Madrid, Mar 20 (EFE).- Xavi Hernandez’s Barcelona decisively confirmed its dominance in Sunday’s Classic against Real Madrid, pummeling their rivals before some 60,000 fans on the capital squad’s home turf at Santiago Bernabeu 4-0.
Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti’s men lacked intensity throughout the match, suffering without Karim Benzema, but – despite the loss – they are still handily atop the La Liga table with 66 points, followed by Sevilla with 57 after drawing with Real Sociedad earlier on Sunday, and now with the Catalan squad nipping at the Andalusians’ heels in third, tied at 54 with Atletico de Madrid.
It was an unforgettable match for Barca as – having lost the last five Classic encounters with their bitter rivals – they crushed anything Real Madrid could throw at them, maintaining their dominance throughout and with Ancelotti trying fruitlessly to make adjustments on the fly.
Madrid was simply and thoroughly outplayed, confirming Hernandez’s control of his Catalan squad, who ran rings around their hosts and – with little doubt, had they wanted to – could have run up the score even beyond the sky-high result.
Ancelotti’s men threatened just a bit early on, but it took mere minutes for Barcelona to get firmly in control of the game’s rhythm, threatening time and again until in the 29th minute Dembele zipped around Nacho Fernandez, sending a cross to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who headed it home.
Barca’s Marc-Andre ter Stegan saved a shot by Vinicius Junior that might have leveled the match, but then Barca got on the board again when Ronald Araujo sent in a header in the 38th minute, and the score remained at 2-0 until the break.
When play resumed, it was all Barcelona, with Torres immediately getting himself in the clear and firing only to miss, but just minutes later Aubameyang flipped a fabulous pass to him and he got the 3-0 against Thibaut Courtois this time around.
Aubameyang was on hand once again in the 53rd minute to grab a missed shot by Pique and send in another tally, and – despite an offside flag – VAR confirmed the goal for the 4-0.
After that, Aubameyang, Torres and Dembele all conceivably could have continued the carnage being wrought against Madrid, had they focused just a bit more, but with the much sought after win firmly in their pocket it didn’t seem worth it.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal (Mariano, m.46), Militao, Alaba, Nacho (Lucas Vazquez, m.63); Casemiro, Kroos (Camavinga, m.48), Modric, Fede Valverde; Rodrygo (Marco Asensio, m.63) and Vinicius.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Araujo, Pique, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba (Dani Alves, m.86); Busquets, De Jong (Gavi, m.71), Pedri (Nico, m,86); Dembele (Adama, m.80), Aubameyang (Memphis, m.71) and Ferran Torres.