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Barcelona thrashed Real Madrid in the El Clasico at their home to win by 3-0 as their players Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Aleix Vidal scored. This defeat meant that the Catalans were now 14 points clear of their arch-rivals in the table.
The Catalans did not dominate the whole game in the traditional sense of the word, but once they took the lead, they were completely in control of the game. Although during the first half, the hosts were looking better than the visitors, when both teams were primarily aiming to stop the others from scoring. There were some clear chances from the Real side during the first half with the best coming from their striker Karim Benzema whose header barely missed the nets.
After the game, the coach of Barcelona Ernesto Valverde denied that his team has won the title already. He said that it is too early to make that decision. However, looking at the gap between Barcelona and other teams in La Liga, it seems really doubtful if any other team would be able to catch up with them. Highly unlikely that it would be Real Madrid who is currently at the fourth spot in the table with 31 points, behind both Atletico Madrid and Valencia.
Zinedine Zidane had made the surprise inclusion of Mateo Kovacic, which later raised a lot of questions. According to Zidane, he was picked in order to limit the impact of Messi. However, that meant that players like Gareth Bale and Isco were forced to play as substitute players.
The first half of this El Clasico lacked the fire and energy that is often associated with this fixture. Both teams were not attacking as much as they were trying to defend their goal-posts. However, the second half promised all that was lacking from the first half. Barca were fierce and scored three goals by the end of the game.
Ivan Rakitic, moving the ball forward through an empty midfield, managed to pass it to Sergi Roberto, who then gave a magnificent opportunity for Luis Suarez to fire the ball in the nets. That was the turning point of the game as the Real side never recovered after that.
Then, Messi managed to score another goal on a penalty given to Barca after the referee sent off Dani Caravajal for stopping the ball with his arm. Messi made that goal look extremely easy to score. Aleix Vidal, the substitute player, also scored a goal towards the very end of the game to inflict a humiliating defeat on Real Madrid on their home soil.
After the game, Zidane expressed his feelings as: “I’m here to make decisions and I have no regrets. The game would have been different if we’d scored in the first half. We didn’t, and that’s football.”
Real Madrid will definitely go ahead with a heavy heart for their next two matches against Numancia and Celta Vigo. While the Catalan side will be brimming with confidence for their matches against Celta Vigo and Levante, already leading the table with huge points difference.