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Ten-man Barca cling on to unbeaten La Liga record in hot tempered El Clasico

  Barcelona, Monday @PeopleSports11

Cristiano Ronaldo twisted an ankle and had to come off at half-time in a bad-tempered Clasico just three weeks before the Champions League final against Liverpool.

However, Gareth Bale stepped into his shoes and scored the goal that earned Real Madrid a point after both Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi had scored for Barcelona.

It was some night for Bale who could have been sent off in the first half and was finally booked in the second period, but only after he had reminded everyone of his ability to deliver spectacular goals on big occasions.

Barca will be happy to have kept their unbeaten record this season. They had the usual suspects to thank. Luis Suarez scored the first on nine minutes from Sergi Roberto’s pass and Messi grabbed a second in the second half from Suarez’s assist.

Ronaldo scored between the two Barcelona goals, converting from close range.It was as he bundled Toni Kroos’ header over the line that he came down badly on his right ankle.

He played on until the break but did not reappear. The early indications were that he had lightly sprained the ankle.Messi’s goal came after Suarez had fouled Raphael Varane in the build-up. It was one of many mistakes from referee Alejandro Hernandez, who could have sent goalscorer Bale off in the first 45 minutes.

Bale was lucky not to be booked for scything down national treasure Andres Iniesta, playing his last ever Clasico. His later challenge on Samuel Umititi was Graeme Souness Old Firm vintage. But strangely he escaped a booking again despite the clear studs down the back of the calf.Roberto was not so lucky he raised his hand to Marcelo after the full-back and had barged him at the end of the first half.

Contact looked minimal but the referee saw a slap and Roberto was shown a straight red card.It had been a tough first half to officiate.

The game had come to boil slowly at first.

-AFP

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