There were stunning individual performances on both sides, three penalties, a red card, and somewhere amid it all, a Lionel Messi hat-trick. Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria bossed the first half, but both found themselves substituted in the second as Madrid moved into crisis management.
Andres Iniesta put Barca ahead just four minutes in, but Benzema's brace turned it around before Messi levelled before the break. Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty restored Madrid's lead but after Sergio Ramos brought down Neymar in the area, Madrid were down to 10 and two Messi penalties won it for the visitors.
Barca coach Tata Martino beamed afterwards: "La Liga has started over, we're back in the fight for the title.
"The players are the big protagonists, this game wasn't going to change my perception of my players."
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