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Last Updated Saturday January 20 2018 12:52 AM IST

El Clasico: Barcelona thrash Real Madrid 3-0

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Luiz Suarez Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring a goal against Real Madrid. Getty Images

Madrid: Real Madrid's hopes of retaining their La Liga title appeared to be fading fast as goals from Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Aleix Vidal propelled Barcelona to a 3-0 win in the 'Clasico' on Saturday, lifting them 14-points clear of their rivals in the standings.

Suarez capitalised on wide open space in Madrid's midfield to knock in a simple pass from Sergi Roberto following a breakaway move in the 54th minute.

That opened the scoring after a tense but tight first half in the early afternoon sun at the Santiago Bernabeu.

  • El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

    Real Madrid fans look on during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Photo: Getty Images

    El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona
  • El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

    Real Madrid and Barcelona line up prior to the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. Photo: Getty Images

    El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona
  • El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

    Raphael Varane of Real Madrid jumps to win a header during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Photo: Getty Images

    El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona
  • El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

    Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. Photo: Getty Images

    El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona
  • El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

    Luis Suarez of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the La Liga match against Real Madrid. Photo: Getty Images

    El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona
  • El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

    Daniel Carvajal of Real Madrid is shown a red card by referee during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Photo: Getty Images

    El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona
  • El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

    Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his sides second goal with his team mates during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelon in Madrid. Photo: Getty Images

    El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona
  • El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

    Luka Modric of Real Madrid tackles Andres Iniesta of Barcelona during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Photo: Getty Images

    El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona
  • El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

    Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in action with Real Madrid players. Photo: Getty Images

    El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona
  • El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

    Barcelona players show fans their appreciation after the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Photo: Getty Images

    El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona

Messi hammered in the second goal from the penalty spot 20 minutes later after Dani Carvajal was sent off for blocking a goal-bound header from Paulinho with his arm after Real were again easily picked apart on the counter attack.

Catalan defender turned winger Vidal hit the third in injury time to pile more misery on Madrid, who looked unrecognisable from the side who crushed Barca 5-1 on aggregate in the Spanish Super Cup in August.

Real failed to capitalise on their chances in the first half as Karim Benzema's header came off the post and Cristiano Ronaldo was denied by the flailing leg of Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

However, the European and Liga champions collapsed after the interval and Barca took full advantage.

Barca are nine points clear of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid at the top of the standings although Valencia could climb to second and close the gap to eight points later on Saturday if they beat Villarreal.

Real are 14 points adrift but have a game in hand.

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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