Barcelona were determined not to let a couple of games, including the first league defeat of the season, derail the Barca juggernaut, and a 5-1 defeat of Osasuna at the Nou Camp was just what was needed, especially with a visit to the Bernabeu coming up on Wednesday. Christiano Ronaldo had scored a hat-trick for Real Madrid in an earlier kick-off, but he will have had his day spoilt by Lionel Messi eclipsing his achievement once again and scoring four.
You can imagine Ronaldo sitting back to enjoy the day after putting three past Getafe, only to see or hear about Messi’s incredible four and getting that look he gets when a referee does not award him a free kick, almost as if he is about to cry and the whole world is against him.
Messi was mesmerising in the game, his first goal a real thing of beauty (see below). David Villa was given a rare league start and he linked up brilliantly. The 31-year old was only denied a goal by an incorrect offside flag, but the way he and Messi played and communicated made the rumours of a rift look ridiculous. It was Messi who fed him for what should have been a goal, and Villa was quick to thank him anyway.
The record scorer for Spain will probably be called on again for the Clasico on Wednesday, because Alexis Sanchez cannot buy a goal at the minute, squandering more chances after coming on. Pedro, however, has started to find the net after breaking his duck recently. He scored the opener to put us on our way. We were also helped by the referee. It was a handball by Arribas and a penalty, but I thought the second yellow card was unnecessary.
The result was a perfect way to prepare for the trip to the Bernabeu in the Copa Del Rey on Wednesday. Real Madrid have been getting better results recently, but they will not be looking forward to playing Barcelona without Casillas, Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao and Di Maria.