Barca Hammers Real 3-0 at Santiago Bernabeu

Barca squad celebrate their win at rival’s home.Barca squad celebrate their win at rival’s home.

Second-half goals from Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Aleix Vidal helped Barcelona down 10-men Real Madrid 3-0 in the latest installment of El Clasico at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, December 23.

After an anonymous first-half, the Uruguayan Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 54th minute, and 10 minutes later his South America counterpart, Lionel Messi stroked home a penalty after Dani Carvajal’s sending off, Marca reported.

Aleix Vidal would add a late goal to cap Barcelona’s third straight league win in the Bernabeu. Real was decidedly stronger in the first-half, but was unable to make the most of chances and a flat start to the second-half was all Barcelona needed to put Los Blancos to the sword.

Taking a page from his Spanish SuperCup book, Real manager Zinedine Zidane opted for Mateo Kovacic over Isco in midfield so that the Croatian could individually mark Messi. It was mostly an expected starting XI from Barcelona, with Paulinho the starter of note in midfield.

Real came out with pace and pressure and had Barcelona pegged back in its own area. The visitor was also facing the intense early afternoon sunlight, making things more uncomfortable on the pitch.

Messi had barely even touched the ball in the first 15 minutes and Suarez was nowhere to be seen. Barcelona is not accustomed to playing without the ball, but the swarming pressure from Los Blancos any time they touched the ball made for a very unsteady opening stage for the Catalonians.

It was not until the half-hour mark that a chance came for Barcelona, with Keylor Navas pushing a Paulinho shot over the crossbar. Barcelona finally started showing up toward the end of the half, and it was one of the trademark attacks via the left flank through Messi, Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba that almost led to the opener, with Paulinho the final recipient but Navas saved the near-post header.

The best chance of the first 45 minutes though was for Real minutes before half-time. Like Barcelona, Real had best chances down the left against the overwhelmed Sergi Roberto and the Bernabeu could sense a goal when Marcelo swung in a cross for Karim Benzema, but the Frenchman’s header hit the post.


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