Clasico thrashing without Messi a 'great achievement', says Busquets

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Barcelona's 5-1 win over Real Madrid on Sunday was extra impressive due to the Argentine star's absence, according to the midfielder

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets described his team's El Clasico win without Lionel Messi as a "great achievement".

Luis Suarez stepped up in the absence of Messi, who is recovering from a broken arm, to score a hat-trick in a 5-1 thrashing of Madrid at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal were also on the scoresheet as under-fire Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui was put under further pressure, with Goal understanding Lopetegui is set to be sacked and replaced by Antonio Conte. 

Delivering such a result without their superstar Messi was massive for Barca, according to Busquets.

"It's a great achievement to win 5-1 without Messi," he told the club's website.

"Normally, when we have trouble, Leo helps us out but today the team stepped up."

Marcelo's 50th-minute goal brought Madrid back to 2-1, but Barca struck three times in the final quarter of an hour.

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Busquets said his team knew they would get their opportunities as Madrid pushed for a way back into the game.

He said: "We knew that if we get through their pressure then we would have chances and then the counters came and the goals gave us a cushion."

While Barca are only a point clear atop La Liga, they sit seven ahead of ninth-placed rivals Madrid.