MADRID - Barcelona returned to winning ways and extended their Primera Liga lead with a 2-0 home victory over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday while Real Madrid were held 1-1 by city rivals Atletico at the Bernabeu.
The win opened up a six-point gap over chasing Real, whose 10-match winning streak came to an end.
Sergio Busquets' header and a Lionel Messi penalty gave Barca their first victory in six outings in all competitions ahead facing Olympique Lyon in the Champions League.
"To play well and win like this should give the fans a little more faith in the team," Barca coach Pep Guardiola said.
However, the victory came at a price with defender Carles Puyol leaving the pitch on a stretcher in the last minute with damaged ankle ligaments and now facing three weeks out.
In Madrid, Diego Forlan put Atletico ahead before the break and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar levelled in the 57th minute. The visitors missed a host of second-half chances to claim their first derby win since 1999. - Reuters