Real Madrid 0-3 FC Barcelona: Messi inspires Barca to 14-point gap at the top of La Liga

The Catalan giants made a significant stride towards the La Liga title with their 3-0 in the El Clásico.

Real Madrid 0-3 FC Barcelona: Messi inspires Barca to 14-point gap at the top of La Liga
Above: Lionel Messi celebrating his goal in the 3-0 win over Real Madrid | Photo: Getty Images/Burak Akbulut - Anadolu Agency
REAL MADRID
0 3
BARCELONA
REAL MADRID : NAVAS, CARVAJAL, VARANE, RAMOS, MARCELO, CASEMIRO (ASENSIO, MIN. 72), MODRIC, KOVACIC (BALE, MIN. 72), KROOS, RONALDO, BENZEMA (NACHO, MIN. 66)
BARCELONA: TER STEGEN, ROBERTO (VIDAL, MIN. 90+1), PIQUE, VERMAELEN, ALBA, PAULINHO (GOMES, MIN. 84), RAKITIC, BUSQUETS, INIESTA (SEMEDO, MIN. 77), MESSI, SUAREZ
SCORE: 0-1, MIN. 54, SUAREZ 0-2, MIN. 64, MESSI (PEN) 0-3, MIN. 90+3, VIDAL
REFEREE: BOOKED VERMAELEN (MIN. 18) RAMOS (MIN. 59) MARCELO (MIN. 83) BIUSQUETS (MIN. 88) SENT OFF CARVAJAL (MIN. 63)

FC Barcelona made a significant step forward in their march towards the La Liga title, as goals from Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi and Aleix Vidal gave them a comfortable 3-0 win in the El Clásico over Real Madrid. 

It would be fair to say that the first-half was one that didn't live up to the biggest game on the planet tag, with half-chances for Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulinho and Karim Benzema but to no avail. 

It was the league leaders who came flying out of the traps in the second period and were rewarded with strikes from Suárez and Messi ten minutes apart, Zinedine Zidane's side continued to push with Gareth Bale going close before Vidal rounded off the romp in extra-time. 

Trying to kick a slow half into gear 

The eyes of the world were once again set on Santiago Bernabéu for the world biggest game but it would be fair to say this particular clash, with Barca running away with title and the lack of competiveness showed in the early proceedings. 

It was Madrid who had the first chance as Ronaldo looking to strike again having had his earlier goal disallowed, he was in acres of space for Toni Kroos' cut-back but it rolled between his feet. 

Paulinho had proven a lot of people wrong following his summer move from China and looked to silence them further on the half-hour mark, Messi fed a great ball into the Brazilian and his excellent effort on the angle was only denied by the brilliance of Keylor Navas. 

The best chance of the first period fell to the hosts with three minutes to play, Benzema did very well to get ahead of Jordi Alba and get his head to Marcelo's ball but the Frenchman could only head it onto the outside of the post. 

Devestating attack from the middle 

Fans inside the Bernabéu and further afield will have been hoping that the intensity would pick up as the second period got underway, and it certainly did ten minutes after the restart as Barca took the lead. 

It was a Madrid stand point as they left so much space in the middle for Ivan Rakitić to turn on the boosters and charge towards the Madrid area, he played it out to Sergio Roberto whose first-time pass across the area was perfect for Suárez to sweep under the glove of Navas. 

Continue his excellent record in the El Clásico 

It would only go from bad to worse for Zidane's side as their suffering was doubled ten minutes later, mayhem in the Madrid area looked to be over as Paulinho's header looked goal-bound if not for an excellent save from Dani Carvajal. The full-back had no complaints as he was excused from the field of play as Messi stood over the spot-kick, and the Argentine made no mistake. 

Zidane had nothing to lose as threw on Bale towards the end of the tie and was almost rewarded instantly, he was on the end of Luka Modric's cut-back in the 78th minute but Marc-André ter Stegen was alive enough to a clash where he had spent much of the time as a spectator to save the Welshman's effort. 

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Rounding off the Bernabeu bashing 

Madrid's suffering was secured deep into extra-time as Barca rounded up the scoring with their third and final goal, Messi did well on the right-hand side to beat Marcelo and cut-back from the by-line where Vidal was making the run-in and his shot going through Navas to round off a victory which some will say has bigger ramificiations than just three points.