Ramos s**** himself, Coutinho sparkles, Messi’s baby joy
BARCELONA overcame the absence of Lionel Messi to win 2-0 at Spanish La Liga basement club Malaga while Real Madrid won 2-1 at Eibar.
Goals from Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho sent Barca 11 points clear at the top.
Messi missed a league game for the first time this season to attend the birth of his third son, Ciro.
The Argentina forward wrote on his Instagram account in Spanish: "Welcome Ciro! Thank God everything went perfect. Mom and he are very well. We are super happy!!!!!"
However, the Catalan side barely needed their talisman against Malaga, who had striker Samu Garcia sent off after half an hour and slumped to a seventh consecutive league defeat.
Suarez headed home a looping cross from Jordi Alba to give Barca the lead in the 15th minute.
Coutinho then struck the second in the 28th with a backheel from close range after an impressive dribble from Ousmane Dembele.
Malaga manages to create two chances in the first half but they could not test Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Suarez picked up a booking that means he is suspended for Barca's next game against Athletic Bilbao.
Barca are still unbeaten in the league and lead the standings with 72 points, 11 clear of Atletico Madrid who host Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was forced to take a toilet break during the second half of their 2-1 Spanish La Liga win at Eibar.
With the score locked at 1-1 after Ivan Ramis cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo's first-half opener, the Spain international defender left the field in the 73rd minute.
At the time it was unknown what the reason for Ramos running off was but, with head coach Zinedine Zidane having already made three substitutions, the 31-year- old returned to the action five minutes later.
Ronaldo then netted the winner in the 84th minute to keep Real's slim LaLiga title hopes alive.
Zidane was forthright in his post-match press conference when explaining Ramos's brief absence from the field.
"He s*** himself a little bit," the Frenchman was reported as saying by AS. Zidane added on Real's official website: "Ramos just went off to go to the toilet, then came back on and that's all there is to it." Ramos addressed the situation on social media after the game, accompanying a picture of himself celebrating a goal with Ronaldo alongside the caption: "Nature calls. Out & back in. Reload. Team goal. Back home. Let's keep it up. #HalaMadrid"
Real are third on 57 after seeing off dogged Eibar.
The prolific Portuguese scored for the seventh successive game in all competitions by blasting into the net in the 34th minute after chesting down a long ball by Luka Modric.
Ivan Ramis pulled one back for Eibar when he outjumped Sergio Ramos to head home from a corner in the 50th.
The irrepressible Ronaldo had the final say, however, meeting a cross from Dani Carvajal in the area and powering the ball beyond the Serbian goalkeeper in the 84th minute, scoring a 13th goal in his last seven games in all competitions. Ronaldo has roared back from a feeble start to the season, when he scored just once in his first eight league games, to reach 18 goals in the campaign.
"He's from another galaxy," Zidane said of Ronaldo. "He knows he's going to score, he's unique and special. His stats speak for him. And he's our player.
"He's always positive and if he scores twice, he wants to score a third."
Valencia tightened their grip on fourth place and took a giant leap towards returning to the Champions League by winning 2-0 at Sevilla, opening up an 11-point gap with the fifth-placed Andalusians.
Spain international Rodrigo Moreno scored either side of halftime. Struggling Levante snapped a run of 15 games without a win by beating Getafe 1-0 away from home in coach Paco Lopez's first game in charge, lifting them four points above the relegation zone.