El Clasico contests in the twenty-first century have been dominated by the Catalans, particularly since Pep Guardiola’s reign at Barcelona. In La Liga, Barcelona and Real Madrid have met each other 43 times this century, of which Barcelona have won 18 and drawn 11 games. But Real Madrid have notched up a few memorable victories even though they have lacked consistency. In this article, we will look back at five biggest victories of Real Madrid in the El Clasico battles of this century.
#5 Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona, 25 October 2014
The 2014-15 season started well for Barcelona, as they were undefeated in the league before they travelled to Bernabeu. Claudio Bravo had kept a record eight consecutive clean sheets to begin the season. While Real Madrid endured a shaky start with two defeats in their first three games, they notched up five consecutive victories to steady the ship.
Neymar gave Barcelona the lead in the fourth minute itself with a fine finish. However, Real Madrid were relentless in attack and took the lead through a penalty from Ronaldo. With all the star names on the pitch, it was Pepe who gave Madrid the lead with a header. Finally, Benzema doubled Madrid’s lead after finishing off a wonderful counter-attack.
#4 Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid, 26 February 2013
In the 2012-13 Copa del Rey semi-final, Barcelona faced Real Madrid. The first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu was drawn 1-1. Barcelona were billed as the favorites to win the second leg, as they rarely ever lose a game at Camp Nou. In the first half, Madrid took the lead after a great run from Angel di Maria and a crisp finish from Cristiano Ronaldo.
In the second half, Ronaldo scored a penalty and Varane contributed with a headed goal to give Real Madrid a healthy lead. Alba pulled one back for Barcelona, but the clock winded down quickly and Madrid qualified for the final.
#3 Real Madrid 4-2 Barcelona, 10 April 2005
In the 2004/05 La Liga season, Madrid and Barcelona were entangled in a thrilling race for the title. Hence, this El Clasico at the Bernabeu was billed as a title decider. Zidane scored early in the game with a thumping header at the back post. Ronaldo doubled Real Madrid’s lead soon with another header.
Barcelona hit back through Eto’o but Raul scored before half-time and Madrid retained their two goal lead. Real Madrid’s fourth goal came courtesy of a brilliant pass from David Beckham. Ronaldinho scored a wonderful freekick, but the game ended with Real Madrid claiming a comfortable victory.
#2 Real Madrid 3-0 Barcelona, 26 February 2000
Madrid had one of their worst league seasons in 1999/00 as they finished fifth. But one of the most dominant victory for Real Madrid in the El Clasico came during the same season. Roberto Carlos scored a trademark free-kick while Anelka scored a rare goal in a Real Madrid shirt. Morientes’ goal in the second half ensured an easy victory for Real Madrid.
#1 Real Madrid 4-1 Barcelona, 7 May 2008
One of the biggest victories for Real Madrid in the El Clásico came courtesy of a weak and disoriented Barcelona side. Raul’s wonderful left-footed finish into the bottom left corner was just the beginning of a forgettable day for the Catalans. Robben doubled the lead with a goal from close range, while Higuain and Van Nistelrooy effectively ended the game with a goal each. This match was an embarrassment for Barcelona as they also had to give a guard of honor for their rivals due to their title victory.