Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 in first Clasico of season

BARCELONA (AFP) – Real Madrid averted a crisis in the best possible way on Saturday by beating Barcelona 3-1 in the first empty Clasico and landing an early blow in La Liga s title race.

Barca had the chance to inflict a third consecutive defeat on their rivals and increase the pressure on Zinedine Zidane.

Instead, Madrid s win earns them a six-point lead over the Catalans in the table, albeit having played one game more.