Barcelona forward Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick
as his side thrashed arch-rivals Real Madrid 5-1 on Sunday in a very entertaining Clasico which surely will signal the conclusion of hapless coach Julen Lopetegui’s spell responsible for Real.
Barca’s Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring in the 11th minute carrying out a slick team move and Suarez doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark by converting a penalty awarded after consultation with the video assistant referee (VAR).
Real had looked lifeless in the initial half but produced a courageous display following the break carrying out a tactical switch from Lopetegui. They deservedly pulled a target back through Marcelo and came near to grabbing an equaliser as Luka Modric struck the post and Sergio Ramos headed narrowly over.
Barca reasserted their authority and ran riot in the last 15 minutes with two more goals from Suarez, while a header from substitute Arturo Vidal further twisted the knife into Real, who’ve lost their last three league games and are seven points behind Barca in the La Liga standings in ninth position.
Real looked without confidence from the beginning as Benzema hurriedly hammered a cross from Gareth Bale within the bar when he’d sufficient time to create the ball under control.
Barca, meanwhile, oozed belief and their opening goal was a delight to behold as Ivan Rakitic released Jordi Alba with a chipped pass and the Spaniard rocketed past Nacho, crossing freely into the region for Coutinho to show the ball in from close range.
Further signs of Real’s nervousness came when Nacho misplaced a move in your community to the feet of Arthur Melo and it took a magnificent flying save from Thibaut Courtois to beat away the Brazilian’s curling shot.
Barca did extend their advantage when Suarez slammed an area kick underneath the diving Courtois after being tripped by Varane, who was simply in charge of both goals Real conceded within their shock 2-1 home defeat by Levante last week.
Lopetegui rejigged his formation in the beginning of the next half, choosing a back-three by hauling off Varane for Lucas Vazquez and his side instantly improved, finding a foothold through Marcelo’s strike.
They certainly were agonisingly near to finding an equaliser but Barca continued to appear dangerous on the break and Suarez’s bullet header from a ranking position killed the overall game off as a contest.
The Uruguayan completed his treble with an elegant chipped finish while Chile international Vidal struck his first goal for Barca to help humiliate Real, who have been condemned for their worst defeat in a Clasico since a Barca side coached by Pep Guardiola beat them 5-0 in 2010.