BARCELONA-A hat-trick from Luis Suarez helped FC Barcelona to a 5-1 master class over Real Madrid in El Clasico on Sunday night.
After a bright start from both sides, Barca seized the early initiative with the breakthrough after Phillipe Coutinho comfortably tapped home from inside the box.
With Real all at sea, Barcelona seized forward at random and nearly grabbed a second from their few half-chances.
Barca looked all the more promising and it took a great acrobatic save from Thibaut Courtois to keep out a powerful drive from Arthur Melo on the edge of the box.
A penalty was awarded to them after Raphael Varane brought down Luis Suarez. It was awarded on VAR consultation after dismissing the initial appeal.
The Uruguayan dusted himself off to beat Thibaut Courtois despite the latter going the right way on the half and hour mark for his second league goal in succession.
The Catalans were all over the show and a looping header from Gerard Pique just failed to connect with Suarez allowing Courtois to collect in the end.
From that sequence, a turnover of possession allowed Rafinha in on goal and he got goal-side before curling a left-footer over the top three minutes to halftime.
At the start of the second half, Real feeling the surge introduced the first change as Lucas Vazquez replaced the ineffective Varane.
The change brought some respite as it led them to reduce the deficit after Marcelo controlled perfectly a loose ball to slice home a loose ball five minute from the break.
Real were running the show at this point and Luka Modric fired against the post from a cross-field pass from Isco to the roar of the large crowd at Camp Nou.
The five-time European champions upped the ante again and a spell of good passes picked out Sergi Roberto out wide to cut back for Suarez to hit on the volley and struck the post.
The Catalans were edging closer to a third, but Real nearly found the equaliser with a cross from Vazquez meeting Karim Benzema to head over the top
Inevitably the contest was sealed on 74 minutes when Roberto picked out Suarez to head home from the penalty spot inside the 18-yard box.
Los Blancos were out of their widths and it was no surprise to see Barca taking off in full flight with total domination.
A delicate but well-timed chip from Suarez seven minutes to the end, leaving an on-rushing Courtois in his wake.
Substitute and summer signing Arturo Vidal came on and instantly made his presence felt after heading home a cross at the far post to end the match as a contest.
Suarez was denied a fourth in added time when his volley from inside the box drew a good instinctive save from Courtois. AFP