Madrid - Luis Suarez and Neymar continued their sensational goalscoring form
as Barcelona moved six points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga
with a 4-0 thrashing of their bitter rivals at the Bernabeu on
Barca even had the luxury of leaving Lionel Messi on the
bench, but the Argentine did make his return from a two-month injury
layoff half an hour from time and played a part in Suarez's second and
Barca's fourth goal.
Suarez got Barca off to the perfect start
after just 10 minutes and Neymar deservedly doubled the visitors'
advantage just before half-time.
At that point Neymar and Suarez
had scored every one of Barca's last 19 La Liga goals, but Andres
Iniesta ended that run in style when he blasted a third into the top
And Messi, Neymar and Suarez all combined for the latter
to score a fourth before Isco sealed an embarrassing defeat for Madrid
by getting sent-off late on.
"I didn't see it going like that," said Barca boss Luis Enrique.
were at a superior level and generated superiority in many areas of the
pitch. We were solid at the back too and it was more the merit of Barca
than the fault of Madrid."
Despite just two defeats in 16 games
in charge, Madrid boss Rafael Benitez's job is now in doubt as the home
fans turned on club president Florentino Perez towards the end of the
"Logically we are hurting. It hurts to lose and particularly to lose in that manner," said Benitez.
"What worries me is the team recovering mentally before the next game."
build-up to the match had been dominated by security fears after last
week's series of deadly attacks in Paris which killed 130 people.
minute's silence was held to the tune of the French national anthem La
Marseillaise and a large French flag was unfurled by the Madrid fans
before kick-off in honour of the victims before kick-off.
However, the sombre atmosphere quickly turned hostile as the home fans saw their side completely outplayed by Barca.
Roberto was rewarded for his great form of late with a start in the
position normally occupied by Messi and he repaid Luis Enrique's faith
with a big role in a fine opening goal.
The Spaniard collected
Sergio Busquets's pass and drove at the Madrid defence before threading a
pass through for Suarez who coolly slotted home with the outside of his
Karim Benzema started for Madrid for the first time
since he was charged with complicity to blackmail and conspiring to
commit a criminal act in his native France in a case involving a sex
tape featuring French international teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
after six weeks out, Benzema's rustiness showed as he failed to make a
clean contact when presented with a great chance from Jeremy Mathieu's
Barca's dominance in possession was rewarded with a second
before half-time when Iniesta's through ball was perfectly timed for
Neymar and his effort squeezed under Keylor Navas.
It could even
have been three before the break as Marcelo cleared Suarez's shot off
the line and Raphael Varane blocked Ivan Rakitic's follow-up effort.
hosts started the second period slightly better as James Rodriguez
forced Claudio Bravo into a brilliant save low to his right.
any hope of a comeback was emphatically ended by a brilliant strike by
Iniesta as he latched onto Neymar's backheel eight minutes after the
Suarez fired into the side-netting in acres of space
moments later as Barca threatened a repeat of their famous 5-0 mauling
of Jose Mourinho's Madrid five years ago.
To add to Madrid's woes, Enrique then introduced Messi.
Ronaldo was largely anonymous, but he had the chance to briefly restore
some pride for Real only to see Bravo produce another fine save.
Messi got in on the act when his pass was flicked-on by Neymar and Suarez took his time before chipping over a helpless Navas.
And Madrid's misery was complete when Isco was shown a straight red card for lashing out at Neymar five minutes from time.