|Luis Suárez celebrates goal vs Real Madrid | Image: FCB|
FC Barcelona hosted arch rivals Real Madrid in La Liga on Saturday evening at the Camp Nou in their 14th game of the 2016/2017 League season with an aim to cut their six points deficit to three on their opponent at the top of the table.
The Catalans didn’t quite achieve that as a late strike from Sergio Ramos broke their hearts as it cancelled out Luis Suárez’s second half header to end the game at 1-1, meaning Real Madrid maintained their 6 points lead over Barça at the top of the log.
Luis Enrique made a surprising XI, leaving Andrés Iniesta and Samuel Umtiti on the bench for André Gomes and Javier Mascherano respectively and the early stages of the game was more of a cagey encounter as both teams played very carefully.
Both teams got a shout for penalty early on with Madrid appealing for one after Javier Mascherano looked to have fouled Lucas Vázquez in the box, Barça had their own shout after Neymar fed Sergi Roberto in the far post before Ramos looked to have blocked the ball with his arm, referee Clos Gómez waved both off.
Chances were minimal, Messi had a weak free kick easily saved by Navas and Ronaldo had a weak header easily saved by Ter Stegen. The German goalkeeper was on hand to save Ronaldo’s shot from 18 yards moment later.
The first half ended 0-0 but then Barça got the lead on 53 minutes. Neymar won a free kick close to the corner flag and his cross was met by Luís Suárez who headed past Keylor Navas from close range and Clos Gómez gave the goal despite numerous appeals by Real Madrid for a foul and offside.
Barça introduced Andrés Iniesta for Rakitic after the goal and controlled the game from then on, fluidity in passing and they played more confidently and dominantly. Neymar wasted a glorious chance to make it 2-0 after he raced down the left before deleting Dani Carvajal with a marvellous dribble, left with just Navas to beat and a lot of space to the right the Brazilian blasted over the bar when he should have just gone for a weak placement.
Iniesta was next to come close as he was allowed space on the left but his shot was deflected unto the side netting. Messi also had a good opportunity, set up by Iniesta with a sweet pass but the Argentine fired well wide when he should’ve done better.
Barça were made to pay for missing so many chances in an important game as Sergio Ramos headed in a Modric free kick on 90 minutes to make it 1-1. Casemiro was on hand to make a goal line clearance later on after Barça almost scrambled in a Denis Suarez free kick. The game ended 1-1, Real Madrid maintain their impressive unbeaten run while Barça fail to end it and are still 6 points behind.