Barcelona breathed life into the LaLiga title race as they overcame fierce rivals Real Madrid in an El Clasico dating back to March 23, 2014. However, despite the magnitude of the Real Madrid vs Barcelona game, headlines were grabbed by the mercurial Lionel Messi. The Real Madrid vs Barcelona clash ended 3-4 in favour of the visiting side at the Santiago Bernabeu as Lionel Messi crowned himself as the all-time top-scorer in El Clasico history with a hat-trick against Los Blancos.
More often than not, Barcelona's visit to the Spanish capital for El Clasico spells disaster for Real Madrid when Lionel Messi boards the bus along with his teammates. This time was going to be no different as the Argentine was arguably at the pinnacle of his career in terms of his age. Little did the Madrid faithful realise what was in store for their team amid goals and chances galore as well as leading for a majority of the game.
🗓️ On this day in 2014— BarcaSelect (@BarcaSelect) March 23, 2020
A Lionel Messi hat-trick saw Barcelona come from behind in one of the most memorable Clasicos in history
🔵 7' Iniesta
⚪️ 20' Benzema
⚪️ 24' Benzema
🔵 42' Messi
⚪️ 55' Ronaldo
🟥 63' Ramos
🔵 65' Messi
🔵 84' Messi pic.twitter.com/zILBgYF82J
An El Clasico rarely disappoints, and Andres Iniesta opened the scoring after a clever pass from Lionel Messi. However, the hosts fought back with two goals in a space of four minutes through Karim Benzema. El Clasico was alive and Lionel Messi, as usual, stepped up to the occasion to pull the game back at 2-2 with a low drive just before half time.
Cristiano Ronaldo put Real Madrid back in front from a spot-kick before Sergio Ramos was sent off for a pullback on Neymar inside the penalty box. Lionel Messi converted the penalty restoring parity and the scores were tied at 3-3. However, the El Clasico record books were waiting for Lionel Messi to add another one of his historic landmarks. Andres Iniesta was clattered by Xabi Alonso, which resulted in the third penalty of the night. Lionel Messi once again found the net from 12 yards to earn three crucial points for his team in another thrilling Real Madrid vs Barcelona encounter.
The staggering record for Messi vs Real Madrid on the night was that he became the all-time top goalscorer in El Clasico history with 21 goals, surpassing Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano. Another astonishing fact if that the Messi vs Real Madrid record comes second to none in this El Clasico as he has now scored 26 goals against the 13-time European champions.
Catch the highlights of the LaLiga encounter between Real Madrid vs Barcelona (March 23, 2014) here: