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By Richard Martin
MADRID, March 1 (Reuters) - Real Madrid showed their character by beating Barcelona 2-0 in Sunday's top-of-the-table 'Clasico', leapfrogging their rivals at the La Liga summit after a week in which their pride had taken a beating at home and in Europe.
Brazilian teenager Vinicius Jr scored the opener in the 71st minute with a strike that deflected off Gerard Pique, flummoxing goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen who had made some jaw-dropping saves, and substitute Mariano added the second in added time.
Real had swallowed chastening defeats by Levante in La Liga and Manchester City in the Champions League over the past week but after a tame first half they overwhelmed Barca, threatening to score on numerous occasions before breaking the deadlock.
Zinedine Zidane's side lead the standings on 56 points after 26 games, with Barca slipping to second spot on 55. (Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)