With their 31st league championship already secured, Real Madrid wasted no time with their complete 4-1 victory over nemesis FC Barcelona at Bernabéu. This latest installment of the Spanish El Clásico ended early on with two goals from Real Madrid in the first twenty minutes. Barcelona’s loss dooms the Catalan club to third place in the Primera División. This result forces Barça into the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds where the potential for a shock upset by a smaller club looms.
Raúl the club’s captian set the tone early on in the match. He opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a brilliant finish. He now has 17 league goals. Midfielder Guti was credited with an assist on the play. Seven minutes after this opening score, winger Arjen Robben’s header from Guti’s free kick increased Los Blancos lead by two. Robben now has scored via header in his last two matches. When the Dutch footballer exited the match, he received a standing ovation for his tremendous effort on the day.
In the second half, Gonzalo Higuaín, the 20 year-old Argentine-French forward came on for Robben. He quickly sent the supporters to their feet with the club’s third goal in the 63rd minute of play. Real Madrid’s fourth goal came courtesy of Ruud van Nistelrooy’s penalty kick in the 78th minute.
Barcelona’s lone goal arrived from forward Thierry Henry in the 87th minute. A goal that came much too late for this dreadfully inconsistent Barcelona squad.