10-man Barcelona hold Real Madrid 2-2 in El Clasico

Marcus Newton
May 11, 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo departed Real Madrid's Clasico clash with Barcelona at half-time after picking up what appeared to be an ankle injury, but Zinedine Zidane expects him to be available for a Champions League final date with Liverpool.

"I am not going to talk about the refs, I never do", Zidane said. "He is a bit anxious, right now the ankle is a bit swollen, but he said it is not so bad".

After initially taking treatment, Ronaldo played on for 31 minutes here before Zidane chose to substitute him at half-time, which may at least offer Real encouragement.

They were doing equally as well without the ball, denying Messi the opportunity to regularly get on the ball and cutting out the threat Barca had earlier shown down the wings by pressing with good intensity to prevent the hosts from enjoying comfortable possession. Iniesta went off to a standing ovation in the second half. Suarez swept the ball out to the right where Sergi ignored Messi's run to the near post and returned the cross deep to Suarez.

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Following his equaliser, he received treatment on the pitch but was able to continue until the break. Messi on the other hand is still leading the Barcelona club players as the leading scorer in El Classico matches after hitting the 26 goal. Suarez felt he had been elbowed by Sergio Ramos, prompting the first round of scuffles, before Messi was booked for flying into the defender on the touchline. While Madrid played its best after Suarez briefly put Barcelona ahead, Barcelona regrouped after Roberto was sent off. Suarez started and finished off a quick attack when he played Roberto clear down the hole left by Marcelo on the right flank. Even Zidane was smiling on the touchline.

Real Madrid restored parity after a Toni Kroos' through ball to Welsh forward Gareth Bale saw the latter come up with a powerful finish at the left post in the 72nd minute. It was the Welshman's 15th goal in 24 matches this year.

Four minutes later, Real thought they should have been awarded a penalty after Marcelo was brought down inside the box by Jordi Alba. It was the final controversy of a surprisingly heated derby.

Having scored in the first half, Messi inflicted more trauma on Real Madrid as he scored in injury time to silence the Bernabeu and give Barcelona a dramatic 3-2 win.

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