Leo Messi scored a hat-trick to lead Barcelona in their victory at the Santiago Bernabeu, following a disastrous performance from the referee, who showed Sergio Ramos an unfair red card and conceded two unjust penalties, one for each side.
The hosts should have sealed the win before all that happened, as they had enough chances to have scored six or seven goals. Yet, Karim Benzema threw away most of them, and Messi made Real pay at the end.
Los Blancos lacked commitment in defence during the first minutes. They conceded Barcelona midfielders too much space and the visitors took the lead as Leo Messi was allowed to play between the lines and assisted Andres Iniesta, who sent a powerful shot to the top corner.
Carlo Ancelotti men came back thanks to Di Maria, who seemed unstoppable. Benzema should have equalised after a sensational run from the Argentinian, but the Frenchman incredibly missed an easy effort from inside the box.
However, it would only take for minutes for Benzema to redeem himself. In the 20th minute, he bulleted a header to the back of the net following a cross from Di Maria. In the next play, the Argentinian crossed into the box in another great play and assisted his team-mate, who made it 2-1 smashing a volley into the corner.
Benzema was a nightmare for Barca’s defence, and he should have scored a couple more before half-time. Gerard Pique denied his first effort, clearing the ball off the line, and just before the break the French international sent another header wide of the post.
By then, Messi had already levelled for the Azulgranas following some pinball inside the box, drilling one into the bottom corner.
Ronaldo put Los Merengues back ahead early in the second half as he was awarded a penalty after being fouled outside the box. Yet the referee made a bigger mistake when he sent Ramos off as Neymar clearly dove inside the box. Messi scored his second to equalise, and Barca took control of the game with Madrid down to ten men.
Barcelona were awarded another penalty as Xabi Alonso brought Iniesta down, and Messi made it 3-4 to earn the three points for the visitors, who sit now just one point behind Real and Atletico, the new leaders.