Barcelona v Real Madrid: El Clasico player ratings

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-1 to go six points above their arch-rivals in the La Liga table.

Neymar's low finish and a sublime chip by Alexis Sanchez sent Real to a second defeat in four league games.

Real's Karim Benzema hit the bar before Jese Rodriguez scored a consolation in stoppage time.

Here's how our man in Spain rated the players.

BARCELONA

Eight out of 10

VICTOR VALDES (GOALKEEPER) - 8

Extremely composed all-round display from the in-form goalkeeper, crowned by two excellent saves from Sami Khedira and Cristiano Ronaldo when his team only led 1-0. Faultless.

Six out of 10

ADRIANO (LEFT-BACK) - 6

Steady and reliable, the versatile Brazilian continued to deputise for the injured Jordi Alba with another unspectacular but efficient display.

Six out of 10

GERARD PIQUE (CENTRE-BACK) - 6

An injury doubt before the game, Pique recovered to produce a solid display, making a couple of good aerial interventions but looking less comfortable against Karim Benzema towards the end.

Seven out of 10

JAVIER MASCHERANO (CENTRE-BACK) - 7

Typically tigerish outing from the converted midfielder, who has made a home for himself in Barca's back four in the last couple of years. Regularly showed good anticipation to break up Madrid possession.

Seven out of 10

DANI ALVES (RIGHT-BACK) - 7

Human dynamo who defended capably against Cristiano Ronaldo, largely reining in his attacking instincts until one majestic late run nearly resulted in a memorable third goal for his team.

Six out of 10

SERGIO BUSQUETS (MIDFIELDER) - 6

Another disciplined performance from Barcelona's Mr Dependable in the centre of midfield, although he was unable to stem Madrid's dangerous burst of second half pressure.

Seven out of 10

XAVI (MIDFIELDER) - 7

As ever, linked the play superbly with a peerless range of passing. His legs might not be as quick as they used to be, but his brain is still the fastest in football.

Seven out of 10

ANDRES INIESTA (MIDFIELDER) - 7

Brilliant first half, passing to Neymar for the opener and doing superbly to release Lionel Messi a few minutes later. Later lost possession dangerously to Luka Modric and was nearly punished by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Eight out of 10

NEYMAR (FORWARD) - 8

Match-winning goalscoring performance from the Brazilian star, who benefitted from Lionel Messi's change of position to the right wing by having more room to express himself. Skilful, tenacious and tireless.

Six out of 10

CESC FABREGAS (FORWARD) - 6

Worked hard in Lionel Messi's "false nine" position, linking up well with Andres Iniesta to help Barca control possession in the first half. Faded after the break and was replaced.

Seven out of 10

LIONEL MESSI (FORWARD) - 7

A more marginal figure than usual after being deployed on the right wing in a tactical shift, but still produced moments of threat without being able to reach his peak.

SUBSTITUTES

Eight out of 10

ALEXIS SANCHEZ (FORWARD) - 8

What more could a substitute do? The Chilean has been in excellent form this season and this was his crowning moment. As well as his goal, he showed pace, purpose and penetration down the right.

Six out of 10

ALEX SONG (MIDFIELDER) - 6

Did everything required after appearing late on to help shore up the midfield, showing positional discipline to close down space in the centre of the pitch.

Six out of 10

PEDRO (FORWARD) - 6

Ran around with his usual energy and commitment, continually harrying Madrid's defenders during the final stages.

REAL MADRID

Gareth Bale
Six out of 10

DIEGO LOPEZ (GOALKEEPER) - 6

Had no chance with either goal and didn't do anything wrong throughout the game… but will still inevitably face calls for Iker Casillas's return.

Seven out of 10

DANI CARVAJAL (RIGHT-BACK) - 7

Unlucky with Neymar's goal and produced an energetic, dynamic performance against a very tough opponent. Justified his selection ahead of Alvaro Arbeloa.

Seven out of 10

RAPHAEL VARANE (CENTRE-BACK) - 7

Strong performance from the young Frenchman, who has only just returned from injury. Made some well-timed interventions in and around the penalty box.

Six out of 10

PEPE (CENTRE-BACK) - 6

The Portugal international defended with sensible restraint and a cool head that was often lacking during compatriot Jose Mourinho's fiery reign.

Six out of 10

MARCELO (LEFT-BACK) - 6

The Brazilian's usual attacking verve was greatly inhibited by the need to keep a close eye on Lionel Messi, who was unusually stationed on his wing. Solid enough in defence.

Five out of 10

SERGIO RAMOS (MIDFIELDER) - 5

The experiment to field Ramos in the centre of midfield failed. Playing in an unfamiliar position, he was powerless to prevent Barca from dominating the first half and was soon subbed.

Six out of 10

SAMI KHEDIRA (MIDFIELDER) - 6

The game passed him by during the opening period until he was unlucky to be denied an equaliser by Victor Valdes's fine save. More influential after the break.

Six out of 10

LUKA MODRIC (MIDFIELDER) - 6

Like many of his team-mates, Modric grew gradually into the game and enjoyed a strong half-hour in the second period. Lovely pass to create a clear chance for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Six out of 10

ANGEL DI MARIA (FORWARD) - 6

Lacked the spark of his recent performances but that was excusable considering the wholesale changes around him. Generally slightly disappointing set-piece deliveries.

Four out of 10

GARETH BALE (FORWARD) - 4

A Clasico debut to forget for the Welshman. Employed as a central striker, Bale was utterly ineffective before being substituted. Shouldn't be too heavily criticised after being thrust into a new position with a new team when less than 100% fit.

Seven out of 10

CRISTIANO RONALDO (FORWARD) - 7

Although Ronaldo was his team's most dangerous player by a considerable distance, he lacked his usual menace, threatening only sporadically. Had one fierce shot and an ambitious penalty appeal waved away.

SUBSTITUTES

Six out of 10

ASIER ILLARRAMENDI (MIDFIELDER) - 6

Introduced midway through the second period to establish control of possession in midfield, and looked far more comfortable than Sergio Ramos - not surprising as it's his regular position, unlike Ramos. Probably should have started.

Seven out of 10

KARIM BENZEMA (FORWARD) - 7

The Frenchman offered a vast improvement on Gareth Bale after being introduced and was very unfortunate not to end his two-month La Liga barren run with a thumping strike against the bar.

Seven out of 10

JESE RODRIGUEZ (FORWARD) - 7

Bright and lively, the young substitute gave his team some hope with a neat finish after running onto Cristiano Ronaldo's pass. Deserved more playing time.