Lionel Messi 'put pressure on referee' in Clasico, says Sergio Ramos

Just as Semedo did well for the Blaugrana on a night when they needed extra from all their players to keep their unbeaten record this season alive, Bale provided the exclamation point, scoring a handsome goal that stunned the crowd with its suddenness as much as it did with the actual shot.

But Roberto was sent off moments later for hitting Marcelo following an off-the-ball tussle.

- Zinedine Zidane (W2 D2) equalled Miguel Munoz (W4 between 1962 and 1965) as the Real Madrid coach with the longest unbeaten run against Barcelona away from home in all competitions. Ronaldo managed to complete the first half but did not emerge after half-time. Suarez was twice involved, first in his own half to spread the ball wide to Roberto from the centre circle, then to volley a ideal cross from Roberto inside the box.

Atletico Madrid lost 2-0 to Espanyol for its first home defeat of the league season.

Ronaldo did not start the second half with his teammates because of a suspected toe injury he sustained when he scored the equalizer.

Real recovered slowly into the game as Modric's through ball found Ronaldo in the box who was one-on-one with Ter Stergen but German goalkeeper had to save with his legs to keep the tie at 1-1.

"He is a player we admire, he's not just any player", Zidane said.

Ronaldo scored his 25th league goal of the season in the game against Barcelona.

Doubts over the competitive nature of the game played a huge role in the build up, but as the first half showed, that should never have been in doubt.

"I only have good words for him, admiration for his football and I wish him the best as a player for the future but above all, as a person". Everything exploded within five minutes or so before half time.

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro has dismissed Barcelona's Double triumph.

Real defender Sergio Ramos, who played peacemaker during the altercation between Nacho and Pique, revealed that Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi tried to influence the match officials at the break.

Gareth Bale was lucky to avoid a yellow or even a red for his raking challenge on Samuel Umtiti while Sergio Ramos had a few tasty encounters with Luis Suarez. Yet it was a thrilling tie full of tension, hard tackles and plenty of tough decisions for referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez as ultimately both sides ended the tie satisfied with the result. El Clasico will simply never be the same without him.

  • Julie Sanders