Marco Asensio scored with his first touch after making his long-awaited return from injury on a night that also saw Karim Benzema score a goal-of-the-season contender in a 3-0 win for Real Madrid over Valencia.
The pressure was on Zinedine Zidane’s side coming into match with Barca building a five-point lead at the top of La Liga with their win over Leganes on Tuesday, but the hosts responded emphatically at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano to close the gap back to two points.
Having missed all of the 2019/20 season so far after suffering an ACL injury in pre-season last year, the 24-year-old came off the bench in the second half to find the back of the net 31 seconds later, swiping a volley home after good work from Ferland Mendy.
Valencia had a Rodrigo goal ruled out after a VAR review when Maxi Gomez was adjudged to have been offside in the build-up with the Spanish international after striking the woodwork in the first half.
Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema linked up nicely for the opener, with the Belgian feeding the Frenchman for a cool finish after a rapid counter-attack, but the latter produced an even greater moment four minutes from the end.
Benzema controlled a pass with a right-foot flick over a Valencia defender before lashing home a volley with his left foot from 16 yards out, putting the finishing touches on a convincing 3-0 victory over Valencia, who finished with 10 men after the dismissal of Lee, that keeps Los Blancos on the tail of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.