Real Madrid vs Barcelona: 5 Talking Points from El Clasico
Barcelona extended their lead at the top of La Liga with a crushing 3-0 win over 10-man Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. Goals from Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, and Aleix Vidal saw the Catalan club extend their lead at the top of the table to nine points.
Messi was orchestrator-in-chief - despite a quiet first half - with a goal and assist in the second half. His penalty also saw him go past Gerd Muller to become the all-time top goalscorer in Europe's top leagues.
Here are the major talking points from the game.
#1 Crowded midfield slowed down the game in the first half
Both Real Madrid and Barcelona went with four central midfielders - even in the wide positions. But most of the action was focused in the centre with the full-backs doing their bit to provide width.
The wide midfielders drifted in on occasion and, as a result, it was a very crowded in the middle of the park where players were starved of both space and time to create opportunities.
It was one of the reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez kept dropping deep to help out with transitioning the ball forward. Ronaldo was even commended on his work-rate to keep the ball moving and ensure Real Madrid were in control of the ball to dominate possession.