BARCELONA: Luis Suarez scored a hat trick to lead Barcelona to a 5-1 rout of Real Madrid on Sunday, giving the defending champions the Spanish league lead and putting the future of Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui in serious jeopardy.
With the injured Lionel Messi watching from the Camp Nou stands, Suarez doubled Barcelona’s lead from the penalty spot in the 30th minute after Philippe Coutinho had opened the scoring for the hosts.
Marcelo pulled one back for Madrid early in the second half, but Suarez scored twice to ensure the win before substitute Arturo Vidal completed the demolition.
The victory lifted Barcelona back to the top of the Spanish league with 21 points, while Madrid was left languishing in ninth place with 14 points.
Madrid has now gone five rounds without a win, including four losses, in its first season under Lopetegui.
The match was the first “clasico” match since 2007 to be played without both Messi and former Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.–AP