Sunday , June 16 2024

Ronaldo and Benzema strikes complete El Clasico comeback win as ten-man Real Madrid end Barcelona’s 39-match unbeaten run

Cristiano Ronaldo won the Clasico for Real Madrid as Barcelona lost their first game in 40 matches despite their opponents having Sergio Ramos sent off.

If he leaves at the end of the season this may well have have been Ronaldo’s last appearance at the Nou Camp and he scored a memorable late winner to give his side a 2-1 win.

With Ramos barely off the pitch for his umpteenth bookable offence, Madrid kept attacking a tired looking Barca defence and when Gareth Bale crossed deep to Ronaldo he found himself at the back post one-on-one with Dani Alves.

Gerard Pique finally breaks the deadlock to a cagey affair with a thunderous header to put Barca 1-0 ahead Gerard Pique finally breaks the deadlock to a cagey affair with a thunderous header to put Barca 1-0 ahead

Pique is saluted by Barca team-mate Neymar as his 56th-minute effort put the Catalan giants into a second-half lead Pique is saluted by Barca team-mate Neymar as his 56th-minute effort put the Catalan giants into a second-half lead

Pique did well to lose his marker Pepe and met Ivan Rakitic's corner head on for the opening goal of the contest Pique did well to lose his marker Pepe and met Ivan Rakitic’s corner head on for the opening goal of the contest

Karim Benzema gets the visitors back into the contest with an acrobatic effort in the Barca box Karim Benzema gets the visitors back into the contest with an acrobatic effort in the Barca box

French strike Benzema celebrates his 21st La Liga goal of the season to leave both sides level heading into the final 30 minutes of the tie French strike Benzema celebrates his 21st La Liga goal of the season to leave both sides level heading into the final 30 minutes of the tie

Real defender Sergio Ramos (second left) was sent off in the 82nd-minute for rash challenge on Luis Suarez

Real defender Sergio Ramos (second left) was sent off in the 82nd-minute for rash challenge on Luis Suarez

Despite pressure from Javier Mascherano (left) and Pique, Cristiano Ronaldo fires home the winner with five minutes remaining 

Despite pressure from Javier Mascherano (left) and Pique, Cristiano Ronaldo fires home the winner with five minutes remaining.The Brazilian full-back jumped but failed to make contact with the ball. Ronaldo waitdd for it to drop on to his chest and then rifled it low past Claudio Bravo before celebrating in front of Barca’s crestfallen supporters.

The game had been billed as a tribute to Johan Cruyff but much of Madrid’s play had been more a homage to Jose Mourinho who made an art form of smothering Barca and making the most of their mistakes.

The result leaves them seven points behind Barca who look ominously fatigued late on and now have just three days to recover before a Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid.

Things were emotional before kick-off when the stadium applauded a video of clips and tributes to Cruyff and the Nou Camp mosaic then spelled out ‘Gracias Johan’ alongside the image of his No 14 shirt.

 

 

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