Bravo made seven fine saves to denyl Madrid from scoring / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

FC Barcelona have won the first Clásico of the season. At the Bernabéu. And in spectacular fashion! Suárez got two goals and Iniesta and Neymar Jr got the others in a game where Sergi Roberto demonstrated just what a class player he is, the defence was as solid as a rock, and Claudio Bravo produced some stunning saves to deny Real Madrid whenever they did find a way through.

Captain Andrés Iniesta led the team with an ambitious approach to the game from the very first moment. He scored one goal and provided the assist for another, while his pass accuracy was an impressive 96%. His goal was his first since he scored at the same stadium in that thrilling 4-3 win, and the home supporters gallantly applauded him off the field.

Last night was the second time in three years that Barça have scored four at the Bernabéu. Incredibly, that’s five wins in the last eight visits, and just two defeats, with the Catalans scoring 22 goals and conceding just 12 in the process. 

Since their first Liga encounter in 1929, Barça and Real Madrid have met 213 times in all competitions. Traditionally it has been the all-whites that have slightly had the upper hand, but the amazing performances of the last decade have evened things out. Barça are now just one win shy of Madrid’s 84, with 45 of their games having ended in draws.  

This was one of the most one-sided Clásicos in living memory. The FC Barcelona players won 69 tackles and made a total of 675 passes, 593 of which were completed, equating to a very satisfying accuracy rate of 88%.

The way Barça strang passes together was a joy to behold. The lead-up to Luis Suárez’s opener involved 24 passes without Madrid touching the ball once – two of which were with the first touch. Every single one of the outfield players was involved in the move! That’s not something that happens very often in any game, let alone against Real Madrid!

Suárez put an end to Keylor Navas’ unbeaten run between the Madrid posts. The Costa Rican stopper had not conceded a league goal since November 8, when Alberto Bueno scored the only goal for Rayo Vallecano in a 5-1 defeat.

And the team is also excelling at the back. The Clásico produced their fifth clean sheet on the trot, with Piqué, Alves, Alba and Mathieu, the back four for most of the game, winning 31 balls and clearing 58. And it was Jordi Alba who led the team in passes, with 75.

Claudio Bravo posted another solid performance in goal. Real Madrid have a lethal forward line, but they could find no way past the Chilean, who produced seven saves, including three beauties to deny Cristiano Ronaldo, Varane and Benzema. And with 28 completed passes, he also played a part in the amazing combination football that Madrid simply could not find an answer to.

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