Gareth Bale equalised for Real Madrid as the Spanish capital club played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou stadium, with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi also on the scoresheet in El Clasico.
In an entertaining see-saw match, Barcelona had a Luis Suarez goal disallowed for a wrong offside call, while the referee also denied Madrid a penalty after Jordi Alba hacked Marcelo down in the penalty area.
Luis Suarez opened the scoring ten minutes into the encounter, volleying straight from a cross by Sergi Roberto who ran 50 yards before producing the superb cross.
Cristiano Ronaldo, however, restored parity with his 18th Clasico goal, the Portuguese captain turning in Benzema’s header across goal from three yards out ahead of Gerard Pique, getting injured in the process.
Barcelona were reduced to 10 men in just before half time break when Marcelo overreacted to a whack on the face from full back Sergi Roberto.
Cristiano Ronaldo was taken off at half time as a precaution from the injury the Portuguese sustained while pulling Madrid level, with Asensio replacing the five-time Balon d’Or winner.
Barcelona, with talisman Lionel Messi in the mood, made light work of Real’s extra man early in the second half. The diminutive Argentine scored to give Barca the lead albeit in controversial circumstance. Luis Suarez hacked Varane down while contesting for the ball, but the referee overlooked the incident, and the Uruguayan’s pass pick out Messi, who evaded the attentions of Casemiro and Ramos before curling beyond Navas for the lead.
Barcelona’s all time record goalscorer should have increased the lead on 70 minutes after being set free by a deep cross, but Keylor Navas produced an outstanding one-hand save to deny the 30-year old.
However, Gareth Bale produced an excellent curling shot to better Messi’s and draw Real level at 2-2. The Welsh wing wizard who had been quiet all night ran onto Asensio’s through ball to smack home from 25 yards.
Real Madrid controlled the game in the closing stages, but Messi had two quick chances but could not pull Barca ahead against the run of play.
However, there was to be no more drama as Barcelona withstood Real’s dangerous corner kicks deep into stoppage time to preserve the Catalans’ unbeaten season after 35 rounds of La Liga matches, and 42 games overall.