Lionel Messi scored Barcelona’s first-ever hat-trick at the Bernabeu as the visitors tallied an epic 4-3 win to pull themselves back into the title race. Here are three thoughts from another wild, unforgettable clasico…
1. Living up to the hype
Sunday’s latest duel needed little introduction but given Real Madrid and Barcelona’s recent form in La Liga, there were more storylines than usual. Barca’s uncharacteristic league hiccups in 2014 — a 1-1 draw at Levante, defeats vs. Valencia, Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid — exposed some troubling flaws in Gerardo Martino’s side while also allowing Los Blancos and Atletico to assume a modicum of control in the title race.
With four points splitting the rivals and Atleti leading things on goal difference following a functional 2-0 win at ten-man Betis earlier on Sunday, things at the Bernabeu couldn’t have been more finely poised. via – ESPN FC