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

Karim Benzema nets early winner as Real Madrid edge Rayo Vallecano

Karim Benzema nets early winner as Real Madrid edge Rayo Vallecano

Karim Benzema scored the only goal of the game after 13 minutes as Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

Late Griezmann strike ends Atletico's away day hoodoo

Late Griezmann strike ends Atletico's away day hoodoo

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann struck the decisive goal in a thrilling 3-2 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday, after they had thrown away a two-goal lead, taking them level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Gareth Bale grabs winner as Real Madrid beat Huesca to go fourth

Gareth Bale grabs winner as Real Madrid beat Huesca to go fourth

Gareth Bale scored an early winner as Real Madrid won 1-0 away to a spirited Huesca and moved up to fourth in La Liga, five points behind leaders Barcelona.

Atletico Madrid move into second with 3-0 win over Alaves

Atletico Madrid move into second with 3-0 win over Alaves

Atletico Madrid moved into provisional second place in La Liga with a 3-0 win over fourth-placed Alaves on Saturday to join leaders Barcelona on 28 points.

Lionel Messi shines as Barcelona thrash Espanyol in Catalan derby

Lionel Messi shines as Barcelona thrash Espanyol in Catalan derby

Lionel Messi scored two spectacular free kicks as Barcelona thrashed local rivals Espanyol 4-0 in Saturday's Catalan derby to move three points clear at the top of La Liga.

Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr. scores first senior goal in Copa thrashing of Melilla

Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr. scores first senior goal in Copa thrashing of Melilla

Real Madrid trounced third division side Melilla 6-1 in a Copa del Rey round of 32 second leg on Thursday, completing a 10-1 aggregate victory, to ease into the round of 16 of the competition.

Denis Suarez brace fires Barcelona into Copa del Rey round of 16

Denis Suarez brace fires Barcelona into Copa del Rey round of 16

Denis Suarez struck twice for Copa del Rey holders Barcelona as they thrashed Cultural Leonesa 4-1 on Wednesday to progress to the round of 16 with a 5-1 aggregate victory.

Atletico Madrid beat Sant Andreu to reach Copa del Rey round of 16

Atletico Madrid beat Sant Andreu to reach Copa del Rey round of 16

A second-half salvo from Atletico Madrid helped them sweep past Sant Andreu 4-0 on Wednesday and into the Copa del Rey round of 16 5-0 on aggregate.

Pique and Alena lead the way as Barcelona see off Villarreal

Pique and Alena lead the way as Barcelona see off Villarreal

Champions Barcelona overcame a dogged Villarreal side to win 2-0 at home on Sunday, with goals from stalwart defender Gerard Pique and youngster Carles Alena, to provisionally return to the top of La Liga.

RELATED NEWS

Karim Benzema nets early winner as Real Madrid edge Rayo Vallecano
Real Madrid 1 - 0 Rayo Vallecano

Karim Benzema nets early winner as Real Madrid edge Rayo Vallecano

Karim Benzema scored the only goal of the game after 13 minutes as Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

Late Griezmann strike ends Atletico's away day hoodoo
Real Valladolid 2 - 3 Atletico Madrid

Late Griezmann strike ends Atletico's away day hoodoo

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann struck the decisive goal in a thrilling 3-2 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday, after they had thrown away a two-goal lead, taking them level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Gareth Bale grabs winner as Real Madrid beat Huesca to go fourth
Huesca 0 - 1 Real Madrid

Gareth Bale grabs winner as Real Madrid beat Huesca to go fourth

Gareth Bale scored an early winner as Real Madrid won 1-0 away to a spirited Huesca and moved up to fourth in La Liga, five points behind leaders Barcelona.

Atletico Madrid move into second with 3-0 win over Alaves
Atletico Madrid 3-0 Alaves

Atletico Madrid move into second with 3-0 win over Alaves

Atletico Madrid moved into provisional second place in La Liga with a 3-0 win over fourth-placed Alaves on Saturday to join leaders Barcelona on 28 points.

Lionel Messi shines as Barcelona thrash Espanyol in Catalan derby
Espanyol 0 - 4 Barcelona

Lionel Messi shines as Barcelona thrash Espanyol in Catalan derby

Lionel Messi scored two spectacular free kicks as Barcelona thrashed local rivals Espanyol 4-0 in Saturday's Catalan derby to move three points clear at the top of La Liga.

Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr. scores first senior goal in Copa thrashing of Melilla
Real Madrid 6-1 Melilla

Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr. scores first senior goal in Copa thrashing of Melilla

Real Madrid trounced third division side Melilla 6-1 in a Copa del Rey round of 32 second leg on Thursday, completing a 10-1 aggregate victory, to ease into the round of 16 of the competition.

Denis Suarez brace fires Barcelona into Copa del Rey round of 16
Barcelona 4 - 1 Cultural Leonesa

Denis Suarez brace fires Barcelona into Copa del Rey round of 16

Denis Suarez struck twice for Copa del Rey holders Barcelona as they thrashed Cultural Leonesa 4-1 on Wednesday to progress to the round of 16 with a 5-1 aggregate victory.

Atletico Madrid beat Sant Andreu to reach Copa del Rey round of 16
Atletico Madrid 4 - 0 Sant Andreu

Atletico Madrid beat Sant Andreu to reach Copa del Rey round of 16

A second-half salvo from Atletico Madrid helped them sweep past Sant Andreu 4-0 on Wednesday and into the Copa del Rey round of 16 5-0 on aggregate.

Pique and Alena lead the way as Barcelona see off Villarreal
Barcelona 2 - 0 Villarreal

Pique and Alena lead the way as Barcelona see off Villarreal

Champions Barcelona overcame a dogged Villarreal side to win 2-0 at home on Sunday, with goals from stalwart defender Gerard Pique and youngster Carles Alena, to provisionally return to the top of La Liga.

DERBY OF THE WEEK
Liverpool - Manchester United
Derby of the week
17:00
16/12/2018
Derby of the week
W 1.53    
   W 6.50
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
11:00 15-12-2018 and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores