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Rampant Barca stun Mourinho’s Real Madrid

Barcelona 5 Real Madrid 0: “They are so good they can play in the rain and not get wet", it was once said of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side.

Last night it poured down on Jose Mourinho’s first Clasico and The Special One got absolutely soaked.

He kept his calm on the touchline as Cristiano Ronaldo barged into Pep Guardiola, causing a 21-man free-for-all and a booking for the Real Madrid No 9.

He stayed inside his technical area as Leo Messi took a dramatic tumble after a tangle with Ricardo Carvalho.

But he must have wanted the Camp Nou to swallow him up as 100,000 Barcelona fans celebrated one of their greatest nights — humiliating the “translator” and moving to the top of the league in the process.

The wet conditions were a gift from the heavens for Barcelona’s front six and a nightmare for a shaky looking Real Madrid rearguard. Five of those six are World Champions and the other is Leo Messi — it was all too much for Madrid.

Real were without the injured striker Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema was given a rare start in attack alongside La Liga’s top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo. Guardiola picked his gala XI with no thought for extra precaution against the league’s most prolific attacking force.

Driving rain slowed the arrival of Barcelona supporters to the open stands of the Camp Nou but there were still enough in the ground half an hour before kick-off to give the customary shrill reception to the visitors. Ronaldo was very deliberately last out of the tunnel and was so saved a very personal welcome.

He lost his way in both these fixtures last season and was coming into the match never having scored against Barcelona — a run that had extended to international level when he faces Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique for Portugal against Spain.

David Villa greeted Ronaldo with a “welcome to the Clasico” tackle that lifted the crowd. On six minutes Messi hit Iker Casillas’s right-hand upright — it heralded the start of an awful first 20 minutes for the Spanish international goalkeeper.

He was picking the ball out of his net after just nine minutes when Messi’s pass found Iniesta who released Xavi to put the home side in front with a neat finish.

Marcelo had slipped on the wet surface and he was at fault for the second goal as this time Xavi started the move and Pedro finished it from Villa’s cross.

Frustrated by his team being overwhelmed, Ronaldo knocked the ball out of Guardiola’s hand on the touchline and kick-started a 21-man melee led by Victor Valdes, who came charging out of his goal to protect his manager. Ronaldo was booked along with the goalkeeper and Carles Puyol.

Ronaldo was trying desperately to keep Real in the game, butwhenever they threatened Puyol was the quickest and strongest inside the penalty area as Barça maintained their dominance.

Messi went close inside the first five minutes of the second half and then had the ball in the net only to be flagged for offside before Xavi also went close, shooting into the side netting.

But the near-misses soon became goals number three and four with the Villa-Messi combination too much for Madrid.

Twice the Argentine’s slide-rule passes were ran onto and dispatched by the fantastic Spanish centre-forward.

Barcelona were now passing Real Madrid into the ground and as Carvahlo pulled back Pedro he can count himself lucky not to be shown a red card for his desperate challenge.

The humiliation though was complete when substitute Jeffren added a fifth from close range before Sergio Ramos was sent off for an ugly foul on Messi and nasty push on Puyol.

lLeicester City last night beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 in the Championship. An Andy King goal, in the 59th minute, settled this encounter.

Belfast Telegraph


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