#ElClassico: Messi-less Barcelona Trash Real Madrid 5-1

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Barcelona’s Luis Suárez stepped up in the absence of Messi to score a hat-trick against Real Madrid. Coutinho and Vidal got the other two. Marcelo scored at the start of the second half.

The writing was on the wall after Jordi Alba streaked down the field and played the ball back to Coutinho, who had plenty of time to settle, readjust and slot home beyond a scrambling Real Madrid back line.

Real Madrid had no time to readjust, however, as their previous principles of possession and control went out the window. Barcelona were throwing the ball around and Real Madrid’s attack was almost non-existent with a number of harmless long rangers the sum of their attacking success.

Raphael Varane, who was carrying an injury from the middle of the first half, was caught out by a savvy Suarez when he nipped in front of the defender and he kicked his calf. The referee had doubts but VAR restored his clarity as he returned from the booth and pointed to the spot.

The Uruguayan brushed himself off and slotted beyond Courtois despite the Belgian’s best efforts.

Changes were needed for Real Madrid or there was every chance this would turn into a memorably embarrassing performance for them. Lucas Vazquez came on at the break for Varane and he did start to influence play.

At rhe start of the second half, it seemed like Real Madrid had survived their worst nightmare and figured it couldn’t get any worse. They were playing with pomp and had a response within five minutes of the restart. It came down the right and Isco squared. Marcelo chested it to himself, found his compsure and slotted it home to give los Blancos a fighting chance.

It gave Barcelona a jumpstart to though and after Modric hit the base of the post when he probably should have score, it was as close as Real Madrid would come to smelling success.

Luis Suarez made it 3-1 on 75 minutes when Dembele found Roberto and he had oceans of space to cross to Suarez. His precise header looped beyond Courtois and the floogates opened. It was 4-1 when Suarez recieved another pass from Roberto after Ramos chested the ball into his path. Like a man with plenty of confidence to spare, he chipped over the oncoming Courtois to finish the game as a contest.

Arturo Vidal, the substitue who had just come on, headed home to make it five just minutes later as Real Madrid heads hung and the Camp Nou rocked.

Heads will roll in Madrid for this performance and result and while Isco said Florentino Perez will have to start sacking players too if he fires the coach, that might be starting to sound like a good idea for the president.

Barcelona are back top of the league and Real Madrid are back to the drawing board after this beating in Barcelona.

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