first half and the defending Spanish and European champion got goals after the break on Xavi Hernandez’s deflected shot and Cesc Fabregas’s header.

The teams are tied with 37 points with Real having played one fewer game. Barcelona holds the tiebreaker after the win and will host the rematch of the game known as “El Clasico” in April.

Benzema scored after just 23 seconds at the Bernabeu stadium following a poor clearance from goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Sanchez tied it in the 30th minute when he took a pass from Lionel Messi and fired a shot past Iker Casillas.

Barcelona used some luck to take the lead eight minutes into the second half as Xavi’s long shot deflected off defender Marcelo and past lunging goalkeeper Casillas.

Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo then sent a header wide from six yards out after being left alone and Fabregas clinched the victory by heading in Dani Alves’s cross less than a minute later.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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