La Liga wrap: Real land El Clasico blow
Real Madrid moved seven points clear in La Liga after a 2-1 win at Barcelona on Saturday, while Sporting Gijon also won.
Jose Mourinho's men effectively sealed their first league title since the 2007-08 season with their gutsy away win, which came thanks to strikes from Sami Khedira and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real now lead the Spanish league by seven points with four matches to play, and virtually puts an end to Barcelona's hopes of a fourth successive crown.
The visitors made a bright start, with Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes forced to tip over Ronaldo's early header.
Real Madrid shot-stopper Iker Casillas was off his line to quickly deny Dani Alves, before saving from Cristian Tello moments later.
Mourinho's side took the lead after just 17 minutes though, with Khedira poking home from close range.
Simone Pepe headed a corner at Valdes and he spilled the save, allowing the German international to bag his fourth goal of the season.
Barcelona should have levelled nine minutes later when Lionel Messi's sublime through-ball found Xavi but he dragged his effort wide when he had only Casillas to beat.
Barca's bid for an equaliser continued in the second half as Tello and Xavi fired shots on goal, although neither effort was on target.
Pep Guardiola then introduced Chilean Alexis Sanchez, in place of Xavi, with 21 minutes left and the change paid immediate dividends.
Tello fired at Casillas and a penalty box scramble ensued, ending with Sanchez squeezing the ball home near the goal line to send the Camp Nou crowd into raptures.
Barcelona - who could have gone within a point of Real Madrid with a victory - were immediately hit with a sucker punch though as a breathtaking Mezut Oezil pass released Ronaldo.
The Portuguese forward charged past the onrushing Valdes and converted from a tricky angle to restore Real Madrid's lead.
From that point on, Real defended in numbers and retained possession, making life difficult for a Barcelona side who saw their hopes of winning a fourth successive La Liga title fade before their eyes.
In other results, Sporting Gijon's bid for survival received a boost as they beat a nine-man Rayo Vallecano outfit 2-1.
Argentine forward Gaston Sangoy gave Sporting the lead after 18 minutes but defender Labaka levelled proceedings just six minutes into the second half.
Labaka would turn from hero to villain though, as he was sent off with 14 minutes left.
That gave Sporting a numerical advantage and Croatian substitute Mate Bilic made them pay, netting the winner on 78 minutes.
Rayo Vallecano defender Casado was sent off for a second yellow card in the dying stages.
Also on Saturday, Mallorca defeated Real Zaragoza 1-0 thanks to Victor's first-half strike while Sevilla and Levante played out a 1-1 draw.