Spanish La Liga
Barcelona2Real Madrid2

Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is leading scorer in La Liga with 33 goals this season

Gareth Bale hit a sublime equaliser for Real Madrid against champions Barcelona, who survived playing with 10 men for 45 minutes to move to within three games of going the entire La Liga season undefeated.

Sergi Roberto was shown a straight red card with the score 1-1 at the end of the first half of an ill-tempered El Clasico after he appeared to slap Real defender Marcelo.

Roberto had earlier provided the cross for an unmarked Luis Suarez to fire the hosts into the lead before Cristiano Ronaldo bundled the equaliser after Karim Benzema's downward header.

Lionel Messi put the champions 2-1 ahead on the counter-attack only for Bale to level with a sweetly struck first-time finish.

Real's Ronaldo was substituted at half-time after suffering an ankle sprain while scoring.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores for Real Madrid against Barcelona
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Alfredo di Stefano as joint all-time Real Madrid top-scorer in El Clasico in all competitions after scoring his 18th goal in the fixture

Barca on the brink of history

This draw felt like a win for Barcelona, who stay 15 points ahead of their arch-rivals despite Roberto's dismissal.

Champions League finalists Real have now failed to beat Barca in the past four league attempts and their frustrations increased when they were denied a clear penalty after Jordi Alba caught Marcelo.

The tone for another bad-tempered game between these two giants was set when Real refused to give Barca a guard of honour after Ernesto Valverde's side secured a 25th La Liga title last weekend.

Instead Valverde and his backroom team lined up to applaud the players off the pitch at the end of a match littered with eight yellow cards.

No team in the modern era of La Liga has managed to go through an entire season undefeated yet Barca are now 270 minutes away from achieving that feat.

They still have to negotiate home games against Villarreal and Real Sociedad, along with an away match against Levante, but it will require something special to end their 42-match unbeaten league record stretching 13 months.

Bale comes to Real's rescue

Once again there was no shortage of talking points after another fascinating game between Spain's two most successful teams.

Andres Iniesta received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the second half in his 38th and final Clasico while Ronaldo's injury, three weeks before Real meet Liverpool in Kiev, is a concern.

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring a goal against Barcelona
Gareth Bale has scored eight goals in his past nine games for club and country

Bale was anonymous for long spells and can consider himself fortunate to have still been on the pitch when he equalised.

The Welshman had already escaped yellow cards for hacking at Iniesta's ankle and a late ugly challenge on Samuel Umtiti before he was eventually cautioned for bringing down substitute Nelson Semedo.

His goal was a sumptuous finish with his left foot which comfortably beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Man of the match - Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

Luis Suarez celebrates scoring for Barcelona
Luis Suarez scored his 24th league goal of the season before robbing Raphael Varane to tee-up Lionel Messi to fire Barca ahead. A hard-working display by the Uruguay forward

'Team did a spectacular job' - what they said

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde:

It would have hurt to lose to Madrid, or any other team. I think we are the only unbeaten team in Europe in the big leagues and that is something that pushes us.

It was clearly a difficult match to referee. I am not sure about the red card for Sergi Roberto, he might have raised his hand but I do not think it was worthy of a red, maybe because I know him.

Barcelona forward Luis Suarez:

It's tough playing down a man, especially against Madrid. But the team did a spectacular job, physically.

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta:

I am doing everything possible so I can play these last few games and I'm trying to absorb them.

Three matches remain, they are the last ones, it seems that the end never comes but we have won the league already and I will try to enjoy every minute.

What's next?

Barcelona and Real Madrid both return to league action on Wednesday. While Barca entertain sixth-placed Villarreal (19:00 BST), Real travel to meet seventh-placed Sevilla (20:30).

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 20RobertoBooked at 45mins
  • 3Piqué
  • 23Umtiti
  • 18Alba
  • 14CoutinhoSubstituted forNélson Semedoat 45'minutes
  • 5Busquets
  • 4RakiticBooked at 85mins
  • 8IniestaSubstituted forPaulinhoat 58'minutes
  • 10MessiBooked at 45mins
  • 9SuárezBooked at 44minsSubstituted forAlcácerat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Nélson Semedo
  • 6D Suárez
  • 11Dembélé
  • 13Cillessen
  • 15Paulinho
  • 17Alcácer
  • 25Vermaelen

Real Madrid

  • 1Navas
  • 6NachoBooked at 12minsSubstituted forVázquezat 67'minutes
  • 5VaraneBooked at 31mins
  • 4RamosBooked at 44mins
  • 12MarceloBooked at 77mins
  • 10Modric
  • 14Casemiro
  • 8KroosSubstituted forKovacicat 84'minutes
  • 11BaleBooked at 76mins
  • 9Benzema
  • 7Cristiano RonaldoSubstituted forAsensioat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Vallejo
  • 13Casilla
  • 15Hernández
  • 17Vázquez
  • 20Asensio
  • 23Kovacic
  • 24Ceballos
Referee:
Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
Attendance:
97,939

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamReal Madrid
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home11
Away17
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away20

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 2, Real Madrid 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 2, Real Madrid 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

  4. Post update

    Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Nélson Semedo.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Sergio Busquets.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marco Asensio.

  8. Post update

    Offside, Barcelona. Paulinho tries a through ball, but Samuel Umtiti is caught offside.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Paulinho (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Busquets.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mateo Kovacic.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Paco Alcácer replaces Luis Suárez.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Gareth Bale (Real Madrid).

  13. Post update

    Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  15. Post update

    Delay in match Luis Suárez (Barcelona) because of an injury.

  16. Booking

    Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Luis Suárez (Barcelona).

  18. Post update

    Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 6th May 2018

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona35269089236687
2Atl Madrid36229555203575
3Real Madrid35219584394572
4Valencia36207962372567
5Real Betis36185135656059
6Villarreal35176125041957
7Getafe361410124132952
8Sevilla35156144354-1151
9Girona36139144857-948
10Eibar36138154148-747
11Real Sociedad36137166356746
12Celta Vigo361210145552346
13Alavés36142203748-1144
14Ath Bilbao361013134045-543
15Espanyol361013133141-1043
16Leganés35117172943-1440
17Levante35913133450-1640
18Dep La Coruña36611193570-3529
19Las Palmas3657242371-4822
20Malaga3655262356-3320
View full Spanish La Liga table

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