Barcelona thrash Real Madrid as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bags brace in El Clasico mauling

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Barcelona thrash Real Madrid as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bags brace in El Clasico mauling
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Real Madrid were humiliated by rivals Barcelona in a 4-0 defeat on Sunday night in an El Clasico where some will question which of the sides are nine points clear at the top of the La Liga.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the opener for Barca in the 29th minute when he managed to beat his man at the front post and divert his header past the helpless Thibaut Courtois from close range. Ronald Araujo was then left unmarked from a corner to double his side’s lead just nine minutes later.

Xavi’s Barca turned on the class in the second half and very easily could have won the match by six or seven if they were more clinical in the closing stages. Former Manchester City forward Ferran Torres whipped a fine strike into the top corner just moments after the half-time break following a skilful assist from Aubameyang.

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The summer signings then combined to score the fourth when Torres played a neat pass through to Aubameyang, who beat the offside trap and looped a cute chip over Courtois and into the back of the net. There were plenty of talking points to come out of this memorable El Clasico, Mirror Football takes a look at five talking points…

Madrid lost without Benzema

Without Karim Benzema spearheading their attack, Real Madrid looked lost. They changed their system numerous different times to try and provide something in the final third. Both Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo are excellent Brazilian wingers, but neither Luka Modric nor Mariano Diaz could get the very best out of the young prospects.

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Although a lot of Madrid’s issues were in defence, their attack was incredibly underwhelming as well. Carlo Ancelotti’s side were no longer pressing from the front and instead, there were several Barcelona stars running forward and past the flat-footed midfielders with ease.

Benzema has scored 22 and assisted 11 for the table-toppers so far this season, and their reliance on the 34-year-old in all departments was blatantly obvious on Sunday. If Madrid are to compete for silverware in all competitions going forward then they must consider signing another forward in the summer.

Impressive Aubameyang

Barcelona thrash Real Madrid as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bags brace in El Clasico mauling
© Getty Images Aubameyang scored a brace for Barcelona in an impressive solo display

Every time that Aubameyang is on the scoresheet, people will question whether Mikel Arteta let the Gabonese forward leave Arsenal too prematurely. The striker has been in flying form since joining Barca on a free transfer and he, again, showed what he has to offer on Sunday night with his two excellently taken goals and a smart assist.

In truth, Aubameyang went stale at Arsenal. He lost his spark and was no longer the threat he once was when he arrived in North London from Borussia Dortmund.

But some feel that Arteta could have given the 32-year-old one final chance at the Gunners after stripping him of the captaincy, even until the end of the season rather than leaving himself short of cover in the final third. Aubameyang is finding his best form with the Catalan club, and his performance in the El Clasico will only fuel those Arsenal fans who couldn’t believe he was let go for free in January.

Cursed but extortionate kit

Barcelona thrash Real Madrid as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bags brace in El Clasico mauling
© Getty Images Real Madrid fans won’t be rushing to purchase the limited edition shirt after Sunday’s display

Real Madrid wore a brand new black strip for their El Clasico match in what many deemed to be exploiting the faith of their fans. The largely black strip will certainly be a collector’s item, but one that Madrid fans won’t remember fondly.

The shirt is currently on sale on the Madrid site for £167, an extortionate price for any shirt. The Santiago Bernabeu are known for producing some excellent limited edition kits, but the basicness of this strip at such a price has infuriated many.

One football fan wrote on Twitter : “A marketing nonsense. Real Madrid are selling these shirts for an obscene £167. Shameless extortion of their own fans.” Whilst another added: “I don’t think Real Madrid are going to sell a lot of these shirts off the back of this promotion.”

Dembele puts himself in the shop window

Dembele ran riot down the right wing for Barca in a performance that the Real Madrid defenders will be having nightmares about for weeks. The Frenchman is out of contract at the end of the season and his display was the perfect advert of what he could add to any side in Europe.

The forward showed great speed and energy down the wing, proving a valuable output for Xavi’s side. Dembele’s work rate has often been questioned, but he was more than willing to track back in the El Clasico and looks reborn under Xavi.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain were all linked with the former Dortmund star in January, but performances like Sunday’s will capture the attention of numerous other top European sides. It remains to be seen whether he could be convinced to stay at the Camp Nou and buys into the vision of Xavi – who has been very open about how he hopes the player will stay.

Xavi masterclass

If Barcelona are able to build from this performance and continue impressing, they will certainly be back competing for the Champions League again. Xavi has instantly transformed the club and will be able to attract top talent in the summer.

Although the team are running on tight margins and are in debt, the club have been able to recruit some top talents and the likes of Torres and Aubameyang prove that. The Camp Nou outfit play a neat, attractive brand of football and the display stamped their authority on the league despite being sat in third.

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