Suarez, Neymar hu­mil­i­ate Real in 4-0 ‘Cla­sico’ romp

Suarez, Neymar on song as Barcelona crush arch ri­vals

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

MADRID: Barcelona dealt a sting­ing blow to Real Madrid’s ti­tle hopes when Luis Suarez and Neymar con­tin­ued their scin­til­lat­ing form to fire the cham­pi­ons to a stun­ning 4-0 vic­tory in the La Liga ‘Cla­sico’ yes­ter­day. Suarez struck twice ei­ther side of goals from Neymar and cap­tain An­dres Ini­esta as Barca hu­mil­i­ated their arch ri­vals with an im­pe­ri­ous per­for­mance at the Bern­abeu to surge six points clear at the top af­ter 12 matches and ratchet up the pres­sure on un­der-fire Real coach Rafa Ben­itez.

Barca’s dom­i­nance, which prompted the an­gry Real fans to roundly whis­tle their own team and chant for pres­i­dent Florentino Perez to step down, was all the more re­mark­able con­sid­er­ing coach Luis En­rique had started with a fit-again Lionel Messi on the bench. The Ar­gentina cap­tain, who has been out for nearly two months with a knee in­jury, came on for Ivan Rakitic just be­fore the hour and promptly sent Suarez clear to score the Euro­pean cham­pi­ons’ fourth. An ut­terly dom­i­nant Barca could eas­ily have added to their tally in the clos­ing stages and Real’s hu­mil­i­a­tion was com­plete when sub­sti­tute Isco was shown a straight red card for a wild lunge at Neymar six min­utes from time.

“We played what was quite hon­estly a com­plete match in ev­ery sense,” Ini­esta, who was given an ova­tion by the home fans when he was sub­sti­tuted late on, told Span­ish tele­vi­sion. “There is a long way to go, it’s not de­ci­sive at all but we are go­ing away very, very sat­is­fied,” the Barca cap­tain added. Chas­ing a sixth La Liga ti­tle in eight years, Barca have 30 points, with Real, who lost 3-2 at Sevilla in their pre­vi­ous out­ing, on 24. Atletico Madrid can climb back to within four points of Barca and leapfrog Real into sec­ond with a win at pro­moted Real Betis to­day.

Goals from Imanol Agir­retxe and Xabi Pri­eto ear­lier yes­ter­day gave Real So­ciedad coach Eusebio Sacristan a win­ning start in a 2-0 suc­cess at home to stut­ter­ing Sevilla. Eusebio, a for­mer Celta Vigo and Barcelona B coach, took over from David Moyes this month af­ter the Scot was sacked with So­ciedad hov­er­ing just above the rel­e­ga­tion places. Yes­ter­day’s vic­tory at the Anoeta sta­dium in San Se­bas­tian thanks to Agir­retxe’s goal in the 73rd minute and Pri­eto’s ef­fort four min­utes later lifted the Basque club to 14th on 12 points from 12 matches. Europa League hold­ers Sevilla, who play at Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach in the Cham­pi­ons League on Wed­nes­day, are 10th on 15 points pend­ing the rest of the week­end’s re­sults.—

MADRID: Barcelona’s Chilean goal­keeper Clau­dio Bravo (left) and Barcelona’s mid­fielder Ser­gio Bus­quets (cen­ter) vie with Real Madrid’s Por­tuguese for­ward Cris­tiano Ron­aldo dur­ing the Span­ish league ‘Cla­sico’ foot­ball match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the San­ti­ago Bern­abeu sta­dium yes­ter­day. — AFP

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