MADRID (Sporting Alert) — Real Madrid beat arch rivals Barcelona for the second time in five days to build up a massive morale-boost ahead of their Champions League clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford this week.

And they did so without star forward Cristiano Ronaldo contribution to scoreline, as the Portugal international was left on the bench for the opening 45 minutes of the back-to-back Clásico this week.

After beating Barcelona 3-1 in the Spanish Cup semi-finals in midweek, Real Madrid returned five days later on Saturday defeat the La Liga leaders, sending them into their crucial Champions League clash with AC Milan on wobbling form.

Karim Benzema gave Real Madrid the lead early, but Lionel Messi pulled the scores level.

Sergio Ramos then scored the winner eight-minutes from time, while Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes was sent off after the sound of the final for getting a second yellow card when he went over to attack the referee.

With the win, Jose Mourinho cut the gap between the two sides to 13 points, while pulling within a point of second place Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand.

Real Madrid 2 v Barcelona 1: Highlights – March 2

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