Real Madrid recovered from a goal down to earn am important 2-1 victory over arch-rivals Barcelona at Camp Nou in La Liga on Saturday night.
- Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 2
- Pique opens scoring
- Benzema draws visitors level
- Ramos sent off
- Ronaldo bags the winner
A poor first half ended with the sides deadlocked at 0-0 with everyone at the ground hoping for a better performance from both sides in the second period.
Thankfully, the teams obliged and Gerard Pique headed Barca into the lead in the 56th minute. However, their advantage lasted just six minutes before Karim Benzema rifled home the equaliser.
Despite being a man down, after Sergio Ramos was sent off for picking up two yellow cards, Real Madrid’s talisman Cristiano Ronaldo was still able to score the winning goal in the 85th minute.
It was a nervy first half from both sides as neither looked willing to take any risks, which resulted in a drab affair with very few goal chances in the opening 45 minutes.
There was a period of excitement around the 20 minute mark when Ivan Rakitic wasted a promising opportunity with a poor shot before Neymar disappointingly blazed the ball over the bar from inside the Real Madrid box.
Cristiano Ronaldo had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes for the visitors when he burst into the Catalans area in the 25th minute but his low drive was magnificently saved by Claudio Bravo, who earned the applause of the home fans.
The action picked up after the break as the two teams looked to find an opening goal.
Lionel Messi created some space for himself in the box with a neat piece of dribbling, but was denied by an astonishing diving save from Keylor Navas.
However, Barcelona would get their breakthrough in the 56th minute when Gerard Pique rose to power home a Rakitic corner with his head to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
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Los Blancos responded emphatically and were only behind for six minutes before Karim Benzema got on the end of a crisp throughball to take the ball into the box and fire past Bravo to level the scores.
Neymar went close to restoring the lead less than two minutes later, but his low drive was well saved by Navas, before Bravo denied Ronaldo in the 69th minute at the other end.
The visitors’ chances of winning the match seemed to evaporate when Ramos was given his marching orders for carelessly picking up his second yellow card in the 83rd minute.
However, the man disadvantage did not seem to hamper Real, and Gareth Bale delivered a cross for Cristiano Ronaldo in the 85th minute and the Portugal international forward smashed the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal to hand the visitors a vital win.