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Barcelona 5 - 0 Real Madrid (Highlights) : Clasico destruction by Barca

Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid

Barcelona 5 - 0 Real Madrid

This Clasico was built up as the closest in living memory. Two teams repleat with the best players the world has to offer. Contests of the highest order all over the park. Many believed what little difference there was between the two sides, Barcelona widely recognised as being the superior footballing side, the famous Mourinho factor more than made up for it. If anyone knew how to stem Barcas flow, it was Mourinho. Real Madrid came into the match one point ahead of Barca, and on the back of superb wins over Athletic Bilbao in La Liga and Ajax in the Champions League. Up until this afternoon there was very little to choose between the two sides. Then the massacre began.

And there's no two ways about it, whoever witnessed tonights match at the Camp Nou saw a match so ridiculously one-sided, it seems absurd to think the two were regarded as equals beforehand. There was absolutely nothing equal about Real Madrid and Barcelona tonight. Nothing at all. From the very first minute, Barcelona grabbed hold of the ball and through a mixture of breathtaking vision and metronomic precision, refused to give it back. Real Madrid were chasing shadows, and on the few occasions they were afforded possession, contrived to give it straight back to their hosts. It's been the story of the last five Clasicos.

Barcelona won the personal duels all over the park. Iker Casillas was badly at fault for Barcas second goal and looked a pale shadow of the man who has lead Spain to European Championship and World Cup glory. Victor Valdes, on the other hand, repelled everything that came his way. Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in fits and starts, but his contribution to the match was minimal compared to the second-half onslaught offered by Lionel Messi once Pep Guardiola pushed him into a deep-lying central role behind David Villa. The move saw Messi produce two sublime passes which lead to both of Villas goals. Cristiano, as he so often does in the big matches, retreated into his shell once the scoreline got embarrassing. He wasn't the only one.

Pep Guardiola more than won his tactical battle against Jose Mourinho with that positioning of Messi in the seconf half. So many times Mourinho has got it right in the past, but today he was caught short. With Gonzalo Higuain injured, perhaps he should have moved Cristiano Ronaldo into a more central role in attack, allowing him to place an extra man in midfield to close the spaces Barcelona can so easily take advantage of. He made a similar tactical switch at half-time bringing on Lass Diarra, but it was too late. Also, the high line played by the Real Madrid defence was suicidal. I lost count of the number of times Xavi or Iniesta set one of their front three one-on-one with Casillas. Had 'El Guaje' not strayed offside so often, it could well have been more than five.

Looking at both sides, and it's always easy to do in retrospect, this result was on the cards. Perhaps not such a convincing result, but a Barcelona win was always likely. Out of Barcas starting XV, not one was playing their first Clasico. Switch over to those lining up for Real Madrid and Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Angel Di Maria and Ricardo Carvalho were all making their debut in this most historic and suffocating of fixtures. With three of those 24 years old or under, nerves undoubtedly played their part. This Real Madrid team are very good and will only get better, especially with Jose Mourinho at the helm. But right now Barcelona are on another planet, with tonights 5-0 thrashing a timely reminder of the chasmic difference between the two sides.

Check all the goals and action below:


Ajax 0 - 4 Real Madrid (Highlights)

Ajax 0 - 4 Real Madrid

Absolutely storming win for Real Madrid at the home of one of Europes sleeping giants. Goals from Karim Benzema (an absolute beauty), Alvaro Arbeloa and two from that main man Cristiano Ronaldo did justice to what was a convincing performance from Madrid, fresh off their 5-1 thrashing of Athletic Bilbao and just before their biggest game of the season so far, that small matter of a Clasico in the Camp Nou. A little talking point to come out of the match was the forced yellow cards from Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos. More ruthless efficiency from Mourinho, or Real Madrid up to dirty tricks? Personally I think if it's not against the rules, Real Madrid are well within their rights to do what they did. It won't win them many friends, but Mourinho has never been into making friends. He wins trophies.


La Liga Matchday 12: Mallorca Storm To Win In Sanchez Pizjuan

Sevilla 1 - 2 Mallorca

It ended up being an unhappy reunion for Gregorio Manzano with his old club Mallorca, as the islanders shocked the Sanchez Pizjuan with a late winner from Webo. The match was a tale of two halves as Mallorca controlled the first 45 minutes, Marti and Joao Victor shielding the back four admirably, while Chori Castro and Michael Pereira looked dangerous down the wings. And it was the Frenchman Pereira who deservedly put the visitors infront with a neat left-footed finish past Palop following good work from Castro. Whatever Manzano said at half-time worked, because Sevilla came out a different side and began to exert serious pressure on Dudu Aouates goal. Alvaro Negredo was enjoying a hefty battle with Nunes and Ruben, with Luis Fabiano looking more and more dangerous as the match wore on.

And it was 'El Fabuloso' who finally gave Sevilla reward for their dominance. The Brazilian had just whistled a header past the post when he latched onto a fine Renato pass to finish confidently past Aouate. The goal looked to have lifted Sevilla from the jaws of defeat, but there was to be one more twist. Mallorca, who had been severely under the cosh the whole second half, summoned one last sucker punch as almost immediately after Sevilla's equaliser, Marti lifted a free-kick into the box which was headed superbly into the net by Cameroon striker Webo. The referee added five minutes of added time in a frantic finale, but Sevilla couldn't find a way through. Gregorio Manzano won't remember the match fondly as the top four still eludes Sevilla.

