Luis Suarez hit a hat-trick as Julen Lopetegui’s dismal Real Madrid reign appeared to near its end in a 5-1 Clasico humiliation at the hands of Barcelona.
Former Spain boss Lopetegui was said to be on the brink of the sack after losing to Levante last week and he cut a disheartened figure on the Camp Nou touchline as Madrid were dismantled in his 14th game in charge.
The irrepressible Suarez led Barca, who were rampant even without Lionel Messi and capitalised on their rivals’ failings to move back to the top of LaLiga
Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring for the champions and Suarez doubled their advantage in a devastating first-half showing, with Marcelo’s response shortly after the restart merely a small bump in the road.
Suarez executed a magnificent header and then a gorgeous dinked finish, before Arturo Vidal added the fifth to prompt a party in the stands as Lopetegui, whose side remain ninth, shuffled towards the exit door.