Ronaldo boost for Real ahead of 'Clasico'

Ronaldo boost for Real ahead of 'Clasico'

For Barca, Samuel Umtiti (hamstring), who will not play again this year, while Ousmane Dembele is back in training but would not be rushed into this game. "I could say we don't deserve it, but that is football".

Real Madrid has had a sputtering start to the La Liga season, while Barcelona is in first place with an undefeated record.

Second-half goals from Luis Suarez, Leo Messi from the penalty spot and Aleix Vidal in added time secured the win - the third consecutive away victory for the Catalan side against their bitter rivals.

"No, whatever happens tomorrow (today) we will keep working and keep thinking", said the Frenchman.

It is a scenario few could have foreseen after Real won a Liga and Champions League double last term and began this season so convincingly.

Barcelona now sit first in La Liga on 42 points, 11 ahead of their opponents.

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"I don't think we are favourites, the league table has no influence on games like this because of the tension there always is", he said.

Real were level until the 54th minute, and 1-0 down when Carvajal was sent off for trying to save a goalbound shot with his hand. The first EL Grand Clasico of this season's Spanish La Liga between Real and Barca started with both teams going 0-0 at halftime.

The result afforded Barca a 14-point gap over the reigning La Liga champions, who now sit in fourth behind Atletico Madrid and Valencia, and also maintained Ernesto Valverde's side's unbeaten run in all competitions so far this season.

Zinedine Zidane told a pre-match news conference the five-time Ballon d'Or victor would play, but attacking flair has been sacrificed elsewhere in the Madrid line-up for a game that LaLiga's champions enter 11 points behind their bitter rivals at the top of the table. In their last league game, Real Madrid beat Sevilla 5-0.

Real Madrid did put Barcelona under late pressure as Gareth Bale saw a couple of efforts saved by Ter Stegen. The game was wide open, and neither team clearly dominated play.

Yet, the pace offered by Bale and Marco Asensio, who has scored in his last three matches against Barca, could prove decisive in the second-half.

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