Luis Suarez inspires Barcelona to crushing Clasico win at Real Madrid
La Liga, Bernabeu - Real Madrid 0 (Isco sent off 87), Barcelona 4 (Suarez 11, 74, Neymar 39, Iniesta 53)
Barcelona pulled off a Clasico demolition of Real Madrid, extending their La Liga lead to six points and putting down a marker for the rest of the season.
Lionel Messi started on the bench after much speculation about his recovery from injury, but ultimately the Catalans didn’t need the Argentine - as Andres Iniesta, Neymar and Luis Suarez in particular tore their greatest rivals to shreds.
Neymar and Andres Iniesta celebrate a Barcelona goal against Real MadridAFP
Rafael Benitez was already udder pressure prior to the match, with some fans unhappy with the defensive manner of his tactics, and this result will only serve to heighten scrutiny of the Real Madrid manager.
Luis Enrique’s side, on the other hand, now hold a six-point lead at the top of La Liga, although they might rue the numerous opportunities they passed up to make their win a record Clasico result.
Real Madrid were out-passed, out-played and out-fought by their Catalan counterparts, with the home crowd inside the Santiago Bernabeu jeering and booing their own players throughout. Benitez might not recover from this blow.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo is floored during the Clasico defeat to BarcelonaReuters
MAN OF THE MATCH - Andres Iniesta
Not many Barcelona players receive a standing ovation at the Santiago Bernabeu, but now Andres Iniesta will join Ronaldinho on a very exclusive list. The Spanish international was at the centre of everything Barcelona did well, pulling Real Madrid’s midfield and defence out of position from his role on the edge of the box. This was a performance that reminded everyone watching of just how exceptional he can be.
9’ FIRST REAL CHANCE OF THE MATCH! Great passing move from Barcelona gives Neymar the chance to shoot from the edge of the box, but the Brazilian's shot flashes over the target.
11’ RONALDO DRAWS THE SAVE FROM BRAVO! The Real Madrid number nine fired at the target from a tight angle, he might have been squaring it, but the Barcelona keeper beats the ball away.
12’ GOAL! Real Madrid 0 Barcelona 1: The Catalans have an early lead at the Bernabeu! Roberto picks a magnificent pass through to Suarez, who finds the back of the net with an excellent finish!
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring for BarcelonaAFP
16’ ROBERTO SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE SHOT HIMSELF! Iniesta's pass was superb and finds the peeled off run of the midfielder. However, he takes too long and turns back when he should have fired one off on goal.
19’ THAT WAS RISKY BY ALVES! The Barcelona right-back has his arms wrapped around Ronaldo as the ball came into the penalty area, but the referee decides it didn't warrant a spot kick.
24’ NAVAS IS DOWN TO MAKE THE SAVE! Neymar lined up the freekick from the best part of 25 yards out, but the Real Madrid read it all the way and makes the stop low down to his left.
26’ CHANCE FOR BARCELONA TO GRAB A SECOND! Roberto should have kept his shot down. The ball fell to the midfielder just inside the Real Madrid box, but he blasted over the target.
29’ JAMES GETS THE SHOT AWAY AT GOAL! The Colombian tries to take the leather off the ball with an effort from 20 yards out, but Bravo is behind it and makes the stop to keep it 1-0.
32’ WAS RONALDO LUCKY THERE? Alves gets the booking for bring down Ronaldo on the break, but the Real Madrid number seven did appear to throw an arm at the full-back.
37’ BENZEMA SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER! Bale's low cross is deflected and loops up to the back post, but the French striker scuffs his shot on the volley. A fully fit Benzema would have scored that.
39’ GOAL! Real Madrid 0 Barcelona 2: Just when Real Madrid looked like fighting back, they have fallen two goals behind! Iniesta slots through Neymar, who from a tight angle squeezes a shot underneath Navas.
40’ WAS NEYMAR OFFSIDE? A few of the Real Madrid defenders looked to the linesman when that goal went in, and they might have had a case. Neymar was maybe a yard beyond the last man when the pass was made.
