Clasico
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 28: Luis Suarez of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou on October 28, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

When El Clasico comes around it always dwarfs the rest of the La Liga. But by the time the big game kicked off Atletico Madrid were top of the table, Barcelona sat second, and Real Madrid had fallen to NINTH.

So much for just a two-team league eh? But with these two teams, it does not matter where they are or who’s playing. Even without Messi or Ronaldo, this game is always at football’s peak.

Barcelona Embarrass Real Madrid in El Clasico

First Half

As with most big games in football the game took a little bit to get going. But with El Clasico, that period ends in a flash. Like it did on Sunday when Jordi Alba made an outstanding run down the left to where the pass was dropped in perfectly.

Alba then executed his world famous cutback to where Lionel Messi usually is. But without him, Philippe Coutinho took up the mantle and slotted it home.

That was in the 11’ minute and it did not get better from there for Real Madrid. In the 29’ minute Raphael Varane brought down Luis Suarez in the box.

It took another minute and a VAR review but Suarez was given a penalty and took his chance to welcome his newborn child with a lovely slotted penalty. Barcelona were up 2-0 after 30 minutes and looking for more.

Second Half

When the halftime whistle sounded Real Madrid looked done and dusted; Julen Lopetegui might be even be fired on the ride home. But these players were too good not to respond.

They came out of the second half flying and finally got a goal. Substitute Lucas Vazquez played in Isco, who popped a ball that bounced around before falling to Marcelo who finished into the net.

From there Madrid were flying the first ten minutes of the second half. Sergio Ramos had chances, Karim Benzema had chances and Luka Modric hit the post! Barcelona were being suffocated.

But with so much quality on the field, you couldn’t keep either of these teams down. By the 60’ minute, Barcelona had flipped it again and Suarez had hit the post after a beautiful cutback by Sergi Roberto.

From there the game settled into the classic Clasico pace of end to end action and nerves aplenty. Real Madrid, only a goal down, were in the ascendency trying as hard as they could to find an equalizer.

They had moved to a three-man defence of Ramos, Nacho and Casemiro that gave their team enough cover to get forward better.

With Madrid trying to control possession Barcelona got plenty of opportunities to attack them on the counter. Finally, after Ousmane Dembele was brought into the game a driving by him gave Sergi Roberto the ball at the top of the box.

He put in a lovely cross that met Luis Suarez where he powered a header into the side of the net. Barcelona had restored their two-goal lead.

But from there it was all Barcelona. Luis Suarez completed his hattrick with a lovely chip after Sergio Ramos was dispossessed. And Ousmane Dembele worked Nacho Fernandez and floated a lovely ball to Arturo Vidal who headed it home.

Just like that it was 5-1 and the game was over, Madrid had been dusted.

Aftermath

With the three points in their hands, Barcelona returned to the top of the La Liga table. They overtook Atletico Madrid who beat Real Sociedad at home on Saturday.

For Real Madrid, the crisis has taken its darkest turn. A 5-1 loss in El Clasico the stake in the heart of a really tough start to the season. And what is likely to be the dying moments of Julen Lopetegui’s Real Madrid tenure.

The next Real Madrid manager will have a seven-point gap to make up on Barca but there is more work than that. This team has looked slow, out of sorts defensively and a shambles in attack. They need not just a spark but something of a revolution to get back to the form required of them.

Barcelona will relish an outstanding performance at home against their bitter rivals. The play of Sergi Roberto, Luis Suárez, Ivan Rakitic and Jordi Alba was top class.

They made a giant difference for the winners on the day. Rakitic and Alba have been outstanding this entire season. Sunday is just a microcosm of what they have been doing all season.

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