Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona : 5 talking points

Published 11/22/2015, 1:19 AM EST
Football – Real Madrid v Barcelona – Liga BBVA – Santiago Bernabeu – 21/11/15General view during a tribute in memory of the Paris attacks before the matchReuters / Sergio Perez Livepic


In the first El-Clasico of the La Liga this season, Barcelona thumped Real Madrid 4-0 at the Bernabeu. The Catalan Giants absolutely annihilated Los Blancos in what was their heaviest defeat at home since the 6-2 thrashing again by the hands of Barcelona 7 seasons ago.

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The Blaugrana dominated proceedings from kickoff with Neymar and Luiz Suarez leading the line. Suarez registered the opening goal 11 minutes into the fixture with Neymar adding another before the break. Iniesta scored an absolute stunner from a Neymar backheel and Suarez wrapped it all up with 15 minutes to play.

We look at the 5 talking points from the fixture:

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5. Blancos fail to turn up

Football – Real Madrid v Barcelona – Liga BBVA – Santiago Bernabeu – 21/11/15Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale look dejected after Luis Suarez scored the fourth goal for BarcelonaReuters / Paul HannaLivepic

Though recent encounters between the two sides have been close with only small margins playing a big part in victory and defeat, this was definitely not the case today. Barcelona absolutely bossed the game at Real’s backyard who failed to produce so much as a performance worthy of even a point.

The hunger was visible in the Blaugrana’s game from the first minute with slick passing and outstanding movement off the ball. The whole team was playing as a single unit who had the desire to get a positive result from the encounter. On the other side and to the contrary, Los Blancos lacked the desire and hunger needed to win the clasico. They were simply second to Barcelona and deservedly lost.

4. No Messi? No problem!

Neymar and Suarez have been deadly for Barcelona in Messi’s absence

Almost 2 months ago in late September, Lionel Messi suffered a knee ligament injury against Las Palmas. People were quick to make statements on how dependent Barcelona are on Messi without whom they would suffer more defeats like those against Celta Vigo. And rightly so the Blaugrana faithful were worried. Step forward Suarez and Neymar.

The two mischief makers in the attack lineup which is effectively one of the best in the world right now, had been a nightmare for the Madrid backline today. The running in behind and the constant threat provided by the two in Messi’s absence has been spectacular. The return in terms of goals and results is precisely the reason why Barcelona are the best team in the world and not just a ‘squad full of good players’, a phrase that can be used for Real Madrid considering their performance tonight.

3.Rafael Benitez is under serious pressure

Rafael Benitez has come under serious pressure after Saturday’s humbling defeat against Barcelona

 

With every passing minute scenes were getting uglier and uglier at the Bernabeu, with players like Ronaldo getting boos from his own fans and white handkerchiefs being waved in the stands at full time. All the ire of Madrid fans was directed towards their manager Rafael Benitez.

Even though this was his only second defeat in all competitions, Benitez is said to be under immense pressure to deliver. The Spaniard has come under a lot of criticism for his style of play that Madrid feature with fans visibly distraught with his philosophy especially after today’s encounter. His approach of sitting deep and build play from the back is backfired heavily today as Barcelona exploited space in the midfield area to unleash the best of creative displays.

Should the manager succumb to a few other results like these, it will be pretty much game over for him but what is unfair is to entirely blame Benitez for their lackluster performance.

2. Messi return crucial

Lionel Messi came off the bench to assist Barcelona’s 4th of the night

Today summed up a perfect day for the Catalan giants as a humbling of their greatest rivals in an away fixture was a treat for the eyes. Over and above that, the return of Lionel Messi provided a significant boost for the Blaugrana. The 28-year-old Argentine was subbed on for Ivan Rakitic on the hour mark and provided an assist for Suarez’s second goal and Barcelona’s Fourth.

Messi’s absence in a way was crucial as Neymar and Suarez stepped up their games considerably and now coupled with Messi they could again form the unstoppable strike-force that is regarded as one of the best in the world. With Barcelona facing Roma on Tuesday night, Messi’s return would be welcomed by all as they look to round off their Champions League group stage campaign on a high.

1. Barcelona favourites to win La Liga

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Football – Real Madrid v Barcelona – Liga BBVA – Santiago Bernabeu – 21/11/15
Barcelona players celebrate winning after the match
Reuters / Stringer
Livepic

All said and done, today’s performances convinced many that Barcelona would end up as champions eventually. But unfortunately the season is a long one and with only a third of the total fixtures played, consistency over the next few months would be key for them.

Today’s victory sent them six points clear at the top with third placed Atletico Madrid still to play their fixture tomorrow. Even then Barcelona are guaranteed a four point cushion at the summit. Even though the encounter was not a title decider it could, in many ways, affect their upcoming performances.

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Dhruv George

12003 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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