Suarez, Neymar humiliate Real in 4-0 ‘Clasico’ rompArchive
MADRID: Barcelona dealt a stinging blow to Real Madrid’s title hopes when Luis Suarez and Neymar continued their sensational goal-scoring form to fire the champions to a stunning 4-0 victory in the La Liga ‘Clasico’ on Saturday.
Suarez struck twice either side of goals from Neymar and captain Andres Iniesta as Barca humiliated their arch rivals with an imperious performance at the Santiago Bernabeu and halted Real’s 22-game unbeaten streak at home in the league.
They surged six points clear at the top with 30 from 12 matches and ratcheted up the pressure on under-fire Real coach Rafa Benitez who had the luxury of fielding the trio of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema but to little effect.
“We played what was quite honestly a complete match in every sense,” Iniesta, who was given an ovation by the home fans when he was substituted late on, told Spanish television.
“There is a long way to go, it’s not decisive at all but we are going away very, very satisfied,” added the Spain playmaker.
Barca’s dominance in the 231st meeting between the two teams, which prompted the angry Real fans to roundly whistle their own players and chant for president Florentino Perez to step down, was all the more remarkable considering coach Luis Enrique had started with a fit-again Lionel Messi on the bench.
The Argentina captain, who has been out for nearly two months with a knee injury, came on for Ivan Rakitic just before the hour and promptly sent Suarez clear to score the European champions’ fourth.
Suarez got Barca off to the perfect start after just 10 minutes and Neymar deservedly doubled the visitors’ advantage just before half-time.
At that point Neymar and Suarez had scored every one of Barca’s last 19 La Liga goals, but Iniesta ended that run in style when he blasted a third into the top corner.
And Messi, Neymar and Suarez all combined for the latter to score a fourth before substitute Isco sealed an embarrassing defeat for Real by getting sent-off for a wild lunge at Neymar six minutes from time.
“It was a memorable game, it will go down in history,” Barca coach Enrique said. “It’s our eternal rival. It’s not always that you can win with such superiority.
“We were at a superior level and generated superiority in many areas of the pitch. We were solid at the back too and it was more the merit of Barca than the fault of Real. I’m satisfied not just for the victory, but for the way we did it.”
Real fans loudly jeered their team after the loss, their fourth in the last five games against Barca.
Fans waved white handkerchiefs — a gesture of goodbye aimed at Benitez whose job is now in doubt despite just two defeats in 16 games in charge.
“It hurts a lot to lose this way, especially to Barcelona,” Benitez said. “We made too many mistakes and when you play against a very good team like Barcelona you end up paying for them.
“The only thing we can do now is continue to work hard and see how we can improve for the next match. It’s a long tournament and we have to try to recover these six points.”
Elsewhere, Valencia missed a chance to move above Celta Vigo into fourth when they lost the lead in a 1-1 draw at home to Las Palmas as Celta lost 2-0 at Galician rivals Deportivo La Coruna. Valencia have 19 points while Celta remain on 21.
Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2015