A late Sergio Ramos goal earned Real Madrid a 2-1 win against Barcelona at the Bernabeu on Saturday as the La Liga leaders slumped to a second consecutive El Clasico defeat.
Five days after being dumped out of the Copa del Rey by Jose Mourinho's side, the Catalan club were once again forced to play second fiddle to their archrivals.
Karim Benzema put the hosts ahead in the sixth minute, slotting home after Alvaro Morata had crossed from the left before Barca equalized 12 minutes later -- Lionel Messi collecting his 18th goal against Real Madrid and his 50th of the season.
Cristiano Ronaldo came on as a sub in the second half and livened up proceedings, but it was Sergio Ramos who scored the winner eight minutes from the end, rising highest to head home Luka Modric's corner.
Barcelona thought they should have been awarded a penalty in the final minute when, at the other end, Ramos appeared to trip Adriano but the referee didn't agree. An angry protest by Victor Valdes after the final whistle earned the goalkeeper a red card.
The result takes Real to 55 points and within one point of second-place city rivals Atletico -- who travel to Malaga on Sunday.
Despite the loss -- just their second in the league this season -- Barca are still way out ahead of on 68 points, but not in an unassailable position just yet, as the match winner Ramos pointed out.