Madrid fans desert Bernabeu as Barça dominates clasicoNovember 23, 2015
FC Barcelona put on a football master-class at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday when they outclassed Real Madrid at every level and opened up the lead over their arch-rival to six points. Although he started the match on the bench, the match was the first time Leo Messi had played since the end of September. Since then Neymar and Suarez have seemed to blossom, perhaps even benefiting from Messi recovering from his knee injury. With high possession and multiple attempts on the host’s goal, Madrid simply failed to make much impact and, once again in the clasicos, Cristiano Ronaldo seemed hardly to be there.
Going into the match Barça had no reason to be complacent. Real Madrid had conceded one solitary goal at home all season and until recently were ahead of Barcelona in the league. The first goal came after 10 minutes when Suarez put the ball into the net off an assist by Sergi Roberto and throughout much of the first half Barcelona dominated. Barça extended their lead seven minutes from the end of the first half when Iniesta assisted Neymar. Going into the break the Catalans were 2-0 ahead with Madrid visibly deflated and supporters jeering their own players.
It didn’t take long for Iniesta to make it 3-0 and Neymar returning the favour with an assist. Any hopes the home side had for getting back into the match were shattered and some Madrid supporters began to leave the stadium in disgust. The second half also saw Messi come on in place of Rakitic, his first match since being injured back at the end of September. Although Messi didn’t score, Suarez was able to make it 4-0 with 15 minutes on the clock and to complete the humiliation. Following this final goal the trickle of supporters leaving the stadium became a haemorrhage. Madrid’s players became more and more desperate to end the match with at least some vestige of dignity. In the end the inevitable happened and Isco was sent off bringing down Neymar.
Curiously the match marks a decade since another big defeat at the hands of Barça almost to the day. On that occasion, 19th November 2005, the Bernabeu faithful applauded Ronaldinho for his two goals (the other was scored by Samuel Eto’o).
Post match the focus has turned on Rafa Benítez’s future, although it seems like the problems run deeper than that, and there are reports that Ronaldo is threatening to leave.
0-1 Suárez (min 10)
0-2 Neymar (min 38)
0-3 Iniesta (min 54)
0-4 Suárez (min 75)