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  1. Messi scores last-second winner - his 500th Barca goal - to send them top
  2. Barcelona go top on head-to-head with dramatic win
  3. Real still have game in hand over Barca

Live Reporting

By Emlyn Begley

All times stated are UK

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We're going to leave you there tonight. It was a game that had everything. 

Bloody mouths. Intense rivalry. Huge significance to title race. A red card. And goals. Glorious, important goals. And most importantly, it had Lionel Messi.


Lionel Messi
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'Sometimes football sucks'

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is still "proud" of the way his side played.

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Have Barcelona players celebrated their win? Yes, yes they have.

It's St George's Day today. He is the patron saint of Catalonia, as well as England, Georgia and plenty of other places. 

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AJ Vergette: Messi majestic, sure. But Ramos has let his team down enormously... again! 

An unspoken hero of this game was Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who made 12 saves.

That was the most of any Barca keeper in a La Liga game since 2003-04.

The race for the Pichichi

Would you believe Lionel Messi hasn't won the Spanish golden boot since 2013? Since then Cristiano Ronaldo has won two, and Luis Suarez the most recent one.

But surely a fourth Pichichi is coming his way. Only four players have ever won more than four Golden Boots - the record is Telmo Zarra's six for Athletic Bilbao.

La Liga

Breakdown of Messi's 500 goals

Some 343 of Lionel Messi's 500 Barcelona goals have come in La Liga. He has notched 94 in the Champions League and 43 in the Spanish Cup. His other 20 have come in other tournaments, like Super Cups and Club World Cups.

Lionel Messi

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Charlie Meacham: Sergi Roberto yet again never gave up. His desire made that goal 

Graham Roberts: the game Real Madrid have in hand will be played in the week prior to the last games of the season - which are all on 21/05/17

Miles Maillu: Absolute thriller that was! Great screamers from Messi. Long night both here in my house and at Bernabeu. Goodnight friends 


A bit late for this yellow card alert but... Lionel Messi was booked for taking his shirt off in the celebration. We thought it might have been a tribute to somebody, but nope - he was just showing off his shirt.

Lionel Messi

If that happened in a film - the star player reaching his landmark goal in the last second of their most important game of the season against their rivals to send them top of the table (having earlier suffered a nasty looking injury) - you'd just shake your head. 

Even the producers of Cool Runnings didn't script in the Jamaican bobsleigh team winning an Olympic medal.

Title race gets interesting. Very interesting.

So what does this all mean for the La Liga title race? 

Barcelona are top on virtue of their head-to-head record with Real Madrid (you can basically ignore the goal difference now as head-to-head is what matters in La Liga).

But it's still Real Madrid's title to lose.

Zinedine Zidane's side have a game in hand against Celta Vigo (yet to be arranged) - but they also have to juggle their La Liga run-in with a Champions League semi-final against Atletico, so it's not a given that they'll win their last six games.

La Liga

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Scott Wilcox: Messi. Best there is. Was. Will ever be. 

Reece Young: You run out of superlatives to describe this guy. Does it so often. 500 goals. The greatest player ever and a joy to watch 

Jeremiah Kariuki: Lionel Messi is the super hero of the night! Torn apart the Real Madrid team and their fans! 

For the older audience, Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker - the former Barcelona striker - isn't actually calling Lionel Messi a goat here. It means greatest of all time. And it's hard to disagree based on what we've seen today.

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FULL-TIME - Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona

That's all she wrote. That was the final moment and Barcelona are TOP OF LA LIGA.

Messi sends Barca top of La Liga

It's a last-minute winner in El Clasico. It's Lionel Messi's 500th goal for Barcelona. It's the goal which sends Barcelona top of La Liga.

Barca break at pace, Sergi Roberto runs from deep into his own half and plays the ball out left, Jordi Alba crosses to Lionel Messi, who sweeps the ball home from 16 yards out.


Messi celebrates his equaliser

GOAL - Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona

Lionel Messi

It's ALL the narratives combining at once. WOW.

A long Real Madrid ball goes straight out of play for a throw-in. Only seconds left.


