BARCELONA WISHES MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH A 3-0 CLASSICO THUMPING OF REAL MADRID
24 Dec 2017 10:23 AM GMT
Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, and Alex Vidal were on the scoresheet for the visitors as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Luca Modric failed to produce a Clasico magic at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid find themselves 14 points off the title chase after a poor defensive display, and a bag full of short-lived attacking spells, having already scored 17 goals against Barcelona in the " El Clasico" this time around Cristiano Ronaldo looked desperate to spot his name on the score sheet, however Lionel Messi maintained his scoring record after converting a penalty for Barcelona.
The inclusion of Mateo Kovacic in the starting line-up for Real Madrid, surprised Barcelona which meant Gareth Bale, Isco Alarcon, and Marco Asensio had to settle for places on the bench for Real Madrid.
However, Barcelona lined up Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Paulinho with Lionel Messi lead the attack against a strong Real Madrid defence of Keylor Navas, Marcello Vieira, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, and Raphael Varane.
The first 45 minutes of the Classico lacked the very dynamics of an attacking gameplay that one expects from a clash between the Spanish giants. The title " Classico " was justified in the second half of the game when both the teams looked desperate to score the opening goal.
Barcelona brought back the memories of Tiki-Taka football during the Guardiola era into the second half of the game, after a clever turn from Sergio Busquets releasing the ball for Ivan Rakitic, when the midfielder partnered with Sergi Roberto to help Luiz Suarez score the first goal for Barcelona.
The Catalans extended their lead after Madrid full-back Dani Carvahal handled the ball on the goal line to prevent an imminent goal, he was immediately sent off and a penalty was awarded to Barcelona. Messi nailed it into the top left corner and gifted a comfortable lead. Further, into the game, Barcelona slowed and frustrated their hosts adding a third goal.
Barcelona's thumping victory in the Santiago Bernabeu takes the Catalan side to the top of the La Liga table and raises a question on the Real Madrid Manager Zinedine Zidane's defensive team selection for Real Madrid with future of mid-fielders Isco Alarcon and Gareth Bale remain to be answered.