Suarez, Neymar star in Barca’s 4-0 rout over 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.
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 yesterday.
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 corner.
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. “We 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 game.
“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.” The 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.
A 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.
Sergi 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 right foot.