Madrid's Clasico humiliation shows Zidane needs to cull ageing superstars

Diego Costa celebrates Christmas with a massive lizard

With the league title currently out of their reach, if not outright impossible, all eyes will be on the cup competitions for Madrid. Thai businessman Chansiri changed his tune less than 24 hours later, saying: "Both parties believe the time is right to go our separate ways". Real are 14 points adrift but have a game in hand.

Zidane lamented his sides' missed opportunities as Cristiano Ronaldo was denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Karim Benzema hit the post in a bright first half display by the hosts before Barca eventually took control. After months of underwhelming performances on the domestic front, the Santiago Bernabéu crowd demanded a resurgent performance to feed their insatiable appetite.

In August, some of Barcelona's fans and media questioned spending 40 million euros on Paulinho, who at 29 was playing in the Chinese league after a disappointing stint at Tottenham in the English Premier League. But it also left Madrid with fewer bodies covering the midfield, and opened them up for attack.

Thus, accusations of his refusal to prepare for coming on were rejected by the Spaniard.

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"Messi is the best player in the world."

Going back to the happenings of the game, we can see that there were many unexpected scenarios from the beginning of the game.

Confusion reigned supreme on the Real Madrid bench after Dani Carvajal's red card, with Gareth Bale already set to come on and Isco remaining on the bench. It was frustrating to watch for club faithful, and the stadium mustered up enough energy to jeer these under-handed tactics.

To celebrate the win, Aleix Vidal mocked Ronaldo, adopting his trademark celebration as he posed with his teammates for a celebratory team photo in the changing rooms. The final score-line may not have reflected the overall balance of play, but it was duly deserved by a Barcelona side which seemingly never fails to capitalize on its chances. Nothing can deliver breathless 3-3 draws like the EPL, and this one was enthralling. And this time, they might have even put a bow on the league. Kovacic and Casemiro covered Messi pretty well in the first half while the Argentine kept looking for a weakness in Madrid's defensive structures. "His behaviour on and off the pitch is exemplary".

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