First Division - Day 17

Barcelona 0 - Real Madrid 1

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Puyol (Zambrotta 77'), Márquez, Milito, Abidal; Xavi (Bojan 81'), Touré Yayá, Deco (Giovani 57'); Iniesta, Eto'o, Ronaldinho. 4-3-3.
Madrid: Casillas; Sergio Ramos (Miguel Torres 87'), Cannavaro, Pepe, Heinze; Baptista, Diarra, Sneijder (Gago 78'); Raúl, Van Nistelrooy, Robinho (Robben 84'). 4-3-3.

Team changes: Barça: Deco, Ronaldinho for Gudjohnsen, Messi / Madrid: Heinze for Marcelo.

0-1. 35. Baptista. Controlled Van Nistelrooy pass and fired shot past Valdés.

Real Madrid opened up a seven point gap at the top of the table after beating arch-rivals Barcelona 0-1 in the Nou Camp. Bernd Schuster's side had the better chances early on, Valdés having to save a low header from Pepe and Van Nistelrooy and Robinho both pulled up for border line offsides. But Casillas had keep out Eto'o and Iniesta and then make a double save from Ronaldinho and Deco before Baptista opened the scoring for the visitors, picking up a return pass from Van Nistelrooy to beat Valdés shortly before the break.

Casillas was in action again after the restart to save from Iniesta and Bojan, Eto'o and Touré fired shots wide, and an excellent Pepe deflected another effort from Eto'o wide of the post. But the visitors had further chances themselves before the final whistle, Robinho having a penalty appeal turned down and Van Nistelrooy almost catching out Valdés with a shot which ballooned up off Abidal. An important win against their closest rivals though, and Madrid are now assured of the honorary title of winter champions with two matches still to go to the halfway point of the season.