Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets described his team's 5-1 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.

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Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal were also on the scoresheet as under-fire Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui was put under further pressure.

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.


Busquets said his team knew it would get its 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 LaLiga, they sit seven ahead of ninth-placed rival Madrid.