Real Madrid celebrated a 3-1 win over their arch-nemesis FC Barcelona in the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
The defending Champions League title holders had a commanding display on their home pitch, while Messi and co. struggled to find the ball.
Despite going down in the 4th minute of the match thanks to a Neymar goal, the Merengues displayed the dominant soccer that has been lighting up the Spanish league.
Ronaldo tied the match up in the 35th minute from the penalty spot. Pepe and Karim Benzema scored two more for Madrid to close out the match.
Here are the 5 reason Real Madrid erased Barcelona off of the pitch
The Brazilian left back for Real Madrid had one of his best games for the Merengues. His constant runs up the left side of the pitch were driving Barcelona defender Dani Alves crazy. One of his crosses led to the Real Madrid penalty. His performance was Man of the Match material.
2. Aerial game
This aspect has been an issue for Barcelona for a couple of years now. Their lack of height in the back has hurt them in key situations. A 50th minute corner kick by Toni Kroos picked out a wide-open Pepe who absolutely smashed the ball with his head. Claudio Bravo had no chance.
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3. The Real Madrid midfield
This is becoming a constant in this season’s Real Madrid team. Isco, James, Modric and Kroos erased the Barcelona midfield. The match was won in the middle of the pitch. Barcelona cannot hurt you without the ball. Isco had a masterful performance, his class was key for Real Madrid.
James Rodriguez assisted Karim Benzema’s goal and constantly pressured his man down the right flank. Modric always made the right pass and Toni Kroos is the midfield general for Real Madrid. The Meregunes have an even brighter future than their current dominating form is already showing. Their quest for the La Liga title and the Champions League goes through the Madrid midfield.
4. Lionel Messi did not show up
It is time to start coming to grips with the fact that the all-world version of Messi is no more. The Argentine hitman was a spectator for the much of the match and his hunger does not seem to be there anymore. The once awe-inspiring Barcelona #10 is a shell of his former self. The Cules rely on his magic to win big games.
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5. Starting Luis Suarez was a mistake
The Uruguayan had an acceptable first half performance, but as the game went on the team looked out of sync with him on the pitch. While there is no doubt he will be a much-needed difference maker for Barca, his inclusion in the starting 11 should have gone to a player in “mid-season form.” Let’s not forget this was his first official match with Barcelona.