Barcelona leave it late to win El Clasico
Lionel Messi scored his 500th Barcelona goal in stoppage time to help Barcelona beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu and send them top of the La Liga table as the end of the season approaches.
Victory for Real Madrid in El Clasico would have sent them six points clear at the top of La Liga, with one more game left to play than their bitter rivals. It was the hosts who drew first blood in this one, with Casemiro tapping in from close range.
The lead did not last long however, with the ever reliable Lionel Messi making it 1-1 just five minutes later. It was a typically classy finish from the Argentina star man, who was determined to keep his side in the title race.
Wales captain Gareth Bale was making his return from injury to make his 100th La Liga appearance. Unfortunately for him, it did not last long, with him being substituted before half time with what looked like another injury problem.
There were no more goals in this match until the 74th minute, when it was Barcelona who took the lead. Ivan Rakitic sold the Madrid defender a dummy before firing home from twenty yards.
Barcelona looked certain to win when just four minutes later, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was shown a red card. With Lionel Messi in possession of the ball around the half way line, Ramos lunged in with two feet to mow him down and see a straight red as a result.
With four minutes left to play, James Rodriguez, who has not had a great time at Real Madrid this season and looks certain to leave in the summer, appeared unmarked in the box to tap in and make the score 2-2.
That looked to be how the match would finish, until a fast paced Barcelona attack deep into stoppage time ended with Lionel Messi scoring a last gasp winner from inside the box, to seal a vital three points for Barcelona.
Messi sealed his 500th goal for the club, but he will no doubt be happier about the fact that Barcelona now sit top of La Liga on goal difference, although Real Madrid have one more game to play.