Zinedine Zidane sprung a massive surprise ahead of El Clasico by naming Mateo Kovacic in his starting line-up for the crunch match.
Madrid knew they needed to win to cut the 11-point gap to eight in the La Liga title race.
However, the gap is now 14 points after Barcelona comfortably won 3-0.
And it was Kovacic that played a key role in the opening goal of the match after half-time.
Barca’s Ivan Rakitic burst forward and, instead of defending the ball, he decided to stick with Lionel Messi. That allowed Rakitic to continue unopposed before feeding Sergi Roberto. Roberto’s first-time cross found Luis Suarez at the back post, who finished calmly.
Ten minutes later and it was game over.
Dani Carvajal handled Paulinho’s goal-bound header and received a red card. Lionel Messi stepped up and doubled Barca’s lead, scoring his 25th El Clasico goal in the meantime.
Zidane knew he now needed to make changes.
On came Nacho for Karim Benzema before Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio were both introduced six minutes later.
However, according to a report in Spanish outlet AS, midfielder Isco refused to warm-up after Carvajal was sent-off.
They claim that Bale and Asensio were ready to come on before Carvajal’s red card but were told to sit back down when they were reduced to 10 men.
Nacho was then brought on ahead of them.
In the meantime, Isco apparently stopped warming-up and they suggest it may have been due to his displeasure at being dropped for Kovacic in the starting line-up.
But not long after the final whistle, Isco has had his say.
He saw this report and reacted immediately on Twitter.
ISCO REACTS TO THE REPORT
He wrote a tweet that translates to: “Stop putting s**t two of my teammates (Bale and Asensio) were going on… I didn't know you could make four subs.”
Well played, Isco.
You couldn’t blame Isco for feeling aggrieved to be left on the bench for the entire match, though.
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