Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 1: The hosts look set to earn a narrow victory until Ramos powered a header past Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the 90th minute
A Real Madrid game is never over until Sergio Ramos has had the last touch and once again he saved his side with a 90th minute equalizer to earn his team a 1-1 draw in the Clasico.
Luka Modric took the free-kick just as he had done in the 2004 Champions League final when a Ramos goal took the game into extra time in the 93rd minute.
“Once again we showed our heart,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane. “Ramos always comes up with something. He never gives in. And we know how important Modric is to this team.”
Asked if the draw felt like a win, Zidane added: “No. We suffered against a very good team. It is not easy to pick up points here. We needed all of our character.”
Ramos also had Arda Turan to thank for the late leveler. The Turkish midfielder had given away an unnecessary late foul and Luis Enrique complained: “It’s clear that we should not give away fouls especially when the Madrid player has his back to goal.”
Barcelona thought they had broken Real Madrid’s unbeaten run that now stretches to 33 games when Luis Suarez headed in Neymar’s free-kick on 53 minutes. But they missed a host of second half chances and Suarez admitted on the final whistle: “We were superior to them and we made a lot of chances. But if you don’t take the chances to make it two then this can happen. We are still six points behind but we have to keep going and trying to close the gap.”
Luis Enrique sounded despondent but refused to give up the league: “It was different second half,” he said. “We got the goal and we controlled the game but Ney and Leo could not get the second goal and in the last minute we paid for it.
“There is a lot of this season left and we have to improve but there is time and we have to keep going. There is a clear leader who are not dropping points but all we can do is to win all the games that we have left to keep the pressure on them. But we need to be picking up more points at home.”
Goal hero Ramos said: “To lose the game 1-0 would have been unjust. The team has done well but we must not get carried away.”
The game had been scrappy for long parts but Cristiano Ronaldo lit things up with a flurry of chances late in the first half. He was taunted to ‘come out of the closet’ by Barcelona supporters. The club will almost certainly be punished by the Spanish League who are keen to clamp down on homophobic chants at grounds.
Despite Ronaldo looking like he might take control of the game Barça’s opener through Suarez put them in the driving seat.
Andres Iniesta came on at the hour mark returning from a six-month ligament injury and suddenly Real were chasing the game. “If my grandmother had wheels she would not be my grandmother she would be a motorcycle,” snapped Luis Enrique when asked if he should have played his captain during 90 minutes.
As it was it was the Real Madrid captain who had the last word. Real Madrid are determined to win only their second league title in nine years this season and with never-say-die displays like this they are hard to back against.