Luis Suarez scored his first El Clasico goal yesterday, getting the winner that ensured Barcelona’s victory over their arch rivals Real Madrid, and quite possibly the Spanish league title for Barcelona.
It was a keenly contested match that saw both teams going all out to get a winner.
It only took Messi 10 minutes to mark up his first nutmeg, sending the ball through Toni Kroos’ legs, but it was Real with a pumped-up Ronaldo who made much of the early running and he hit the bar from Karim Benzema’s cross.
At the other end, Pepe and Suarez clashed and Barcelona were awarded a free-kick. Messi took it and, powering in ahead of Ramos, Mathieu headed past Casillas for his first Barcelona goal.
The hosts should have doubled their lead but Neymar made a mess of a Suarez assist and they paid the price as Real Madrid scored with their next attack.
Luka Modric played the ball to Karim Benzema, the Frenchman’s flick found Ronaldo in space and he swept the ball past Claudio Bravo.
Barcelona were hanging on before half-time and Gareth Bale thought he had scored from Ronaldo’s flicked header — only for the goal to be disallowed because the Portuguese was offside.
Five minutes into the second half Benzema almost put Real ahead after a fine move but was somehow denied by Bravo.
But it was Luis Suarez saved the day for the Catalan giants, running on to a long pass forward by Dani Alves and taking the ball brilliantly in his stride and, with both Sergio Ramos and Pepe closing in, he found Iker Casillas’ far corner with well-struck shot.
‘It’s the most important goal I have scored for the club so far,’ he said. ‘And of course it means even more because of who it was against. I tried to make the most of the space I found between the defenders and to get the shot away as quickly as I could. Luckily it worked out.’
Suarez’s first goal in El Clasico could prove to be crucial at the end of the season as it gave Barcelona a commanding four-point lead
Lionel Messi failed to shine under the lights at the Nou Camp as he struggled to make his mark on the game
The win puts Barcelona four points clear with only 10 games left and after last year’s disappointment with Liverpool, Suarez could now be in line for a league winners’ medal in Spain.
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