Suarez and Messi settle ‘El Clasico’ as Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-0 victory over Real Madrid that all but eliminates their arch rivals
Barcelona super performance to secure a victory over Real Madrid that all but eliminates their arch rivals from the Spanish title race Zinedine Zidane’s side, who had Dani Carvajal sent off, were arguably the stronger side in the first half but were undone by a clinical display from the visitors after the break, who remain unbeaten in all competitions since August’s defeat in the Supercopa de Espana..goals from Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Aleix Vidal propelled Barcelona to a 3-0win in the ‘Clasico’ on Saturday, lifting them 14-point clear of their rivals in the standings
Luis Suarez rounded off a brilliant Barcelona move to open the scoring, second-half Luis Suarez strike and Lionel Messi’s penalty, after Dani Carvajal was sent off for handball, helped move Barca nine points clear of Atletico Madrid
at the top of La Liga, and increased their advantage over defending champions Real to 14 points.Suarez capitalised on wide open space in Madrid’s midfield to knock in a simple pass from Sergi Roberto following a breakaway move in the 54th minute. That opened the scoring after a tense but tight first half in the early afternoon
sun at the Santiago Bernabeu.Messi hammered in the second goal from the penalty spot 20 minutes later after Dani Carvajal was sent off for blocking a goal-bound header from Paulinho with his arm after Real were again easily picked apart on the counter-attack.
Catalan defender turned winger Vidal hit the third in injury time to pile more misery on Madrid, who looked unrecognisable from the side who crushed Barca 5-1 on aggregate in the Spanish Super Cup in August.Real failed to capitalise on their chances in the first half as Karim Benzema’s header came off the post and Cristiano Ronaldo missed two good chances in the first half, but the home side were blown away after the restart in the first El Clasico meeting of the Spanish league season but if that was embarrassing enough, a moment occurred soon after which will go down in folklore in the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry. However, the European and Liga champions collapsed after the interval and Barca took full advantage.
Barca are nine points clear of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid at the top of the standings although Valencia could climb to second and close the gap to eight points later on Saturday if they beat Villarreal. Real are 14 points adrift but have a game in hand.Instead of the usual late evening kickoff time, Spain’s premier club fixture took place at 1200 GMT in a bid to capture a record television audience in Asia.It was also played in the backdrop of a political crisis in the country, coming two days after elections in Catalonia in which separatist parties won a majority.
Real’s supporters unfurled a giant banner before kickoff to boast of the unprecedented five trophies the team had won in 2017. The volume in the packed Bernabeu was
cranked up when Ronaldo headed a corner in off the crossbar in under two minutes but the offside flag halted the premature celebrations.
Barca, the only unbeaten team in the league, took a less active role than they have in recent games at the Bernabeu, with their best chances before the break
falling to Brazilian midfielder Paulinho.They created a number of opportunities after the interval, however, and could have punished Real even further than they did.