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El Clasico: Luis Suarez scores hat-trick as Barcelona thrash Real Madrid 5-1

The victory lifted Barcelona back to the top of the Spanish league with 21 points, while Madrid were left languishing in ninth place with 14 points.

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Barcelona Updated on: October 28, 2018 23:34 IST
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Luis Suarez celebrates his hat-trick for Barcelona

Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick to lead Barcelona to a 5-1 rout of Real Madrid on Sunday, giving the defending champions the Spanish league lead and putting the future of Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui in serious jeopardy.

With the injured Lionel Messi watching from the Camp Nou stands, Suarez doubled Barcelona's lead from the penalty spot in the 30th minute after Philippe Coutinho had opened the scoring for the hosts.

Marcelo pulled one back for Madrid early in the second half, but Suarez scored twice to ensure the win before substitute Arturo Vidal completed the demolition.

The victory lifted Barcelona back to the top of the Spanish league with 21 points, while Madrid were left languishing in ninth place with 14 points.

Madrid have now gone five rounds without a win, including four losses, in their first season under Lopetegui.

The match was the first "clasico" since 2007 to be played without both Messi and former Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Barcelona were playing their second match since Messi broke his right arm last weekend in a win over Sevilla.

But other than the first 30 minutes of the second half, Barcelona dominated their fierce rival — and European champion — even without their best player.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde stuck with the same starting 11 that beat Inter Milan 2-0 in the Champions League midweek, with Rafinha taking Messi's place.

Lopetegui's only hole to fill in his first-choice 11 was to play Nacho Fernandez at right back in place of the injured Dani Carvajal.

Jordi Alba was a pest to Madrid from the start. A long ball from Ivan Rakitic into Fernandez's area of coverage left Alba alone after fine control to romp into the area and pick out Coutinho arriving in a second wave. The Brazil midfielder did his part by providing a cool finish with his left foot to beat goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the 11th.

While Madrid could only muster timid long shots by Gareth Bale and Marcelo, Barcelona went close with a strike by Arthur that Courtois did well to palm away.

Barcelona earned a second goal with help from a video replay after Raphael Varane barged into Suarez at the edge of the six-yard box.

The referee awarded the spot kick after consulting the video monitor on the sideline, allowing Suarez to step up and perfectly execute the strike by driving a low shot between the post and the outstretched Courtois.

Madrid were fortunate to go into halftime not behind by another goal after Barcelona squandered two promising opportunities on counterattacks only to stumble on the decisive pass.

The match briefly swung the visitors' way after the restart.

Lopetegui substituted Varane with Lucas Vazquez at halftime, and the forward played a role in Marcelo's goal by combining with Isco before his pass was deflected for Marcelo to finish off in the 51st.

Madrid pressed for the equalizer that Luka Modric almost claimed when he was unmarked to shoot the ball off the post.

But Suarez responded for Barcelona by volleying a headed pass from Sergi Roberto off the upright.

Suarez linked up again with Roberto twice more to turn what was appearing to be a evenly fought contest into a blowout.

The Uruguay striker used a powerful turn of his neck to fire a header home from Roberto's pass in the 75th. He then completed his treble in the 83rd by chipping Courtois after Roberto stole the ball from Sergio Ramos.

Vidal headed in a fifth goal with Madrid in complete disarray.

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