Suárez seals El Clásico win, Gerrard ‘sorry’ as United down Liverpool

2015-03-23 10:21

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Luis Suárez inspired La Liga leaders Barcelona to a 2-1 home triumph over Real Madrid in El Clásico while Manchester United won at Liverpool in one of the Premier League’s most iconic games.

Barcelona stretched their lead over Real Madrid at the top of La Liga to four points after a superb finish from Suárez sealed a 2-1 home victory.

Jeremy Mathieu had given the hosts the lead only for Cristiano Ronaldo to equalise.

Then Suárez, who was slow to get into his stride at Barca following a four-month biting ban, showed his value to a club chasing silverware on three fronts this season.

He deftly brought a long ball by Dani Alves into his stride and with his second touch fired it into the corner despite a desperate dive from keeper Iker Casillas.

“It was a goal that only the very top players are capable of scoring. The way he controlled the ball and struck it,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique told reporters.

“That is why we paid the money we did to sign him. It was not just for that though but his attitude, his effort and what he gives the team.

“I am pleased that he was a decisive player and generally for the effort that he put into the game. I said a long time ago that he is not just the old-type striker but someone who combines well.

“He is a scorer, someone that can set up chances and is also physically strong.”

Meanwhile at Anfield, Juan Mata scored twice in Manchester United’s 2-1 win against Liverpool.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was sent off for stamping on Ander Herrera just 38 seconds after coming on as a half-time substitute as United moved five points clear of their fifth-placed rivals.

Steven Gerrard is shown a red card by referee Martin Atkinson. Picture: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine Livepic

With Gerrard set to quit Liverpool for MLS side LA Galaxy in the close season, this was almost certainly his last appearance for the Merseysiders against their fierce northwest rivals.

“I need to accept it; the decision was right. I’ve let down my team mates and the fans. I take full responsibility,” Gerrard told Sky Sports.

“I don’t know what caused it. Probably just a reaction to the initial tackle.

“I shouldn’t say more about it really. I’ve just come out here to apologise to the dressing room and supporters.”

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