Real Madrid’s emphatic 5-1 defeat in last weekend’s El Clasico at the hands of old rivals Barcelona sent shockwaves around Europe as Spanish football’s grandest fixture produced an thumping result which condemned the European champions to a humiliating loss.
Though the sizeable margin between the two was somewhat unforeseen ahead of the match, it was largely reflective of the difficulties bombarding Los Blancos at present, and indeed the final act of Julen Lopetegui’s short-lived spell as Real Madrid manager.
While the result was a story in itself, it also recalled a number of similar thrashings of big sides in big matches from previous years in football memory.
Here is a list of nine of the biggest drubbings in big matches in recent football history.
9. Barcelona 5-1 Real Madrid (La Liga, 28/10/2018)
Last Saturday’s El Clasico put Real Madrid’s fall from grace this season firmly into perspective. Coming up against a Barcelona side, minus the injured Lionel Messi. which were far from at the peak of their powers, Los Blancos were simply blown away at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona had endured a somewhat stuttering start of their own to the season, albeit they were still the leaders of La Liga pack, but Real Madrid’s capitulation at the hands of their old rivals was as stunning as any of the subplots which surrounded the two clubs at the time.
Luis Suarez fired a clinical hat-trick which was largely decisive in putting Lopetegui’s men to the sword, while Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal also got in on the riotous act at the Camp Nou.
It was a result which sent Florentino Perez and co. back to the drawing board in the post-Cristiano Ronaldo and post-Zinedine Zidane era, as Julen Lopetegui lost his job just two months into the season.
8. Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona (Champions League, 23/04/2013)
Barcelona have not always been on the right side of a big game thrashing, however. In the 2012-13 season, Tito Vilanova’s side were clear favourites to win the Champions League crown, until they came up against Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.
The tie over two legs ended with a resounding 7-0 victory on aggregate for Bayern, but it was in the first leg that Jupp Heynckes’ side truly stunned the continent with a 4-0 demolition of La Liga giants at the Allianz Arena.
In Barcelona’s worst defeat in Europe since a 4-0 loss to Dynamo Kiev in 1997, Thomas Muller handed the home side an early lead to thrust the Catalans onto the back foot, before Mario Gomez doubled Bayern’s lead just after half time.
The Bavarian heavyweights went on to compound their surprise superiority over Barcelona as former Chelsea star Arjen Robben added a third, before Muller grabbed his second late on to put the tie virtually beyond the visitor’s considerable reach in the first leg.
7. Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal (Premier League, 08/02/2014)
With the two sides set to do battle at the Emirates this weekend, Liverpool’s 5-1 demolition of Arsenal in the 2013-14 season is one which still lives fondly in the memories of the Kop.
On paper, the two sides appeared relatively well matched. Whilst the fixture typically produces goals in abundance, it is not historically one which is decided by such a considerable margin. With Arsenal top of the Premier League with just three months to go, however, Brendan Rodgers’ side produced a thumping performance against Arsene Wenger’s visitors.
A brace apiece from Martin Skrtel and Raheem Sterling were added to by a Daniel Sturridge strike as Liverpool ran riot at Anfield, whilst a Mikel Arteta penalty came as a mere consolation for a bamboozled Arsenal side which had been torn to shreds by Liverpool’s pace and power.
6. Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal (Premier League, 29/10/2011)
However limp Arsenal may have been in their Anfield thrashing, Arsene Wenger’s side proved they were more than capable of producing such thunderous performances away to the Premier League’s other big sides with a five goal and five star performance of their own away to Chelsea.
The Gunners arrived at Stamford Bridge in October 2011 on the back of a troubled start to the season which had seen them succumb to some difficult results after losing star players such as Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri that summer.
However, Arsenal proved that they were in no mood to lay down and sink further in a London derby at Stamford Bridge, as a stunning Robin van Persie hat-trick inspired Wenger’s men to a resounding 5-3 victory.
Andre Santos and Theo Walcott were also on target, though the visitors did not have it all their own way, as John Terry had scored to give Andre Villas-Boas’ Chelsea the lead in the game Frank Lampard and Juan Mata had also carried the Blues’ fight in amongst Arsenal’s victory.
5. Man Utd 1-6 Man City (Premier League, 23/10/2011)
Just six days before that dramatic thriller at Stamford Bridge, the Premier League’s two Manchester clubs proved that anything a London derby can offer, a Manchester showdown can match all the way.
