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28th Oct 2018

Luis Suarez hat-trick helps Barcelona to 5-1 win over Real Madrid

Luis Suarez compounded Real Madrid's misery this afternoon, scoring a stunning hat-trick in a 5-1 win over the European champions

Reuben Pinder

No Messi? No problem.

Barcelona ensured that Real Madrid’s season went from bad to worse this afternoon, as they cruised to a 5-1 victory over their arch rivals at the Camp Nou.

It was the first Clásico without Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo since 2007, but Barça coped much better than the visitors. With Messi watching from the stands, Philippe Coutinho stepped up and assumed creative responsibility.

The Brazilian opened the scoring, getting on the end of a trademark Jordi Alba cut-back, before Luis Suárez made it 2-0 from the penalty spot, with the assistance of VAR.

Real Madrid showed some life in the early stages of the second half, as Marcelo pulled one back after 50 minutes.

But that only kicked Barça back into gear. Suarez then went on a solo mission to bury Real Madrid and surely Julen Lopetegui, who was already on the brink of being sacked before this embarrassing defeat.

Suárez’s second of the afternoon came as he executed the most outrageous header from just inside the penalty box, after a gut-busting run from Sergi Roberto.

He rounded off his hat-trick with a delicate chip over Thibaut Courtois, who was grandly stitched up by Sergio Ramos. As the Madrid captain attempted to control an airborne ball with his chest, he was caught napping by the onrushing Sergi Roberto, who turned provider again for Suárez, who raced away into acres of space before making it four.

Then, as Arthur was replaced by Arturo, Vidal rubbed salt in Madrid’s wounds, finishing off another slick move with a towering header to ensure this Clásico lived up to its title.

This result leaves Real Madrid lurking in mid-table, and Julen Lopetegui with no way of turning this slump around.

Barcelona are well on their way to retaining their LaLiga title while Madrid’s deep-rooted problems were exposed on the biggest stage of them all.