Press praise

Press praise "Majestic Messi"

Catalan and Spanish press reactions to Barça's win at the Bernabeu. "Majestic Messi" and "sublime Iniesta" win media praise

The Catalan press were full of praise for Barça’s performance at the Bernabeu, with Leo Messi again gaining the biggest plaudits. As for the Madrid media – the stress was very much on the fact that the league is still to play for. Below we look at some of the quotes from both camps:

El Mundo Deportivo: “Messi and Iniesta lay down the law to silence the Bernabeu. Messi conquers the Bernabéu with a memorable hat trick”.

Sport: “ Imperious Messi revives Barça’s league hope”

La Vanguardia: Martino’s men take the Bernabeu with a historic victory, thanks to an exhibition from Iniesta and Messi that puts them back into the title race”.

El Periodico:  "Gutsy Barça devastate Madrid”

El País: "This was a high class game with a majestic Messi and a sublime Iniesta There had been doubts about Barça before the game, but the beats awoke from its slumber”

Marca: "Barça revitalized in the Bernabéu and get themselves back into the title race after winning a thrilling Clasico. The win sows the seeds of doubt about a Madrid team who have fialed to beat either Atletico or Barça”.

As: “A memorable Clasico. There’s still the league to play for and plenty of controversy. Barça won to show that they are still alive, to close a few mouths, and to make the title race tighter than ever. Messi scored a hat trick and reclaimed the Ballon D’Oro”

Olé: "The victory of the century"

The Guardian: "Madrid's opportunity was Barcelona's obligation. Tata Martino described it as a last chance. Defeat would put his side seven points behind their rivals, the title gone. Instead, they are alive; this is a game that has done a service to Spanish football – a deeper one even than it first appeared"

BBC: "Barcelona breathed new life into their La Liga title hopes as a Lionel Messi hat-trick helped fire them to victory in a thrilling match at 10-man Real Madrid"

A Bola: "With his hat trick this Sunday, Lionel Messi because the all-time top scorer in the great Spanish football classic, with 21 goals. Messi surpassed Alfredo Di Stéfano, who had scored 18 goals in 30 Clásicos … La Pulga, however, broke the mark in only 26 Clásicos and he’s only 26 years old, which means he can increase his record"

Emol: “Barcelona are more alive than ever in the fight for the Liga after winning one of the best Spanish football clásicos in recent memory away to Real Madrid by 3-4, thanks to an incredible performance from Lionel Messi, who scored a hat trick”

Lance: "In a game that had ups and downs, Barcelona claimed victory and Messi set a new Clásico record"

La Gazzeta dello Sport: "When the talk of Barça’s demise was at its loudest, people forgot about five letters: Messi. Leo Messi, it’s always him. In the Clásico at the phenomenal Bernabéu, the Argentinian scored three goals and assisted Iniesta for the opener. Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 4 to 3, and their back in the race for La Liga"

France Football: "They won by 3-4 over Real Madrid after an incredible match, FC Barcelona (third) are one point behind Atlético and the White House [Real Madrid]. Messi scored a hat-trick and gave an assist. Benzema scored twice in vain"

ESPN: "If you watched it, you'll never forget it ... Football was invented for a night like this. Bravery, brio, technique, showmanship, nerve, fun, fear, fury -- goals, goals, goals ... Whether he [Tata Martino] wins the title (or anything else), whether he walks or stays, this likeable but puzzling Argentinian will always be able to point to a 100 percent clasico win record in his first season, six goals scored and a continuation of Barcelona's pretty remarkable record of two defeats in their 10 visits to the Bernabeu prior to this win. That's one hell of a calling card."

New York Times: "Scintillating Clásico sets up compelling race for Spanish title"

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