Xavi 10, Pedro 18, Villa 55, 58, Jeffren 91
REAL MADRID 0
Barcelona showed why they are reigning La Liga champions with a 5-0 thrashing of Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season at the Camp Nou. The victory sends Barca back to the top of La Liga, two points ahead of Madrid, after what could prove to be a very significant match in the title race.
Two goals in the opening 20 minutes from Barca captain Xavi and Pedro set the Champions on their way as the game threatened to boil over before half-time with Cristiano Ronaldo at the centre of the trouble. A quick-fire double from David Villa sealed the points early in the second-half before substitute Jeffren came on to rub salt into the wounds of the Madrid players with a close range finish in injury time. Sergio Ramos was shown a red card in the dying minutes for a dangerous tackle on Lionel Messi.
The game started, as all hoped it would, at a frantic pace with the home team enjoying the early possession. There were just five minutes on the clock when Argentine Messi found himself with space inside the penalty area but he saw his lob canon off Casillas’ right hand post with the Spaniard beaten all ends up.
The Madridl players looked like rabbits in the headlights and it wasn’t long before they fell behind, with just ten minutes on the clock a through ball by Iniesta found Xavi unmarked in front of goal and he neatly lifted the ball over the oncoming Casillas.
Di Maria try to get Madrid back into the game but his deflected shot was palmed over by Victor Valdes for a corner. On 14 minutes the visitors came close again – Ronaldo’s ball was drilled across the Barca box and was nearly diverted into his own net by Eric Abidal, but Valdes saved well again.
Barcelona made it two soon after, a flowing 25 pass move sent David Villa away and he cut the ball back for Pedro who tapped in from three yards.
Ronaldo grew frustrated with the lack of service and he earned himself a yellow card for a push on Barca manager Pep Guardiola as he tried to retrieve the ball. The Portuguese playmaker did come close from a trademark free kick that narrowly missed Valdes’ post.
Ricardo Carvalho was lucky not to see red for what appeared to be an elbow on Messi, and it was Messi who was the next player to have the ball in the net but his goal was disallowed for a foul on Pepe.
Barcelona did make it three just ten minutes into the second half, David Villa beating the offside trap before slotting the ball past Casillas after great work from Messi to cut the Madrid defence in half.
Villa was on the score sheet again shortly after, Messi was the orchestrator sliding a pass between defenders for the Barca striker who finished with aplomb to score his eighth goal of the season.
The away side were lucky not to go down to ten men on 71 minutes – Carvalho using an arm to stop a certain goal scoring opportunity, but somehow getting away with only a yellow.
Barca completed the rout in injury time, substitute Jeffren was on hand to turn the ball in from close range to make it five and inflicting Mourinho’s worst defeat as a manager.
To add to the humiliation, Sergio Ramos received his marching orders in the 93rd minute for a crunching challenge on Messi.
Barcelona now sit two points clear of Madrid who drop to second in the La Liga table, Real Madrid host Valencia at the Bernabeu next Saturday.
4 Ramos – 2 Carvalho – 3 Pepe – 12 Marcelo
24 Khedira – 14 Xabi Alonso – 22 Di Maria
23 Ozil – 9 Benzema – 7 Ronaldo
45 – 10 L Diarra on for 22 Di Maria
76 – 17 Arbeloa on for 12 Marcelo