Just two minutes added on! There's been goals, a red card and plenty of subs.

Marco Asensio has a shot for Barca but it's saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen at his near post. It doesn't actually go out of play and Asensio's cross is fired wide by Cristiano Ronaldo.

You'd think Real Madrid had the extra man as they push for a winner. Marcelo's cross is held by the Barca keeper.

I never want this game to end.

Real Madrid may only have one fit senior centre-back - Nacho - for their next few games, depending on how long Sergio Ramos' ban is, with Raphael Varane and Pepe injured. 

James Rodriguez almost wins it for 10-man Real now but his save from a bit of a wide angle is straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Rodriguez goal to keep Real top?

James Rodriguez hasn't had the greatest time at Real Madrid but this is a goal of gargantuan importance. Marcelo crosses and Rodriguez - unmarked! - turns it home from close range.

As things stand, 10-man Real Madrid remain top of the table.

GOAL - Real Madrid 2-2 Barcelona

James Rodriguez

Super sub.

James Rodriguez has a pop at goal from 22 yards but it's deflected off Samuel Umtiti and lands in Marc-Andre ter Stegen's hands. That's his 10th save of the night.

Barcelona legend Lionel Messi forces a save from Keylor Navas. Can they get the third goal to kill off this game?


Real Madrid now have just one of their main front three on as Karim Benzema is replaced by James Rodriguez. Cristiano Ronaldo to play as the main striker now surely.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique - one of my favourite centre-backs in the world because of how he appears in the opposition box at random times - almost makes it 3-1.

Andre Gomes crosses it and Pique, who thinks he's a striker, shoots straight at Keylor Navas.

Seconds later, he puts Cristiano Ronaldo under enough pressure to get his shot over the bar at the other end. In fact it should have been a corner.

What a man. What. A. Man. 

So 10-man Real Madrid have 12 minutes to score a goal to keep them top of La Liga. It's getting very tense now.


Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is off! It's a straight red. The defender chops down Lionel Messi on the halfway line. Everyone is expecting a yellow card but he is outta here.

A replay shows it was a two-footed lunge. Lunatic.

Sergio Ramos is sent off

Barcelona are playing a David Moyes-style formation now. Six at the back.

The ball breaks 20 yards out to Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a hat-trick in midweek, and he basically passes the ball to Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

He's missed a host of chances.

Barca going top as things stand

A huge goal. A season-changing goal potentially. The ball breaks to Ivan Rakitic, who sells Toni Kroos down the river with a dummy, and smashes the ball into the corner of the net past Keylor Navas from 20 yards.

Barcelona will go top on head-to-head record if they hold on.

Rakitic scores for Barcelona
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GOAL - Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona

Ivan Rakitic

The goal which blows the La Liga title race wide open?

Barcelona substitute Andre Gomes has the ball down the left but there's nobody to cross it to - so he just passes it to a Real defender.

It's end to end and Marco Asensio almost beats Marc-Andre ter Stegen at his near post. Good save.

It might only be 1-1 but this has been a great game to watch. A draw keeps Real Madrid in control of the title race, but just keeps the door ever so slightly ajar for Barca.


Real Madrid bring off midfielder Casemiro, who was a red card walking, and on comes Mateo Kovacic.

And Barca bring off striker Paco Alcacer with another disappointing summer signing, Andre Gomes, replacing him.

Lionel Messi - who has 21 minutes to get his 500th Barcelona goal today - has a go from 20 yards but Keylor Navas palms it away.

Seconds later it's the same combo again and a similar result. Marco Asensio bursts down the right and squares it to Cristiano Ronaldo, this one is a sitter, but he blazes it over. Golden chance.

At the other end, Luis Suarez has a chance to put Barca ahead from Ivan Rakitic's cross but Keylor Navas makes an excellent save.

Ronaldo misses a great chance
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Marco Asensio crosses from the right to Cristiano Ronaldo, who fancies himself to score the goal of the season. His attempted acrobatic volley hits his knee and goes out for a goal-kick though. Maybe should have taken a touch.