Real Madrid are still reeling after suffering a humiliating 5-1 defeat at the Camp Nou against fierce rivals Barcelona over the weekend.
The performance and full-time result ultimately made Julen Lopetegui’s position as first-team coach untenable. He was duly handed his P45 on Monday evening and replaced by Santiago Solari.
Madrid now find themselves down in ninth place in the league table, seven points behind league-leaders Barça. It’s very hard to imagine them winning this season’s La Liga title from this position.
Los Blancos briefly looked as if they might fight their way back into the Clasico when Marcelo pulled a goal back shortly after half-time.
The Brazilian’s goal made it 2-1, with Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez having both scored for the hosts in the first half.
Suarez’s goal came from the penalty spot after Sanchez Martinez became the first referee to use VAR technology in El Clasico.
The Murcian awarded Barça a spot-kick after taking a closer look at Raphael Varane’s challenge on Suarez, which he has not initially deemed as punishable.
Referee Hernandez Hernandez, in charge of VAR on Sunday afternoon, encouraged his colleague to review the incident and a penalty was awarded.
However, Marca have revealed - courtesy of footage from Spanish broadcasters - that Madrid substitute Lucas Vazquez had some choice words for Martinez while he was reviewing the incident.
The 27-year-old could be heard saying four words to the match official: "¡Te estás cagando, eh!" - or, in English, “You're shi**ing it!"
If this was an attempt to intimidate Martinez into not awarding the penalty then it backfired spectacularly on Vazquez and his teammates.
The spot-kick was given and Suarez stepped up to score the first of three goals that afternoon.
The Uruguayan forward completed his hat-trick on the 83rd minute before Arturo Vidal made it 5-1 before full-time.
It’s a shame that match officials aren’t treated with more respect from certain footballers.
But fair play to Martinez for ignoring Vazquez’s insults and focusing on the task in hand.