El Clasico: Messi-less Barca Annihilate Real Madrid as Suarez bags Hat-Trick

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A Barcelona team bereft of Lionel Messi annihilated La Liga arch-rival Real Madrid 5-1 in the first El Clasico of the season.

Barcelona had a brighter start in the first El Clasico without either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo for over a decade – and they duly took the lead through the ex-Liverpool man.

A sweeping move down the left saw Jordi Alba hit the byline, then steadied himself and cut back for Phillipe Coutinho who turned home past Thibaut Courtois in the 11th minute.

On the half-hour mark, Luis Suarez made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after the Uruguayan had been brought down by Raphael Varane, with VAR helping the match official make his decision after initially playing on.

Marcelo found the net just five minutes into the second half to get them right back in the mix, but with 15 minutes remaining, Suarez headed home brilliantly to make it 3-1.

And he deliciously dinked over Courtois to seal his treble in the 83rd minute.

Arturo Vidal soon headed home five minutes after for number five as the Blaugrana romped to victory.

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