Barcelona produced a scintillating performance to create a nine-point lead at the top of the table as they beat bitter rivals Real Madrid 3-0 at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
The hosts were the more dominant side in the first half, but their wastefulness would come back to haunt them in the final 45 minutes. Luis Suarez gave his side the lead less than ten minutes into the second half as Barcelona sliced the Real Madrid defence open.
The lead was doubled ten minutes later as Lionel Messi converted from the spot after Dani Carvajal was sent off for doing the goalkeeper’s job. The win was finally rounded off in the dying stages of the match after some wonderful work by Messi, who set up Aleix Vidal for the goal.
Real Madrid fans were understandably livid, with many calling for Zinedine Zidane’s head as their extremely underwhelming campaign continued on Saturday. Ernesto Valverde, on the other hand, had won the personal battle between the managers.
Also, Zidane is suffering from the same thing that Lucho did 18 months into his tenure.
Both are great leaders and motivators, but when they can’t motivate their players anymore, they don’t have anything else to fall back on. No ideas, no philosophy, nada.
— Juan (@socraticjuan) December 23, 2017
— Ben Carrillo (@BenBarza) December 23, 2017
The way Real Madrid’s president, Florentino Perez is presently looking at Zidane pic.twitter.com/GlnI5Mxm8r
— JAJ 🇳🇬🇳🇬✌ (@Jajdgenius) December 23, 2017
Why didn’t Zidane start Bale or Isco? Being conservative at home? Lol..
— O O (@otoiks) December 23, 2017
Unless Madrid go mad in the Champions League again, Zidane’s finished.
— Regan 3:16 (@ShaunRegan97) December 23, 2017
Valverde really handled the team and substitution perfectly, his tactical changes also worked to his advantage while Zidane looked clueless. The Roberto/Semedo switch really worked out well.
— El Máestro (@ElMaestrofcb) December 23, 2017
Ernesto Valverde performed a masterclass against Zidane yesterday.
— Yanfiey🔥 (@Graimz) December 24, 2017
Meanwhile, Twitter settled the Messi-Ronaldo debate as one led his side to a comfortable win, while the other missed two superb chances.
— Prajwal Babu (@prajwal91babu) December 23, 2017
— Hon kosar (@kowcer) December 23, 2017
Ronaldo – I am best ever
Messi – what? pic.twitter.com/XJ3GZk2YcS
— -Name- (@Sarcastic__Guru) December 23, 2017
Buffon: “I had to touch Messi to make sure he’s a human like us.”
Ronaldo: Me toopic.twitter.com/O0qKBucA5D
— Leo Messi (@messi10stats) December 24, 2017
Before you laugh at the children that still believe Santa is Real, just remember that there are grown men that still believe that Cristiano Ronaldo is a better Footballer than Lionel Messi #ElClasico #LEIMUN
— Haroon Javed (@Engr__haroon) December 24, 2017
Ronaldo trying too hard to get his idol’s shirt. pic.twitter.com/JbpDuw3nXB
— Leo Messi (@messi10stats) December 23, 2017
Most Goals in 2017: Messi
Most Assists in 2017: Messi
Most chances created in 2017: Messi
Most successful dribbles in 2017: Messi
Most through balls in 2017: Messi
Most key passes in 2017: Messi
Most man of the match in 2017: Messi
Ballon d’Or winner 2017: Ronaldo 🤔 pic.twitter.com/d0sllP5Gry
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) December 23, 2017
Really sorry but if you think Cristiano #Ronaldo is a better player than Lionel #Messi, then please try a different sport because you clearly don’t understand football! It’s not even – or ever has been – a valid debate. #Clasico #RMAFCB pic.twitter.com/0493tQrBPQ
— Mark Doyle (@Mark_Doyle11) December 23, 2017
— Amit sharma (@AmiSharma1000) December 23, 2017
Messi has the same amount of Clasico assists in this stoppage time as Ronaldo has in 28 Clasico matches in his career (1). Stay woke my friends
— Juan (@fraudiesta1) December 23, 2017
Lionel Messi broke FIVE records in one game today. FIVE. And people will still say Ronaldo is better. Give it up. 🙃
— Emily Brady (@EmilyJaneBrady) December 23, 2017
In the end the difference between Ronaldo and Messi will be re-invention .When the pace and power is gone who will have the tools to stay relevant in games.We know who wins.
— Godfred Akoto Boafo (@eastsportsman) December 23, 2017