Madrid spoil Suarez's Barca debut with 3-1 El Clasico win
REAL MADRID 3
(Cristiano Ronaldo 35-pen, Pepe 51, Karim Benzema 61)
Real Madrid came from behind to stun Barcelona and claim the latest edition of El Clasico with a 3-1 home win on Sunday morning.
Making his competitive debut for the visitors after serving his four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, Luis Suarez looked to have gotten his Barca career off to a dream start when he claimed an assist after four minutes.
The Uruguayan's cross found Neymar, who cut into the middle to place his shot into the bottom corner beyond Iker Casillas to draw first blood.
However, a Gerard Pique handball in the 34th minute led to penalty that was dispatched with by Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the first player to breach Barcelona's defence in La Liga this season as he sent Claudio Bravo diving the wrong way for the equaliser.
Cristiano Ronaldo equalises for Real Madrid from the penalty spot.
Real then took the lead in the second half after Pepe converted a Toni Kroos corner into a bullet header on 51 minutes that gave the Barcelona goalkeeper no chance.
It was all over 10 minutes later when Karim Benzema capped a counter-attack for the hosts with an unerring finished that pinged in off the far post.
Bittersweet for Suarez
The win allowed Real to slash Barcelona's lead at the top of the La Liga table to just one point and Suarez admitted after the game that he had a bag of mixed feelings over his return to competitive football.
Luis Suarez crosses the ball to Neymar for Barcelona's opener against Real Madrid.
The ex-Liverpool forward said: "I am very happy to return to playing, it is a great relief to have this time behind me.
"The feeling is bittersweet because of the result, but this team has lifted itself many times before.
"Obviously what everyone wants on a debut is a victory, even more so in a game of this magnitude. I think that we did everything we could to get a good result, but it wasn't to be.
“We need to forget this game and think about our next opponents. We are still a point ahead of Real Madrid."
Karim Benzema fires home Real Madrid's third goal.
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti praised his team's professionalism for winning the game despite the early setback.
The Italian coach said: "We didn’t lose our heads after going behind. We stuck to our ideas and everything came off well.
"I am proud of these players because their professionalism and seriousness is unique. I am talking about focus, thinking about what they are doing, following the strategy and instructions.
"We wanted to attack, with possession, using the wings. In the second half we won the game because we wanted to win it."
Sources: Reuters, AFP