Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets described his team’s 5-1 El Clasico win without Lionel Messi as a ‘great achievement’.
Luis Suarez stepped up in the absence of Messi, who is recovering from a broken arm, to score a hat-trick in a 5-1 thrashing of Madrid at Camp Nou on Sunday.
Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal were also on the scoresheet as under-fire Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui was put under further pressure.
Delivering such a result without their superstar Messi was massive for Barca, according to Busquets.
‘It’s a great achievement to win 5-1 without Messi,’ he told the club’s website.
‘Normally, when we have trouble, Leo helps us out but today the team stepped up.’
Marcelo’s 50th-minute goal brought Madrid back to 2-1, but Barca struck three times in the final quarter of an hour.
Busquets said his team knew they would get their opportunities as Madrid pushed for a way back into the game.
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He said: ‘We knew that if we get through their pressure then we would have chances and then the counters came and the goals gave us a cushion.’
While Barca are only a point clear atop La Liga, they sit seven ahead of ninth-placed rivals Madrid.