Spanish media laud incredible Barcelona

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The Independent Football

The Spanish press was littered with words such as 'thrashed', 'humiliated' and 'ridiculed' following Barcelona's comprehensive 5-0 defeat of arch rivals Real Madrid at the Nou Camp last night.

Madrid went into El Clasico still unbeaten in 19 competitive matches under new coach Jose Mourinho and boasting a one-point lead over second-placed Barca at the top of the Primera Division standings, but they were swept aside in stunning fashion by Pep Guardiola's troops.

Goals from Xavi and Pedro put the hosts 2-0 up after 18 minutes and then another of Barca's World Cup-winning contingent David Villa added a quickfire brace at the start of the second half to make if 4-0 inside an hour.

Guardiola's side, who have now won five successive matches against Madrid - including a similarly emphatic 6-2 mauling at the Bernabeu in 2009, added a fifth goal in stoppage-time through Jeffren before Madrid lost Sergio Ramos to a straight red card for scything down Lionel Messi.

This morning's newspapers in Spain were universal in their reporting of Barca's overwhelming dominance in what had been one of the most eagerly-awaited Clasicos in recent times.

Catalan-based daily Sport's front page had a picture of a splayed hand with the headline: "5-0. Slap to Mourinho. Thrashing, humiliation and leaders!"

It added: "Footballing lesson from Barca to Madrid who received another historic thrashing at the Nou Camp."

Sport, who also advertised on its front page t-shirts commemorating the victory, added inside: "Another golden page for Barca. Spectacular game of the Azulgranas which ridiculed their rivals. The humiliation left Mourinho hiding on the bench. The whole world saw how there is still no team like Barca."

Sport's fellow Barcelona-based paper El Mundo Deportivo's front cover was emblazoned with a huge 5-0 over the picture of Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes and centre-back Gerard Pique holding up their hands up with fingers outstretched in celebration of the result.

It's headline read: "Madrid thrashed!"

Spain's biggest-selling paper, Madrid-based Marca, also praised Barca but pointed an accusing finger at referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez as well.

On it's online edition the headlines were: "Slap to Real Madrid" and "This Barca is a machine".

The front cover of its newspaper added: "After 18 minutes it was already 2-0 thanks to the football from another galaxy of Xavi, Villa and SuperMessi. Iturralde denied a penalty from Valdes on CR7 (Cristiano Ronaldo) and an offside of 'El Guaje' (Villa) in the third goal. Ramos was sent off for taking out the Argentinian and then lost control."

It continued inside, saying: "Memorable symphony. Barca destroy a disappointing Madrid. Lesson of class, intelligence and the precision of their midfielders. The biggest defeat of a team of Mourinho's".

Marca also heaped praise on Barca playmaker Xavi, who has been struggling with an Achilles tendon problem this season but was in stunning form again last night.

"Xavi broke the game with 20 minutes of genius," said Marca in giving the Spain international their star man award. "There is no other like him. Xavi was a cyclone. He dominated all aspects of the game; control, passing, precision, acceleration, pausing, pressure and (scored a) goal."

Another Madrid-based sports newspaper AS showed a picture of Barca striker Bojan Krkic and Sami Khedira attempting to hold back Ramos as the referee showed him his red card, with the headline: 'Thrashed and in tatters'.

Ramos was dismissed for his ugly foul on Messi and then shoved Barca captain Carles Puyol and Xavi - both Spain team-mates of the Madrid defender - in the face as he made his way off the pitch.

Inside AS it added: "Barcelona danced against a Madrid without soul. They had no answer to the touch football of Barca."

In their sports pages, El Pais, the biggest-selling non-sports paper in Spain, spoke of: "An historic Azulgrana festival. Superb footballing lesson from the Azulgrana team who dismantled an impotent Madrid with five goals and claimed the league leadership."

El Mundo added on their front page: "Barcelona humiliate Real Madrid once again."

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