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Real Madrid beat Barcelona


Real Madrid beat Barcelona

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LUIS SUAREZ set up Neymar’s fourth-minute goal in the Uruguayan forward’s first competitive debut for Barcelona following a four-month biting ban, but Real Madrid rallied to beat Barcelona 3-1 Saturday night in the first “clasico” of the season.

On a subdued night for Barca star Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo started Real’s comeback in the 35th minute when he converted a penalty kick for his 21st goal of the season in all competitions. The penalty kick was awarded after sliding defender Gerard Pique stopped Marcelo’s cross with an arm.

Pepe headed in Toni Kroos’ corner kick in the 50th minute and Karim Benzema, who had already hit the crossbar and a post in the first half, scored in the 61st off a pass from James Rodriguez.

Real Madrid (7-2) pulled within one point of league-leading Barcelona (7-1-1), which had outscored opponents 22-0 in its first eight La Liga matches.

Suarez, signed from Liverpool last summer, played 69 minutes in his first competitive game since a four-month suspension imposed for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup game.

“I don’t regret that he started,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. “He did more than I expected him to do, and I substituted him for fitness reasons.” (AP)