Luis Suarez scores hat-trick as Barcelona humiliate Real Madrid in El Clasico

Daniel Zeqiri
The Telegraph
Luis Suarez - Getty Images Europe
Luis Suarez - Getty Images Europe

Barcelona 5 Real Madrid 1

Luis Suarez stepped up in the absence of Lionel Messi to score a hat-trick in a humiliating El Clasico for Real Madrid and their beleaguered head coach Julen Lopetegui. 

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Barcelona controlled the first period with ease, building a two-goal lead by the break through Philippe Coutinho and a Suarez penalty awarded by a Video Assistant Referee review. 

Marcelo's goal during a flurry of Madrid pressure at the start of the second period briefly raised hopes of a comeback before a Suarez double and Arturo Vidal header sealed the game as the visitors fell apart. 

The result leaves Lopetegui in a seemingly untenable situation after Madrid's heaviest Clasico defeat in three years and Barcelona building a seven-point lead over their old rivals in the league. 

Madrid midfielder Casemiro told Spanish television after the match: "This 5-1 sums up our season so far. We have played well in some spells, But that is this season - we are a disaster, all playing very bad, all of us.”

<span>Credit: Reuters </span>
Credit: Reuters

Lopetegui's side started the match in startlingly naive and passive fashion, with Jordi Alba raiding their right-flank where utility defender Nacho was playing at full-back. 

Alba provided the opening goal when he cut-back to Coutinho from the bar-line, and the former Liverpool man swept past Thibaut Courtois.  

Saurez won the penalty he converted, darting across Rapheal Varane with a near-post run. Despite obvious contact from the defender, referee José María Sánchez Martínez waved away appeals for a penalty before changing his decision after consulting VAR. 

Lopetegui switched to a back three at half-time with Casemiro moving back into defence, and Lucas Vazquez replacing Varane. 

The alteration paid dividends when Marcelo got on the end of Isco's cross from his new, advanced wing-back position and turned home at the second attempt. 

Karim Benzema headed over unopposed from six yards, and Real rued not capitalising on that short period of dominance as Barcelona slowly re-established their superiority. 

The game was effectively over when Suarez showed magnificent reflexes and striker's instincts to turn home Sergi Roberto's cross with a stunning header from fully 14 yards. 

A sumptuous dinked finish over Courtois secured the hat-trick, before fine work from substitute Ousmane Dembele assisted Vidal's headed goal to complete the rout. 

5:08PM

FT: Barcelona 5 Real Madrid 1

Lopetegui is toast after that. It was laughably easy for Barcelona to play their way through at will - and all without Lionel Messi. 

Barcelona have weaknesses of their own, so this is arguably a more embarrassing result for Real than when Pep Guardiola's generational team beat them 5-0 in 2010-11. 

Luis Suarez rolled back the seasons with his hat-trick and was at the heart of everything good Barca produced today.

5:05PM

Only two minutes for Real to endure

Benzema has a chance to score a consolation goal, but his dragged finish after a neat give and go is typical of his form just now. And that of his team. 

5:03PM

90 minutes - Barcelona 5 Real Madrid 1

Barca carve real open again, and Suarez goes for a Giroud-esque scorpion finish but his effort flies straight at Courtois. 

5:01PM

GOOOOAAAAAL! It gets worse for Real: 5-1

As he has done so often throughout his career, Arturo Vidal times a run into the box and leaps to bury a header. Fine work from Dembele down the left to dribble past his man and stand the ball up. 

5:00PM

85 minutes - Barcelona 4 Real Madrid 1

That has taken all of the fight out of Real now, Ousmane Dembele is the last player you want to see on the ball as a tired defender. The Oles have started, this is humiliation for Real.

4:57PM

GOOOOOAAAAAALLL! Suarez has his hat-trick

The scoreline is a tad harsh given Real's improved start to the second half, but Barca are taking full advantage of their openness. 

Suarez is played clean through in goal, but from a tight angle in the right channel. Waits for Courtois to go down and dinks it over him into the net. Game over. Bad error from Sergio Ramos in the build up. 

4:55PM

80 minutes - Barcelona 3 Real Madrid 1

Barcelona with another counter, this time Suarez is the provider for Sergi Roberto with a cross but his header is tame and straight at Courtois. 

Another worry for Real supporters - Marcelo limps off with a muscular injury. 

4:52PM

77 minutes - Barcelona 3 Real Madrid 1

Bale hooked and replaced with Asensio. Could Lopetegui survive this defeat? 

4:50PM

GOOOOAAAAALL! 3-1 Barcelona

Remember that header Suarez scored against West Brom at Anfield from miles out? 

This was up there with that and should seal the game. Magnificent header from around 14 yards out and great reflexes to deflect the cross. 

