Barcelona inflicted an embarrassing 3-0 El Clasico defeat on 10-man Real Madrid at the Bernabeu to leave the Champions League holders 14 points behind in the Spanish Liga title race.
Luis Suarez opened the scoring after 54 minutes before Dani Carvajal was sent off by referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez for a deliberate handball 10 minutes later, with Lionel Messi dispatching the penalty past Keylor Navas.
Messi then set up Barca’s final goal as Aleix Vidal squeezed the ball past Navas as the final action of the game in front of a half-empty Bernabeu.
Cristiano Ronaldo endured a nightmare return from injury as he wasted an early gilt-edged chance, with Zinedine Zidane’s title holders fourth in the table and well off the pace as Ernesto Valverde’s Barca remain unbeaten in La Liga.
Ronaldo headed in off the underside of the bar for Real in the second minute but it was rightly disallowed for offside, as the hosts made a bright start.
The Portugal star then swung and missed at a low centre from Toni Kroos, with Andres Iniesta just getting to the loose ball ahead of the onrushing Carvajal to concede a corner.
Real were dominating possession and Messi dropped deeper and deeper in a bid to influence the game as the inclusion of Mateo Kovacic in Real’s midfield looked a masterstroke.
Messi almost created the opener on the half-hour mark as his angled pass picked out Paulinho’s run from deep but the Brazilian midfielder hooked his shot over.
Seconds later Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen stuck out a foot to divert a Ronaldo shot wide after the Portuguese cut in from the left.
Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas got down well to keep out a glancing Paulinho header five minutes before the break, and then Karim Benzema’s headed effort clipped the post after he got to Marcelo’s centre before defender Thomas Vermaelen.
Barcelona saw more of the ball in the early stages of the second half and took the lead in the 54th minute when Ivan Rakitic broke forward, spread the play right to Sergi Roberto and his low cross was side-footed home by Suarez.
Real’s frustration began to grow as Sergio Ramos was booked for a foul on Suarez, and Barca added a second in bizarre circumstances in the 64th minute.
Suarez had a shot blocked by Navas and then hit the post before Carvajal was sent off for a deliberate handball.
It was a controversial call to award the penalty and send the full-back off as the ball ended up in the net mere seconds later, but Messi’s confident penalty made sure there were no further recriminations.
Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio were brought on in a bid to give Real more cutting edge, and Ter Stegen reacted well to keep out a shot from the Welshman.
The Germany goalkeeper also made an impressive near-post block on a Ramos effort as Barca held firm at the back, and there was still time for a third after Vidal’s shot squirmed under Navas after good work from Messi on the right flank.