Barcelona ran riot in the Clasico on Sunday as Luis Suarez scored the hat-trick that will surely spell the end of Julen Lopetegui’s spell as Real Madrid coach.
Barcelona were 5-1 winners at the Camp Nou, dominant for all-but a 15-minute spell after half-time when the otherwise hapless Madrid briefly threatened a comeback.
All the failures that have underlined their recent problems under Lopetegui were on show here, poor finishing, dreadful defending and key players performing well below par, let alone their best.
Philippe Coutinho scored the first and Arturo Vidal the last but in between the game belonged to Suarez, who terrorised Madrid from start to finish and made light of Lionel Messi’s injury-enforced absence.
For Lopetegui, it is now one win in six games, as Madrid fall seven points behind Barcelona, who return to the top of the table.
This defeat was reminiscent of the 4-0 thrashing that spelt the end of Rafael Benitez’s time in charge two years ago but while Benitez survived two more months, Lopetegui may not last the week.
Much was made of this being the first Clasico without either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in 11 years but Suarez’s masterclass will mean this contest lives long in the memory.
Madrid looked dazed in possession and dizzy out of it as Barca repeatedly opened them up down the left early on.
Sergio Busquets was allowed time to wait for Jordi Alba’s zooming run past both Gareth Bale and Nacho, with the full-back’s touch on the run perfectly pushed into the area.
Suarez rushed past but Coutinho held his ground by the penalty spot, where Alba found him with the cut-back. It was the move’s 30th pass, the most for a goal in a La Liga Clasico in 13 seasons
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