El Clasico: Barcelona breathtaking in Real rout
Matt Haynes | November 21, 2015
Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona
- Two goals in either half see Barca blaze trails
- Luis Suarez hits a brace
- Lionel Messi makes return from injury
- Real reduced to 10 men late on
It appears, Luis Enrique has read the script of his career so far. Having previously led Roma, in true Roman style, he came, he saw and he conquered at the Bernabeu.
On the 40-year anniversary of the death of dictator Gen Francisco Franco, Barcelona controlled opponents Real Madrid into a state of obsequiousness.
Evidenced within 10 minutes, as Sergi Roberto burst through a mesmerised Madrid midfield and deftly disguised a reverse through ball for Luis Suarez to dispatch with minimal fuss.
The best response from the hosts was a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty shout after Dani Alves appeared to wrestle him to floor, only for the right back to win a free-kick.
In a match that was being played at breakneck pace, a Neymar dead-ball, offered Los Blancos a well-received reprieve for breath. Not for long. Had it not been for the rapid reaction of keeper Keylor Navas to spring low to the left, the score could have doubled. Moments later Roberto reacted hastily from close range to scoop over as Real’s rearguard split once more.
Then the turn of Real, whose odds with Coral to lift La Liga have now to drifted to 15/8, and who were limited to operating on the counter-attack, to turn the screw. When Luka Modric sent a cross over for Karim Benzema, the French forward missed a glaring chance to pull the match level, though, lacking match sharpness, he was unsuccessful.
How Barca, now 2/5 favourites to retain the Liga title, made them pay. Not long after, atypical artistry from the metronomic magician Andres Iniesta, spied the run of Neymar ahead of him and the Brazilian slid under Navas with nonchalance, doubling the visitors advantage.
In the half’s last act, with the guests being anything but polite, Neymar and Suarez interchanged with the former’s fizz across goal seeing the ball parried. The latter looked a cert score, though a superb headed intervention from Marcelo left the Uruguayan yapping in disbelief.
As expected, Real rallied for the first few minutes of the second period, though it wouldn’t last. Marcelo indicated indecision as he chose to take a narrow shot after marauding down the left, opting not to pick out three white shirts in the middle, before James Rodriguez forced Claudio Bravo into an athletic parry.
Iniesta had other plans. A game of pinball, resulted in a back-heeled exchange from Suarez, creating space for the Spaniard to caress the ball into the top corner. It really was postage stamp stuff, with a ‘return to sender’ slapped ceremoniously across the finish against the King’s club.
Introducing Lionel Messi at 3-0 up adds insult to injury. Replacing Ivan Rakitic, the Argentinian’s impact was almost instantaneous sliding a ball through to Neymar and then Suarez in successive moves while also seeing a excellent effort blocked.
Suarez second seals scoreline
If Messi is football perfection personified, Suarez showed he isn’t far behind. The former and Neymar combined to send the ex-Liverpool forward through on goal, with still considerable work to do.
Though this was Suarez. This was Barcelona. Almost numbing Navas into stunned submission, a simple dink was all it needed and the visitors went four up, with the ball gracefully crossing the line.
To make matters worse for Real, Isco received a straight red card to blot his copybook, though, another subplot, was Bravo’s brilliance in the visitors’ goal, who denied Ronaldo twice from point blank range, as well as Benzema.
Winter may have hit most parts of Europe this week, though temperatures rose in ‘El Clasico’ as Barca’s brilliance met very real resistance in the Spanish capital.
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