Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona: Barca win the 237th El ClasicoDecember 23, 2017
Barcelona have triumphed over long time rivals Real Madrid in the first meeting of the two sides in the league this season, winning the match 3-0.
Ernesto Valverde’s men arrived at the Bernabeu knowing a win would see them lead their rivals by 14 points.
Both sides had chances in the first half with Paulinho going closest for Barca whose shot had to be tipped over by goalkeeper Kaylor Navas.
Madrid had chances with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema forcing saves form Marc- Andre ter Stegen. however neither side could find the back of the net and it was goalless at half-time.
It was apparent after the break that Valverde had given his side a stern talking to as they dominated the early part of the second half.
Nine minutes later after an impressive counter attack invloving Ivan Rakitic and Sergi Roberto it was Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez who found the back of the net slotting under Navas.
Ten minutes later Lionel Messi converted from the penalty spot after defender Daniel Carvajal was sent off for deliberately handling the ball.
It wasn’t one way traffic however Real Madrid had many chances to half the deficit with Ronaldo and Benzema coming close but once again Barcelona’s defence was strong.
Messi was the creator of the third goal as his pass found team-mate Aleix Vidal whose shot slipped through the grasp of Navas to rub salt into the wounds of Los Blancos and seal the three points for the Blaugrana who are now unbeaten in 25 games in all competitions.
Barcelona now head into the winter break at the top of the table 11 points ahead of second place Atletico Madrid who lost 1-0 yesterday to Espanyol.
Speaking after the game Valverde was talking about whether the league is now sown up after victory however he said ” The first half of the season isn’t even over yet. We’re ahead of our rivals, but we’re not focused on that. We want to win our games and avoid losing any.”