The first La Liga Clasico of the 2017-2018 season ended in a decisive 3-0 win for Barcelona over Real Madrid, which gives Los Clues a 9 point lead at the top of the table and 14 points ahead of their big rivals. Here are the pictures, featuring Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos among others, that tell the story of this match the best.
Considering Zinedine Zidane’s success in his short time as Real Madrid head coach, it’s impossible to consider Florentino Perez will fire him. But this is Perez and this is Real Madrid, so who knows? Meanwhile, Ernesto Valverde is off to an almost perfect start with only six dropped points so far, and his, along with his players’ patience and poise allowed them to achieve a terrific 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Messi & Suarez Pre-match
Even when he’s not scoring, Messi is incredibly influential and, well, good for Barcelona this season. This hasn’t been the case for Luis Suarez, who looked a tad anxious before the game began, unlike Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo Frustrations
This was another rough day for Ronaldo, with 5 shots at goal and nothing going in. He has 78 shots at goal in league play this season with only 4 times finding the net. By far the most wasteful player in Europe this season.
Just a Header
Some pictures don’t have a story behind them. They just look cool.
Ter Stegen Blocking the Sun
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen was busy in the first half; not so much in the second. Barcelona didn’t let Real Madrid’s pressure get to them, and the 25-year old German goalkeeper, after a stuttering start to his Barcelona career, is establishing himself as one of the best in Europe, and soon possibly Germany’s number one option at goal.
After the good football of the first half didn’t lead to goals, Real Madrid lost its direction in the second half, looking confused, frustrated and even helpless at times. Their fans surely did as Barcelona won for the 6th time in 10 seasons at the Bernabeu.
Zidane Giving Kovacic Instructions
Zidane’s plan to stop Messi involved Mateo Kovacic tracking him everywhere. It worked in the first half, but as many expected, Kovacic couldn’t keep up in the second half, and the defensive scheme unraveled for Zidane, caught making tactical mistakes not for the first time.
Suarez Breaking the Deadlock
Remember we mentioned Suarez earlier on? He was the one who opened the scoring, as Ivan Rakitic made his way into the penalty box without anyone troubling him. He found Sergi Roberto to his right, and the jack-of-all-trades man found Suarez with an incisive pass.
Messi Gloats at the Bernabeu Again
The Messi shirt celebration from last season? It didn’t happen this time. But Messi did stand in front of the fans he loves to torment and celebrated his goal, from the penalty spot, that just so happened to be the goal that made him the sole holder of the record for number of goals for any player of the top 5 leagues in Europe, leaving Gerd Muller behind.
Before Messi’s goal and Barcelona taking a 2-0 lead, came a series of misses and mishaps inside the box which I still don’t understand how Barcelona didn’t score from. They actually did, but the referee blew the whistle after Dani Carvajal intentionally blocked one of the shots with his hand, earning him an immediate exit.
Not Sergio Ramos’ Day
When Real Madrid are bad, Sergio Ramos is usually the worst of the bunch, and for someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, it’s never a flattering look.
Finishing the Job
The final goal came in the final minutes, as Lionel Messi, missing one shoe, found Aleix Vidal. Keylor Navas did get a touch on the ball, but his parry wasn’t powerful enough to make it change direction.
Gerard Pique Basking in the Moment
A solid game for Gerard Pique ended with him celebrating at his nemesis’ home ground. No Barcelona player enjoys that feeling more than him.
The looks on the faces, and Navas on his knees, says it all.