Barcelona handed Real Madrid a 5-0 thrashing in the El Classico to go top of the Spanish La Liga with a two point lead.

Xavi started the rout with a goal in the 10th minute, before Pedro doubled the lead eight minutes later. Barca went into half-time with the lead barely threatened, and Messi stole the show in the second half.

The Argentine set up both of David Villa goals with perfectly placed through-balls to make it 4-0, before substitute Jeffran's fifth in injury time insulted a wounded Madrid.

After the game, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho conceded that his team played badly but said they were not humiliated. He said, One team played very good, one team very bad. One deserved to win and one deserved to lose. Humiliated? No. It's easy to deal with this loss, we just weren't good enough.

We gifted them two goals that were almost ridiculous. I was watching the game. I tried to change things at the interval and we came out quite well, but then they scored again and there was nothing I could do - the game was lost.

Last week we had a point more than Barcelona and today we have a point less. And as I have always said, Barca is the finished article while Madrid is still a long way off that.

Barca coach Pep Guardiola was asked if he thought the result would end up in Mourinho getting the sack. I don't think so he said. This match isn't representative of the difference between the two teams. They are a very good team, they came here unbeaten and as league leaders. Today all of our players played well and that was the difference.

Now it's very easy to we are better than them, but only time will tell. In a few years time, we will see. They are on a spectacular level, but we were better today.

In these two years we have been superior to Madrid - that's true. With time, we can enjoy these things more. And we will enjoy this for a few days now as well.

The 209th El Classico was to be the most heavily contested, considering the form of both teams prior to the fixture. The battle between the world's two greatest players - Messi and Ronaldo - was another factor which had the sports lovers all over relishing the prospect. But Messi's display was so supreme, and Real's so abject that Ronaldo barely had time to induce the game.

Madrid were dealt a blow before the match had even started when striker Gonzalo Higuain dropped out with an injury and was replaced by Karim Benzema. 

It was Barca who started off in the front foot. They almost scored within five minutes when Messi came close with a chip from a tight angle which hit the post and rebounded away.

In the opening exchanges, Barca looked the more dangerous side going forward, and when the Catalan side went ahead, Camp Nou was delirious. It came after good work from Iniesta who sent Xavi free with perfectly-weighted through ball which the Spanish midfielder lobbed past Casillas after initially miscontrolling the ball.

Two minutes later, Angel di Maria almost burnt a whole through Valdes' gloves with a stinging effort. However, Barca countered and soon made it 2-0 with their next attack. Villa's low cross across goal from the left was parried by Casillas on to the path of Pedro for an easy tap-in.

The next significant event in the game was when a mini-brawl broke out after Cristiano Ronaldo had pushed Barca coach Pep Guardiola for refusing to give him the ball behind the touchline. Victory Valdes rushed the length of the pitch to give Ronaldo a piece of his mind, while Iniesta among other Barca players pushed the Portuguese winger around, clearly saying something along the lines of 'don't you dare touch that man'. Ronaldo was carded and was booed and jeered for the rest of the match.

However, the Portuguese seemed to do his talking on the pitch and he came close with a free-kick which was blocked out for a corner. He then saw a penalty appeal turned down after being brought down by Valdes. At the other end, Messi was booked for simulation after exaggerating a foul by Ricardo Carvalho.

Barca began the second half as they had started the first with Xavi and Villa coming close to stretching the lead. With just 54 minutes on the clock Villa made it 3-0 after good work from Messi. The Argentine's through ball was latched on by Villa and the Spaniard made no mistake in finishing into the far post.

The same twosome made it 4-0 just three minutes later as Messi's through ball in behind Ramos was perfectly weighted for Villa to slid through Casillas' leg and into the empty net.

The party at Camp Nou had already begun. But it wasn't over yet and with three minutes left, Bojan's cross from the right was tapped in by another substitute Jeffren, adding insult to injury for Madrid.

Madrid were frustrated and it showed when Ramos lost his cool and was red-carded after hitting out at international team mate Puyol and then Xavi near the touchline. The game ended in ugly scenes but that didn't dampen Barca spirits as they secured the bragging rights till the next classico. This will go down in history as one of their greatest performances against Real Madrid.