4:46PM

72 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1

Marcelo hooks in an acrobatic cross but it is high and loopy and easy for Ter Stegen. Sloppy hospital pass across the pitch from Alba goes unpunished.

4:42PM

68 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1

WHAT A CHANCE REAL! Vazquez gets down the right and whips in a cracking cross - Benzema with a free header six yards out but he heads over. More ammunition for those who feel he is not clinical enough. 

4:41PM

67 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1

Suarez has lost a step in the last few years and is no longer as smooth across the ground, but my word does he fight and scrap for every ball like his life depends on it. A world-class talent with the work rate of a non-league striker. 

4:39PM

65 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1

Now Barcelona are starting to move through the gears again, and in a moment that sums up the game Alba is the player in the box to be found by Coutinho. His volley is deflected narrowly wide. 

4:36PM

63 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1

Danger down the other end...Rafinha gives the ball away cheaply in a really dangerous position but Isco is flagged for offside and that spares Barca.

4:35PM

61 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1

Ooooohhh...Barcelona with a picture-book move, one we have seen so often. Sergi Roberto is found with a chipped pass over the top from Rakitic and from the bar-line he volleys into the path of Suarez. It was slightly behind Suarez but he reaches for it with his heel and hits the post. 

4:31PM

57 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1 

Benzema this time is the player to drive at the heart of Barca, and wins a corner when his cross is blocked. Barcelona are now the team with defensive troubles on their right flank. 

4:30PM

55 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1 

Real starting to sustain some pressure now, Ramos heads wide and the Modric hits the post!

The ball ran free for him just inside the box and he took it first time with his right foot - ter Stegen rooted but the ball rebounds to safety.

4:28PM

52 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1

Courtois claims a Barca corner and keeps hold of it, his command of the area is such a strength. 

4:25PM

GOOOOAAAAAALL! Real have one back

Stunned silence at the Camp Nou, Lopetegui's tactical switch pays dividends. 

Isco gets to the bar-line down the right and stands up a cross that just evades Bale, but there is Marcelo in his new advanced role to stab home at the second attempt. 

4:23PM

49 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 0

Kroos dallying on the ball and Suarez pounces...the German was very fortunate to get a foul. 

Marcelo gets forward for Real, who is now playing as a wing-back with Casemiro in a back three, but Lengley heads his cross clear. 

4:20PM

47 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 0

Barcelona enjoying easy possession in Real's half yet again, but Rakitic drags his shot wide. Should have known he would miss - it wasn't a fiendishly difficult volley. 

4:19PM

Back under way in the second half!

The absence of Lionel Messi is the only reason Barcelona are still in sight, but as things stand this is still within reach for Real if they can buck their ideas up and block the spaces they left. 

Barca are making Real wait out on the pitch, taking their time coming out for the second half. 

One change by Real - Vazquez replaces Varane in a radical tactical switch. 

Barca kick off and we are under way again. 

4:09PM

A tale of two benches

<span>Credit: AP </span>
Credit: AP

4:03PM

HT: Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 0

Nice feet from Isco wins Real a free-kick just to the right of the Barca penalty area. 

Suarez heads clear and then Isco's skewed volley straight up in the air sets Barca on the break. They had five players racing forward but Suarez cannot quite wrap his foot around the pass. 

And that was the last action of the first half, back with more shortly. 

4:00PM

43 minutes  - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 0

How often do you hear commentators talk about strikers' ability to deliver brilliant crosses? There was another from Suarez from the right flank, but Pique was always backing away and could not get the power in the header.

3:58PM

40 minutes  - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 0

Real Madrid are getting passed around with ease, a really half-hearted attempt to press high leaves their midfield ahead of the ball. You sense they would be better holding their shape and hitting Barca on the break. 

Barca on the break now however, and they should have capitalised - Rafinha's pass was badly over hit. 

3:54PM

37 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 0  

Once against Jordi Alba has acres of space down the left and whips in a dangerous cross that just evades Suarez. Terry Gibson sounds positively furious at the naive set-up Real are employing. 

3:52PM

35 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 0 

Gerard Pique wins a free kick after Gareth Bale catches him late. Lopetegui fairly motionless on the sidelines, he will be mulling over a half-time sub I would think.

3:49PM

32 minutes - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 0

Plenty of time lost by that VAR review. Barcelona could really put Real to the sword here, they are causing all kinds of problems down their right hand side where Nacho is playing. His best position is probably central. 

3:46PM

GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLL!  2-0 Barca

Fantastic penalty from Suarez, hard and low into the bottom left corner. Right into the side netting, you do not save those. Barca in command. 

3:45PM

PENALTY BARCA!

Suarez made a near post dart across Varane and went to ground - whistles around the Camp Nou as the referee turns down his appeals. Varane did dive in slightly and catch Suarez on the achilles. 

