El Clasico: Real Madrid tops La Liga with 2-1 win over Barcelona

Real joined Atletico Madrid on 66 points and moved top of the table after first-half goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos trumped Barcelona on Sunday.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring for Real Madrid against Barcelona in the El Clasico on Sunday.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Real Madrid beat rival Barcelona 2-1 at home in an entertaining, rain-soaked 'Clasico' on Saturday to go top of La Liga.

Karim Benzema put the champion in charge at a soggy Alfredo di Stefano stadium with a delightful backheel in the 14th minute while a deflected Toni Kroos free kick doubled their lead in the 28th.

Barca hit back on the hour mark through Oscar Mingueza and the defender almost found the equaliser later on, while the Catalans had a huge penalty appeal waved away when Martin Braithwaite fell following a challenge by Ferland Mendy.

HIGHLIGHTS: Real Madrid vs Barcelona Highlights: Benzema, Kroos strike as Madrid climbs top of La Liga with 2-1 win

Real midfielder Casemiro was sent off in stoppage time for picking up two yellow cards in the space of a minute while Barca substitute Ilaix Moriba hit the crossbar in the fourth minute of added time.

The host survived the nail-biting finish to complete a sensational week after beating Liverpool 3-1 in a Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.

Zinedine Zidane's side joined Atletico Madrid on 66 points and moved top of the table, although Atletico can reclaim first place when it visits Real Betis on Sunday. Barca dropped to third on 65.