A dominant performance saw Barcelona extend their lead at the top of La Liga with a comfortable 3-0 defeat of Real Madrid in the El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Luis Suarez put Barcelona ahead in the 54th minute, latching on to a Sergi Roberto through ball after a brilliant run from Ivan Rakitic.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 23, 2017
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Lionel Messi doubled Barca’s advantage just after the hour mark, converting from the spot as Dani Carvajal was penalised for a deliberate hand ball in the box, and subsequently sent off.
Aleix Vidal joined in on the act after coming off the bench to score the third for Barca as the hosts struggled to fight back having gone a man down.
Barca have now won three consecutive La Liga games at the Bernabeu for the first time in their history.
The win means Barca’s unbeaten run continues, with Ernesto Valverde side also opening up a mammoth 14-point lead on the log over their bitter rivals, Real, who stay fourth.
Barcelona have also gone nine points clear of nearest challengers, Atletico Madrid, who are currently second on the log.
It wasn’t a vintage display by Barcelona especially going by the first half which was slightly edged by their host, Real.
Both sides had opportunities to break the deadlock, but there was nothing to separate these two at the break.
However, it was a different Barcelona side in the second half, as the Catalans began to dominate and control the game.
They would be rewarded when Suarez put them 1-0 up, nine minutes after the restart.
An excellent run from deep by Rakitic, who found Roberto with a pass before the Spaniard’s one time through ball set up Suarez, who calmly slotted past Navas in goal.
Few minutes later, just when Real were hoping to equalise, they were reduced to ten men following Carvajal’s dismissal for stopping a goal bound header from Paulinho with his hands.
Messi stepped up to the plate to convert, doubling Barca’s advantage.
It became smooth sailing for Valverde’s men, but Real almost pulled one back via substitute, Gareth Bale, brought on by Zinedine Zidane, as he tried to salvage something from the game.
However, in what would be the icing on the cake, Vidal, also a substitute, fired home from a Messi pass, to seal a deserved victory for the vistors.