Barca's guests had one of the best of possession for big components of the conflict, solely to battle with Madrid's counter-attacking fashion, encapsulated by Zinedine Zidane's aspect who took the lead regardless of being outplayed for the primary 13 minutes.
Madrid's high scorer Benzema reacted quickest to herald a Lucas Vazquez cross on the close to put up to present the hosts the lead after which Kroos added the second quarter-hour later, his free kick deflecting Sergino Dest away.
Messi virtually created an instantaneous equalizer after Madrid's opener, teasing a number of markers on the left aspect of the penalty space earlier than offering a cross that narrowly escaped Ousmane Dembele, who was inches from scoring.
Uruguay midfielder Federico Valverde hit the wooden six minutes after Benzema's strike, then Messi netted a nook against the far put up on the stroke of half-time – a close to miss that Barca may take into account a turning level within the sport.
Barca's captain performed a job of their response. Highly rated younger defender Oscar Mingueza, who's seen by many as a protracted-time period possibility to switch Gerard Pique, clipped the ball into his shin from a cross from Jordi Alba after Messi began a transfer with a half- remaining hour.
18-12 months-outdated midfielder Ilaix Moriba hit the crossbar in a frantic final assault of the sport for Barca, which even noticed goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen – advancing as a final resort – see a shot blocked within the final seconds.
Both sides made 5 adjustments in a detailed sport that leaves La Liga's high three crammed collectively.
Atletico, who left tomorrow for sixth-positioned Real Betis, are stage with Madrid on the high on 66 factors, with a decrease aim distinction however this sport in progress.
Barcelona's beautiful 19-match unbeaten run resulted in respectable fashion, though they had been livid to be denied a penalty after substitute Martin Braithwaite descended into the penalty space eight minutes from time. finish.
The outcome additionally gave Madrid a sixth straight win in all competitions and ended Barca's spectacular run of seven home wins.