Sergio Ramos earned Real Madrid a dramatic late draw in El Clasico by heading in a Luka Modric free-kick to hold Barcelona 1-1 on Saturday.
Luis Suarez put Barcelona ahead on 53 minutes getting in front of Raphael Varane to head in Neymar’s corner. But Real Madrid fought to maintain an unbeaten run that now stands at 33 games thanks to Ramos’ 90th-minute leveller. They stay six points clear of Barca at the top of La Liga.
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“The team worked very hard and a 1-0 defeat would have been unjust,” Ramos said. “But we cannot get carried away, there is a lot of the season still left to go.”
Luis Enrique was unhappy with Arda Turan for giving away the late foul which enabled Modric to deliver the free-kick from which Ramos scored. He said: “It’s clear that we should not give away fouls especially when the Madrid player has his back to goal.
“They can always come back into games. They show a lot of heart.”
There was a lively start to the game and Lucas Vazquez wanted a penalty when dispossessed by Javier Mascherano who looked to have just got a foot to the ball in the area.
Barcelona’s best earlier chance came when Neymar was played in by a long ball over the top and he crossed for Luis Suarez whose shot was blocked.
Ronaldo began to dominate towards the end of the half and he tested Marc-Andre ter Stegen with a shot at his near post and then beat Gerard Pique and Mascherano before again shooting straight at ter Stegen.
Madrid finished the half strongly and it was Raphael Varane who had a header from an Isco corner saved.
Barcelona supporters chanted ‘come out of the closet’ at Ronaldo before half time and will almost certainly be fined with La Liga very keen to clamp down on homophobic chanting at football grounds.
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Barcelona were a different side in the second half and when Suarez headed in Neymar’s corner the game looked to be under their control. Andres Iniesta came on at the hour mark making his first appearance in six weeks since suffering knee ligament damage.
Asked if he should have started his playmaker Luis Enrique snapped: “If my grandmother had wheels she would not be my grandmother she would be a motorcycle.”
With Iniesta on Barca dominated but Suarez lamented the team’s second half failings in front of goal. He said: “We were superior to them and we made a lot of chances.
“But if you don’t take the chances to make it two then this can happen. We are still six points behind but we have to keep going and try to close the gap.”
Messi missed from close range with the game’s penultimate opportunity and Ramos pounced to earn Madrid a point.
“Once again we showed our heart,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane. “Ramos always comes up with something. He never gives in. And we know how important Modric is to this team.”
Asked if the draw felt like a win, Zidane added: “No. We suffered against a very good team. It is not easy to pick up points here. We needed all of our character.”
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