EL CLÁSICO

Bale, Benzema and Cristiano won the war against Messi, Suárez and Neymar

The Frenchman and Portuguese hit the mark while the former Spurs' winger had a goal ruled out incorrectly. The MSN on the other hand barely troubled Keylor Navas.

Bale, Ronaldo and Benzema
JESUS RUBIO DIARIO AS

The attacking trio made up of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo had never won at the Camp Nou up until Saturday but that all changed following their 1-2 comeback. The Frenchman was the first to get off the mark (something he has made a habit of this season), breaking the deadlock with an acrobatic bicycle kick, then up popped the Portugal international with the winner, but not before the Welsh talisman had a goal unfairly disallowed for a non-existent foul on Jordi Alba which Zinedine Zidane made reference to during his post-match press conference: “I don’t know why it was disallowed, it was perfectly fine”, the Real Madrid manager complained after the final whistle. Whatever the reasons were for the officials scratching the former Tottenham star’s goal off the record, Zizou’s three front men were in awesome form compared with the MSN - made up of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar - who were lackluster and failed to impress against their El Clásico rivals.

The Madrid threesome blew the Barca forwards out of the water in terms of stats. The BBC registered nearly twice the number of shots as their Blaugrana counterparts (13 vs. 7) and recovered double the amount of balls as them (8 vs. 4). Indeed, Ronaldo recovered more balls (5) then the three Culé attackers combined. On the flipside, Messi, Suárez and Neymar were guilty of losing possession on numerous occasions. Between the three South Americans, Barca lost the ball 54 times (the BBC meanwhile recorded 38 losses) with the Argentinian player having a particularly out-of-sorts night: wasting possession 23 times alone. The enigmatic number 10 played in a very central role, far away from the danger zone. So toothless were the MSN that the Real Madrid back line was only forced into committing three fouls on them, while the BBC were taken down on four occasions. And while Barca dominated in the possession stakes (68.3% vs. 31.7%), they could only muster three shots on target, while the visitors called Claudio Bravo into action seven times.

Lucas Vázquez called it during the run up to the game: "The BBC have nothing to envy the MSN about". The Merengue trident have performed well in other matches, not just Saturday’s Clásico showdown. The figures show that they hit the mark or provide an assist every 66 minutes in La Liga, while Los Culés front three need 67 minutes to do the same. However the domestic competition pans out, the BBC have managed to sharpen their utensils ahead of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Wolfsburg. Should things go to plan against the Germans, they could well cross paths with the Catalans and the MSN yet again before the season is out.