MADRID: Spanish champions Real Madrid saw the prospects of retaining one of their three titles effectively wiped away after lost 3-0 at home to Barcelona.
Madrid, lethargic after returning from the Middle East after their world club title victory last Sunday, were picked apart by goals from Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi (penalty) and Aleix Vidal. Victory lifted Barca 14-points clear of their Clasico rivals.
Suarez capitalised on wide open space in Madrid’s midfield to convert an assist from Sergi Roberto in the 54th minute after an evenly balanced first half in the Estadio Bernabeu.
Messi struck the second from a penalty 20 minutes later after Dani Carvajal was sent off for blocking a goal-bound header from Paulinho then Vidal hit the third in stoppage time to avenge Madrid’s 5-1 aggregate win over Barcelona in August in the Spanish Super Cup.
Madrid went closest in the first half. Cristiano Ronaldo had a second-miute strike ruled out for offside then Karim Benzema saw a header clip the outside of a post.