Manchester City arrived at Old Trafford amid great intrigue as the ‘noisy neighbours’ grew louder, and all in the country waited to find out whether the blue side of Manchester was finally catching up with the red. City’s response was an emphatic one.
Roberto Mancini’s side blitzed Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United and condemned the Red Devils to their worst home defeat since 1955, as City laid down a real marker by hammering the champions with a 6-1 victory to go five points clear at the top of the table.
After going in just 1-0 up at half time, courtesy of a Mario Balotelli strike, City produced a storming second half display as the Italian added his second. Further goals from Sergio Aguero, David Silva and an Edin Dzeko brace blew the hosts away, with Darren Fletcher’s strike a scant consolation for United. The two sides are set to do battle once more next week.
4. Bayern Munich 6-0 Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga, 31/03/2018)
Bayern Munich produced a stunning display of complete efficiency as they thumped Borussia Dortmund with a 6-0 triumph in Der Klassiker in March last season.
The emphatic result at the Allianz Arena put the Bavarians just one win away from retaining their Bundesliga crown as Jupp Heynckes’ side stormed towards yet another German title in some style.
A Robert Lewandowski hat-trick was decisive in putting Bayern’s great rivals to the sword, whilst further efforts from Thomas Muller, James Rodriguez and Franck Ribery added further emphasis to a crushing scoreline, in which Dortmund simply had no reply to Bayern’s all-round dominance.
With 60 percent possession and 17 shots to Dortmund’s nine, the home side simply had too much in their armoury for Peter Stoger’s team to deal with.
3. Juventus 4-0 Milan (Coppa Italia, 09/05/2018)
Two of Italian football’s most illustrious names did battle in a tantalising Coppa Italia final at the Stadio Olimpico last season, as an experienced Juventus side – already on course for retaining their Serie A title – faced an exciting young AC Milan side.
Whilst Milan’s vibrant and energetic play saw the Rossoneri take the game to Juventus for large parts, a combination of the Bianconeri’s superior efficiency and a horror show from Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal for Milan, saw Max Allegri’s men storm past the opposition.
Gattuso’s promotion of young stars certainly paid dividends in terms of their ability to play aggressive, pressing football which often forced Allegri’s side back, though the naivety of youth played into the hands of a more experienced Juventus team.
A succession of Donnarumma mistakes and Milan’s failure to capitalise on their greater possession saw Juventus run out resounding 4-0 winners. A brace from defender Medhi Benatia proved decisive, whilst a strike from Douglas Costa and an own goal from Nikola Kalinic sealed the cup for Juve, who went on to secure their fourth consecutive domestic double.
2. Spain 4-0 Italy (Euro 2012, 01/07/2012)
Spain took on Italy in the mouth-watering Euro 2012 final in Kiev which seemed set to be a closely-fought encounter between two elite football nations and two top class teams. What materialised, however, was a thumping result as Spain won the tournament in style.
As the more experienced of the two sides, Italy had been fancied by many to display their winning know-how with success against a more youthful Spain side. That said, a match up between the two previous World Cup winning nations was a tough one to call.
However, as the reigning world champions, Vicente del Bosque’s Spain side took plenty of initiative in proving exactly why the nation’s golden generation was the most powerful force in football, against a strong but aged Italy side under Cesare Prandelli.
Two goals in either half from the Spaniards overcome an Italy side which featured Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon among other illustrious names with some comfort. Strikes from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata thundered Spain to another international triumph.
1. Brazil 1-7 Germany (World Cup, 08/07/2014)
If Spain’s resounding triumph was a benchmark for the kind of statement win required from an international superpower on course to winning a major tournament, Germany raised the bar even higher two years later when they took on Brazil in the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Germany arrived in Belo Horizonte looking to cause an upset against a Brazil side bustling with talent on their own soil, and did so in devastating fashion. German efficiency proved decisive as a blitz of goals from Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, Sami Khedira and a brace apiece for Toni Kroos and Andre Schurrle blew the hosts away and out of the tournament with aplomb.
Joachim Low’s side simply had too much for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Samba stars, though Oscar replied with a mere consolation strike just before full time.
This was a drubbing which sent shockwaves around the world of football, the likes of which have not been seen since, as Germany went on to seal World Cup glory in 2014.