Barcelona put three past Real Madrid to pile pressure on Zidane
Real Madrid 0 - 3 Barcelona

Barcelona put three past Real Madrid to pile pressure on Zidane

23/12/2017

Barcelona moved 14 points clear of Real Madrid in La Liga as three second-half goals wrapped up a convincing 3-0 victory at the Bernabeu.

Zinedine Zidane's men had the better of a tight first period but Barcelona took control in the second and Luis Suarez swept home the opener before a Lionel Messi penalty took the game beyond Real.

It was a strange spot kick award by referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez, who could simply have awarded a goal rather than a penalty after Dani Carvajal handled on the line but then knocked the ball in as he lost his footing. The decision also saw Carvajal sent off.

Substitute Aleix Vidal added a third in stoppage time, and the title now looks almost certain to return to the Nou Camp as La Liga prepares to enter its winter break.

Cristiano Ronaldo headed in off the underside of the bar for Madrid in the second minute but it was rightly disallowed for offside, as the hosts made a bright start.

He then swung and missed at a low centre from Toni Kroos, with Andres Iniesta just getting to the loose ball ahead of the onrushing Carvajal to concede a corner.

Real were dominating possession and Messi dropped deeper and deeper in a bid to influence the game as the inclusion of Mateo Kovacic in Real's midfield looked a masterstroke.

Messi almost created the opener on the half-hour mark as his angled pass picked out Paulinho's run from deep but the Brazilian midfielder hooked his shot over.

Seconds later Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen stuck out a foot to divert a Ronaldo shot wide after the Portuguese cut in from the left.

Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas got down well to keep out a glancing Paulinho header five minutes before the break, and then Karim Benzema's headed effort clipped the post after he got to Marcelo's centre before defender Thomas Vermaelen.

Barcelona saw more of the ball in the early stages of the second half and took the lead in the 54th minute when Ivan Rakitic broke forward, spread the play right to Sergi Roberto and his low cross was side-footed home by Suarez.

Real's frustration began to grow as Sergio Ramos was booked for a foul on Suarez, and Barca added a second in bizarre circumstances in the 64th minute.

Suarez had a shot blocked by Navas and then hit the post before Carvajal was sent off for a deliberate handball.

It was a controversial call to award the penalty and send the full-back off as the ball ended up in the net mere seconds later, but Messi's confident penalty made sure there were no further recriminations.

Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio were brought on in a bid to give Real more cutting edge, and Ter Stegen reacted well to keep out a shot from the Welshman.

The goalkeeper also made an impressive near-post block on a Ramos effort as Barca held firm at the back, and there was still time for a third after Vidal's shot squirmed under Navas after good work from Messi on the right flank.

Related news

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup

Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager after the World Cup, the Spanish club announced on Tuesday, just two days before the tournament begins in Russia.

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title

Zinedine Zidane has shocked the football world by resigning as Real Madrid coach just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League with the La Liga giants.

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Andres Iniesta's final Barcelona appearance ended in victory on an emotional evening at the Nou Camp.

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scored twice on his final appearance for 10-man Atletico Madrid in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Eibar.

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Real Madrid blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Villarreal in their final La Liga match ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest for an unbeaten La Liga season came to a shocking end with a 5-4 defeat away to Levante on Sunday.

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale scored twice to lead Real Madrid to a 6-0 rout over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid warmed up for the Europa League final by taking a big step towards securing second spot in LaLiga with a 1-0 success at Getafe.

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla remain in the hunt for a Europa League spot as Joaquin Caparros secured his first win since taking temporary charge with a 3-2 win over Real Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.

RELATED NEWS

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup
Real Madrid news

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup

Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager after the World Cup, the Spanish club announced on Tuesday, just two days before the tournament begins in Russia.

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title
Real Madrid news

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title

Zinedine Zidane has shocked the football world by resigning as Real Madrid coach just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League with the La Liga giants.

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club
Barcelona 1 - 0 Real Sociedad

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Andres Iniesta's final Barcelona appearance ended in victory on an emotional evening at the Nou Camp.

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell
Atletico Madrid 2-2 Eibar

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scored twice on his final appearance for 10-man Atletico Madrid in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Eibar.

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw
Villarreal 2 - 2 Real Madrid

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Real Madrid blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Villarreal in their final La Liga match ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss
Levante 5 - 4 Barcelona

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest for an unbeaten La Liga season came to a shocking end with a 5-4 defeat away to Levante on Sunday.

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise
Real Madrid 6 - 0 Celta Vigo

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale scored twice to lead Real Madrid to a 6-0 rout over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place
Getafe 0 - 1 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid warmed up for the Europa League final by taking a big step towards securing second spot in LaLiga with a 1-0 success at Getafe.

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun
Sevilla 3 - 2 Real Madrid

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla remain in the hunt for a Europa League spot as Joaquin Caparros secured his first win since taking temporary charge with a 3-2 win over Real Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.