The Clásico front pages

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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