Real Sociedad 2 - 4 Atletico Madrid

Diego Forlan and Sergio Agüero are back in the money and how Atletico are reaping the rewards. Real Sociedad looked to be on course for a worthy win over Atleti after 70 minutes after Joseba Llorente had given them an early lead, the striker taking advantage of a slip from Tomas Ujfalusi to tap in from close range on 12 minutes although who quite got the last touch was difficult to see. From then on Sociedads rearguard restricted Atleticos dangermen to potshots from outside the area as Agüero and Forlan struggled to find a way past Ansotegi and Gonzalez.

That was until twenty minutes from time when the game saw five goals in a frenzied finale. Agüero and Forlan suddenly clicked into gear, with 'El Kun' controlling a long ball majestically before laying off to Forlan to level the match. Ten minutes later Agüero got his name on the scoresheet, finishing from close range from an Ujfalusi cross. Atletis third followed in the 82nd minute as Agüero got his second of the night after Bravo had thwarted Forlan, the ball running lose in the area, with Agüero making no mistake from the rebound. Real Sociedad were out for the count, but a stunning goal from Diego Rivas from outside the area breathed renewed hope into his side. There was to be more drama as Jose Antonio Reyes was brought down on one of his winding runs, Simoa making up for a mistake in the lead up to Sociedads second by converting from the spot. The result sees Atletico jump up to sixth while Real Sociedad remain in ninth.

Espanyol 3 - 0 Hercules

Espanyol continued their unbeaten run at Cornella with a sixth win on the bounce, overpowering a disapointing Hercules 3-0. Considered one of the fortresses of La Liga, the Estadio Cornella El Prat has witnessed their team go from strength to strength this season, lead by the pure class of striker Pablo Osvaldo. The Argentinian has been a revelation in this Espanyol side, always carrying a threat and always capable of nicking a goal or two. Espanyol's first was the fruit of Osvaldos touch and vision as he lead a clinical counter attack, laying the ball off for Verdu who slotted past Calatayud.

The goal knocked the wind out of Hercules, and with Royston Drenthe missing and David Trezeguet and Nelson Valdez unable to assert themselves in attack, Esteban Vigo's outfit never looked like dragging themselves back into the match. And when they did find a route to goal, Carlos Kameni was equal to anything thrown at him. As soon as Hercules goalkeeper Juan Calatauyd was sent off for upending Osvaldo the match was all but over. Osvaldo picked himself to dispatch the penalty. There was to be another penalty for the home side when Vazquez was fouled, Luis Garcia taking it upon himself to slot in the third. After a solid start to the season, Hercules suddenly find themselves being dragged towards to bottom four. Espanyol on the other hand, consolidate their lofty position in the top four. Hats off to Mauricio Pochettino and his unfancied side.

Deportivo La Coruña 3 - 0 Malaga

Depor continued their recent revival with a precious win over a direct rival in the bottom half of La Liga, Manuel Pellegrinis Malaga. The win eased the pressure yet further off manager Miguel Angel Lotina and sees the Galician club rise to mid-table safety, suddenly only 6 points off the UEFA spots. Since the match against Espanyol, four matchdays ago, Depor have looked a different team, built off the security of a back five lead by Colotto, Aythami and Lopo and the finishing instincts of Riki and Adrian.

The truth is a 3-0 defeat was harsh on Malaga, who at times controlled the match. But with Duda and Baha misfiring and second half substitutes Quincy and Edinho failing to change Malagas fortunes up top, it was Depor's sharp finishing and Malagas lack of concentration in defence that proved decisive. Adrian slammed in the first from the spot after Colotto had been fouled and it was the big centre-back that made it two after half-time, heading in from a corner after losing marker Kris far too easily. Malaga continued to threaten, yet it was Depor who finished the match off as a contest on 83 minutes, substitute Pablo Alvarez making space for himself on the edge of the box before sending a delightful shot past Arnau. With their newfound solidity at the back, this Depor team will be hard to beat.

Osasuna 1 - 0 Sporting Gijon

Osasuna continue their fine run in the Reyno Navarro, they remain unbeaten their since March, as they overcame a Sporting Gijon side desperately lacking in the intensity that saw them run Real Madrid so close last weekend. There were never likely to be many goals in this encounter, as while much of the first half had 0-0 written all over it, up popped Osasuna's Iranian star Masoud just after half time to score the games only goal, completing a text book counter to calmly finish past Juan Pablo. The only downer on Osasuna's win was the injury to striker Carlos Aranda. Without Pandiani and Aranda, goals will continue to be a struggle for Camacho's men.

Levante 3 - 1 Racing Santander

If Levante manage to saves themselves from what many regard as certain relegation, it will be down to the performances of Christian Stuani and Felipe Caicedo. The two men scored all three of Levante's goals against a dismal Racing Santander that never looked like getting anything from the match once striker Markus Rosenburg missed a glit-edged chance early on. All three goals came before half-time as Ecuadorian Felipe Caicedo showed how important he will be to the Levante cause with two well-taken goals and a performance that dragged that Racing back four all over the place. Racing managed a late consolation through sub Mehdi Lacen but it did little to disguise a shoddy performance that will heap yet more pressure on manager Miguel Angel Portugal.