Suarez the star vs. Real Madrid as Barcelona rally in Messi’s absence

BARCELONA, Spain — The beauty of the Clasico is that it always delivers. If DHL or UPS could hit that rate of success, they’d be a billion times richer.

The beauty of football is that no matter how this thrashing is celebrated in Catalunya and no matter whether Julen Lopetegui lasts in his post another day or another week, the hard fact is the team that won so handsomely was utterly and completely on the ropes for most of the second half, until they made a tactical change. Time will erode that fact.

Some pundits, who might celebrate a Clasico win as if it were a cure to all social, political and economic rows between Catalunya and Madrid, will ignore the fact that it was not only when Luka Modric hit the post instead of scoring that the European champions were infinitesimally close to equalising or even taking the lead. In how many sports can you say that? The beaten team had a spell when they looked like winning, but in the end, they finished on the end of an absolute mauling and were clinging on, praying that the referee would blow the whistle, by which time Barcelona looked like they could, and would, score a sixth or seventh goal.

Obviously, the man of the moment, the man of the match was Luis Suarez.


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