Barcelona stunned Real Madrid with a 4-0 victory on Sunday as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice in a Clasico demolition at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The match was billed as a test of Barca’s progress under Xavi Hernandez and they passed with flying colours, a humiliation of their fiercest rivals suggesting they are primed to challenge again for LaLiga next season.
And while the result might have little bearing on the title race this term, a defeat of this magnitude, at home, and against Barcelona, will cause serious reverberations at Real Madrid.
Questions will be asked about Carlo Ancelotti‘s future, with Madrid outplayed tactically and technically by Xavi’s Barca, who were faster, slicker and, perhaps most worryingly, could easily have won by more.
Madrid were admittedly without the injured Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy while there could have been a degree of complacency, given they kicked off nine points clear at the top of the table after Sevilla were held to a goalless draw by Real Sociedad.
Ancelotti’s side remain nine points clear of Sevilla and 12 ahead of third-placed Barcelona at the top of La Liga, but Barcelona have now set the tone for the future of this iconic encounter.
After five consecutive losses to Madrid, a win of any kind was the next step for Barca but a hammering like this could be transformative, delivering a huge boost to confidence, vindication of Xavi’s project and optimism for next season all in one fell swoop.
“We changed our negative dynamic of losing the last few Clasicos,” said Xavi. “We’ve proved we can compete and play against the best sides in the world.
“I don’t know if we can win the title. We can’t rule out anything. Maybe we’re a bit late but this is a very big win for us.”
“I’m very proud of my team. This is El Clasico and can only help us going forward. There’s still a lot to do.”