47’ OFF THE LINE! How did that not go in? Neymar gets to the byline and squares for Suarez, whose shot on the slide is cleared off the line by the head of Marcelo. Should have been 3-0!
49’ SO SELFISH FROM MARCELO! The Real Madrid left back breaks into the box, but he shoots at the near post and wide! That was wild. He had Ronaldo and James square for the tap in!
50’ WHAT A SAVE FROM BRAVO! Real Madrid have come out energised for this second half, and this time it's James who fires at the bottom corner from 20 yards out. But Bravo gets down to make the stop.
53’ NEYMAR SHOT, NAVAS SAVE The Barcelona number 11 aims his freekick effort just under the bar, but the Real Madrid does really well to tip the shot over the target. Great save.
54’ GOAL! Real Madrid 0 Barcelona 3: This is getting silly now! What a goal from Barcelona and they are 3-0 up! Neymar's backheel sets up Iniesta for the shot from the edge of the box, and he fires it high into the net!
Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta celebrate a goal against Real MadridEurosport
56’ INTO THE SIDE NETTING! This is like a training exercise for Barcelona. Suarez probably should have gone across goal, but he goes for the near post and finds the netting.
64’ CLOSE FROM CARVAJAL! The right-back bursts into the final third of the pitch and gets the shot away at goal, but it takes a deflection off Mathieu and spins past the far post.
68’ APPEALS FOR A REAL MADRID PENALTY KICK! Bale feels that his cross was blocked by the arm of Pique inside the area, and he might have had a case there. The referee shakes his head, though.
70’ VARANE NEEDED TO MAKE THAT BLOCK! Messi had the chance to shoot at the Real Madrid goal from the left channel inside the box, but the French centre back gets his body in the way of the effort.
71’ WHAT AN INCREDIBLE SAVE! That looked to be finding the net for all the world. Bale found Ronaldo with a great pass in behind the Barca defence, but Bravo stood up and made the stop one-on-one.
75’ BARCELONA WERE QUEUING UP FOR A FOURTH! Suarez tried to clip a finish over Navas after a pass through by Messi, but Ramos was back and made the important block. That was heading in.
76’ GOAL! Real Madrid 0 Barcelona 4: And there's the fourth! I think it was Alba who touched through the pass for Suarez, who finds the bottom corner of Navas' net with ease. It's game over now.
87’ RED CARD: Isco (Real Madrid). Things go from bad to worse for Real Madrid. Isco is brutally late with the tackle on Neymar, and the referee shows the playmaker the straight red card.
89’ THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIVE! Neymar's cross finds Munir unmarked inside the penalty area, but strikes wide. Pique is raging with him! He wanted it left for himself behind Munir!
90’ MAGNIFICENT SAVE FROM BRAVO! The Barcelona goalkeeper hasn't had much to do, but when he has been called upon Bravo has been exceptional. This time he denies Ronaldo a consolation goal.
No team has beaten Real Madrid 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu since Osasuna in December 1990.
Before this game, Lionel Messi has played in 28 consecutive Clasicos.
Between them Luis Suarez and Neymar have scored 20 of Barcelona's last 21 Liga goals.
No played has more assists in La Liga than Neymar this season (four).
Before Isco the last player to be sent off in a Clasico at the Bernabeu was Sergio Ramos in March 2014.
Barcelona's Dani Alves in action with Real Madrid's Cristiano RonaldoReuters
TALKING POINT - Is Rafael Benitez’s hot seat getting hotter?
The Santiago Bernabeu has been a rather moody place for quite some time now, although up until the first Clasico of the season much of the fans’ gripes were over the manner of performances rather than results. That will now change.
Rafael Benitez is an unpopular figure with the Real fans and Madrid press alike, with the white handkerchiefs on display as early as the first half. Zinedine Zidane has already been touted as a possible replacement for the former Chelsea and Liverpool boss, and this defeat to Barca will only intensify those calls. How can Benitez possibly survive?
MATCH IN A TWEET (before Iniesta's goal)
Ivan Rakitic and Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid v FC BarcelonaEurosport