Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Five-star Barcelona thrash Real Madrid in opening Spanish 'Clasico'

The championship isn't over today. There are lots of games left to play.

Barcelona ripped apart Spanish title rivals Real Madrid to take top spot in La Liga with an emphatic 5-0 home victory in the first "Clasico" of the season on Monday night.
Real coach Jose Mourinho suffered an embarrassing first defeat since taking over in May as defending champions Barca moved two points clear after 13 games following the Catalan side's fifth successive win over the capital outfit.
The visitors were rocked from the outset as Xavi and Pedro put Pep Guardiola's team 2-0 up inside 20 minutes, then David Villa scored twice in four second-half minutes to effectively end the game before Jeffren's late goal just rubbed salt in Real's wounds.
That led to Madrid defender Sergio Ramos being sent off after clattering into Lionel Messi and then shoving Barca captain Carles Puyol to the floor as passions boiled despite the cold, pouring rain.
Messi hit the post as early as the sixth minute with a delightful flick, and Xavi opened the scoring four minutes later as he cleverly controlled a slide pass from Iniesta with his heel and guided a volley over goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
The Real captain was caught out in the 18th minute as he let Villa's low cross slip through his hands to give Pedro an easy chance to make it 2-0 from close range.
The match threatened to boil over after half an hour when Ronaldo pushed Guardiola when the coach refused to give him the ball when it went out, resulting in Barca keeper Victor Valdes charging out of his area as players from both teams clashed.
Ronaldo and Valdes were both yellow-carded for their part in the melee, then Villa and Real defender Pepe followed them into the referee's book by the 36th minute.
Messi was also cautioned just before halftime after he went to ground following an incident with Carvalho -- television replays showed that the Portugal defender was lucky not to be sent off after raising his arm into the Argentine's face.
Mourinho brought defensive midfielder Lassan Diarra on at halftime, but just 10 minutes later Villa made it 3-0 as he beat the offside trap to collect Messi's clever throughball.
The Spain striker doubled his tally in the 58th minute with a calm finish with the outside of his right foot after a superb diagonal pass from Messi left the Real defense in tatters.
Mourinho responded by replacing leftback Marcelo with fellow defender Alvaro Arbeloa, before Carvalho was booked for handling when Pedro seemed set to run free on Casillas' goal.
Ramos was yellow-carded in the 73rd minute, and received his marching orders soon after Jeffren beat him to a teasing low cross by fellow replacement Bojan Krkic to make it 5-0 in time added on.


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