Real Madrid CF's unbeaten opening to the Liga campaign came to a shuddering halt at Camp Nou as FC Barcelona crushed José Mourinho's men 5-0 in the season's first 'Clásico'.
Josep Guardiola's team never looked back after storming into a two-goal lead inside 18 minutes with strikes from Xavi Hernández and Pedro Rodríguez. David Villa's double in the space of four second-half minutes underlined the superiority of the home side on the night with Jeffren ensuring Madrid were toppled from the summit to two points behind an irrepressible Barça.
Barcelona quickly forced their rivals into retreat and Lionel Messi's brilliance almost broke the deadlock after five minutes, his sublime curling effort striking the far upright. The Catalan faithful did not have long to wait for the opener, though, as Andrés Iniesta's purposeful burst and incisive pass allowed Xavi to poke past Iker Casillas from close range in the tenth minute.
Ángel Di María tested Víctor Valdés as Madrid attempted to establish a foothold but instead the rug was pulled from under them as the hosts added a second. Xavi fired a cross-field pass that found Villa in space, the striker darting past Sergio Ramos and driving in a low cross that evaded the grasp of Casillas leaving Pedro the simplest of finishes.
Mourinho shuffled his pack at the interval with Lassana Diarra replacing Mesut Özil but the Blaugrana continued to dictate with Villa thwarted by Casillas and Xavi slicing into the side-netting with the goalkeeper scrambling back shortly after the resumption.
The third goal, ten minutes after half-time, came as no surprise with Messi's scything pass controlled by Villa and the Spain striker finishing with aplomb across the face of Casillas. Los Merengues were shell-shocked but Messi and Villa were relentless, another through ball from the Argentinian schemer dispatched by his strike partner on 58 minutes to send the Camp Nou supporters into early victory celebrations.
There was time for a final hurrah in stoppage time as Bojan Krkić sped down the right flank and crossed for fellow substitute Jeffren to flip a nonchalant fifth past a bemused Casillas. Madrid's misery was compounded when Sergio Ramos received a red card to complete a remarkable evening's entertainment.
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|Last updated: 27/11/2012 03:42 CET|