Barcelona stroll to 8-0 rout of Almeria in Spain’s Primera Division.
|Spain’s David Villa scored twice as Barcelona made easy pickings of Real Madrid at Nou Camp [EPA]|
David Villa scored twice as Barcelona ripped apart Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid in a 5-0 rout Monday to go top of the standings thanks to a record fifth straight “clasico” win over its bitter rival.
Xavi Hernandez and Pedro Rodriguez put the defending champion 2-0 ahead inside 18 minutes before Villa scored a second-half brace. Substitute Jeffren Suarez scored in the 90th to seal it in front of nearly 100,000 fans at the Camp Nou stadium.
Barcelona’s speed and one-touch passing game frustrated Madrid throughout as it recorded its biggest national derby victory since a 5-0 win here during the 1993-94 season.
Lionel Messi, who set up two goals and was a constant threat, was the star of the show for the hosts, putting Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the shade in the much-hyped matchup of two of the world’s best players.
In the end, Madrid’s frustrations boiled over and Sergio Ramos was sent off in injury time for a wild tackle on Messi.
Barcelona now leads Madrid by two points with 34 points from 13 games after a seventh straight league win.
“We are proud because the world has seen us play the way we like to play,” Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. “I would like to take more points from Madrid but it’s not possible. That team, with all that power, are just two points behind but we are satisfied.”
Former Chelsea and FC Porto coach Mourinho suffered his worst ever loss to stay winless in six trips to Barcelona. He had never lost by more than three goals before.
“You have to have character, when you lose by five goals you can’t leave crying, you have to go and work harder,” Mourinho said.
“You never want to lose by these numbers.”
The contrast with the Portuguese coach’s last visit to the Camp Nou couldn’t be more striking. In April, his Inter Milan side knocked the Catalan side out of the Champions League in the semifinals on its way to winning the title.
‘Not over yet’
Mourinho now has his work cut out to wrestle the league trophy away from Barcelona, the two-time defending champion, and return silverware to the Spanish capital. Madrid hadn’t lost in 26 games, stretching to its last defeat by Barcelona in April.
“I spoke with my players a few minutes ago and I told them the season had not ended today,” Mourinho said.
“Last year I left here with a loss and a couple of months later I left here heading to the final of the Champions, who knows what can happen this year.”
Andres Iniesta picked out Xavi as he streaked between two defenders and the ball flicked off the Spain midfielder’s heel before he reacted quickly to direct it past Iker Casillas for the 10th-minute opener.
Madrid sat back and looked to attack on the break with Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria threatening from the flanks.
Barcelona ‘keeper Victor Valdes got a hand up to tip Di Maria’s rising shot over the bar in the 12th.
Pedro capped a mesmerizing 22-pass buildup to make it 2-0 as he pounced on a loose ball after Casillas failed to hang on to Villa’s dangerous ball in from the left.
Pedro nearly had a second in the 27th after bursting free into the area along the right but Casillas was out quickly to cut down the angle and clear.
The match threatened to boil over in the 31st when both benches leapt to their feet after Ronaldo shoved Guardiola when he didn’t hand over the ball for a throw-in. Even the diminutive Iniesta was in Ronaldo’s face.
The Portugal forward and Valdes ended up with the yellow cards.
“These things happen during the game,” said Guardiola, who hasn’t lost against Madrid in more than two seasons.
Ronaldo’s free kick took a slight deflection wide in the 34th and he failed to earn a penalty after clashing with Valdes in the race for the subsequent loose ball.
Madrid got physical in a bid to slow the game and regain its composure.
Defender Ricardo Carvalho clashed with Messi in the 45th but it was the Argentine winger who got the yellow card for gamesmanship.
But Messi had no problem finding gaps to create both of Villa’s goals in near identical plays down the left side.
“When they scored the third goal the game was over,” Mourinho said. “I just wanted my team to retain their balance and dignity on the pitch.”
Villa got behind Pepe in the 55th to receive from Messi and slot past Casillas, who was again on his own three minutes later when Villa slotted under him for his eighth of the season. Mourinho watched on stone-faced from Madrid’s bench.
“For a first clasico you couldn’t ask for more,” said Villa, who replaced Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Barcelona’s main striker this season.
A deflated Madrid failed to create any danger after that as Suarez capped the rout in injury-time before Ramos was sent off.
“They were better in all aspects,” said Xabi Alonso, the only Madrid player to speak after the game.
“What’s clear is there’s a lot of league left to play. Let’s hope this defeat doesn’t affect us, but time will tell.”