VAR is speaking to the officials, is that a clear and obvious error? Yes I think so, watching a replay at full speed. Whenever a striker is goal-side in these scenarios it tends to go in his favour. 

The ref is watching a monitor at the side of the pitch...and points to the spot! 

3:43PM

25 mins - Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 0

Better from Real, who pick a way through to Isco in behind Sergi Roberto. Sergio Ramos steps forward and unleashes a shot from miles out and it is easy for ter Stegen.

3:40PM

23 mins - Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 0

Real Madrid risk falling seven points behind in La Liga with defeat here. They venture forward down their right flank and win a throw deep in Barca territory. The home team are patient and disciplined out of possession. 

Here is that opening goal:

3:38PM

21 mins - Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 0

Barcelona are monopolising the ball and the game is being played at their pace. 

3:33PM

15 mins - Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 0

Still the home side pour forward, with plenty of the ball in the final third. 

That goal puts Barcelona closer to an El Clasico record.

 

3:28PM

Goal! Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 0 (Coutinho, 11)

It's Barcelona who take the lead!

Wonderful counter-attack. Jordi Alba finds space down the left, cuts it back from the byline to Philippe Coutinho, who sweeps the ball past Courtois and Ramos on the goal-line. 1-0!

3:26PM

8 mins - Barcelona 0 Real Madrid 0

First half chance goes to Real Madrid. Gareth Bale charges down the left and cuts the ball back to Benzema, who can only hook it over. The ball was behind him and above the shin, making it difficult to keep it down. Early encouragement for the visitors.

3:22PM

4 mins - Barcelona 0 Real Madrid 0

Barcelona quickly find their passing groove, manouvering the ball around in the middle of the park with speed. No clear chances yet, though.

Sergio Ramos reminds Raphinha he is there with a late challenge, but the free-kick comes to nothing.

3:19PM

2 mins - Barcelona 0 Real Madrid 0

Real Madrid get proceedings undrway at the Nou Camp. Karim Benzema is flagged offside a couple of minutes in having been put through.

While Barcelona, understandably, are favourites to win this recent history is, incredibly, against them:

 

3:15PM

The teams are out...

...and we are nearly ready for the off. Full updates will appear here throughout the match.

2:57PM

Ernesto Valverde: 'We respect Real'

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde is suitably wary of the danger posed by "wounded" Real Madrid in Sunday's El Clasico.

Real went into the weekend's fixtures four points adrift of LaLiga leaders Barcelona in seventh place, having picked up only one point from a possible 12 - and their boss Julen Lopetegui is under immense pressure to turn things around.

But Valverde, without the injured Lionel Messi for the Nou Camp showdown, said at his pre-match press conference: "The more wounded Real Madrid are, the more dangerous they are.

"They have good players, a lot of options at their disposal and a great defence. They have enough quality to fight back and they are a great all-round team.

"I am expecting Real Madrid to be at their best."

 

2:43PM

No Messi, no Ronaldo

A first Clasico since 2007 that both Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo do not feature. 

What happened in that last match, and what happened to those who featured?

Our reporter Molly McElwee looked into it - and here's what she found.

2:28PM

Team news

Both teams are in - kick off only 45 minutes away now.

 

2:14PM

Match preview

Julen Lopetegui heads into his first clasico against fierce rival Barcelona still believing he can succeed as Real Madrid coach.

Speculation of his imminent firing has been rampant in Spain since Madrid went on a five-game winless streak that included its longest ever scoring drought.

An unconvincing 2-1 win over Viktoria Plzen this week did little to change the mood that Lopetegui is in serious danger of losing his job.

Lopetegui said on Saturday he still hopes to turn around Madrid's season a day before his team visits Barcelona's Camp Nou.

When pressed about his future after the match, he said: "I hope I am still breathing, I don't think I am going to die. Our situation is not irreversible, we are in October."

<span>Julen Lopetegui is a man under pressure going into his first El Clasico - will it be his last?</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Julen Lopetegui is a man under pressure going into his first El Clasico - will it be his last? Credit: Getty Images

Madrid has fallen to eighth place after back-to-back Spanish league losses against Alaves and Levante. Even so, it is only five points behind new leader Atletico Madrid, which won on Saturday.

Blasted in the Spanish media, Lopetegui has so far maintained the public support of players such as captain Sergio Ramos and heavyweights Marcelo and Francisco "Isco" Alarcon.

"They believe in me and I believe in them," Lopetegui said. "And that goes to show that we are working well and working hard, and have the motivation to please our fans. We are heading (to Barcelona) with the maximum ambition."

Madrid hasn't lost in its last four visits to Barcelona, although those results came under coach Zinedine Zindane and with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the team that he left in the offseason for Juventus.

Barcelona will also be without Lionel Messi, who is mending a broken right forearm.

That will make this clasico the first to be played without either star since 2007.

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