Barcelona draws Real Madrid 2-2 in El Clasico 2018

La Liga Table 2018 Week 36: Standings and Final Scores After Sunday

Bale denies 10-men Barcelona victory in ill-tempered El Clasico draw

Rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid showed Sunday that they don't need titles at stake to produce a thrilling game of football.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, front, steers the ball past Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Real Madrid, dubbed "el clasico", at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, May 6, 2018.

Ernesto Valverde says that it is "lucky" video assistant referees are not yet used in La Liga due to the delays that would have been caused in the 2-2 draw with Madrid. "Both sides always want to win a game like this".

Cristiano Ronaldo, who was substituted at half-time carrying a possible injury, equalled Alfredo Di Stefano's record of 18 Clasico goals for Madrid by tapping in a clever Karim Benzema header back across goal.

"I am not going to talk about the refs, I never do", Zidane said. "We knew what we were playing for".

Champions Barca have 87 points while Real are third in the Liga standings with 72 after 35 games.

Even though nothing was at stake, both teams played with all the emotion of a final.

Ramos afterwards explained why he had failed to put the ball out of play with Suarez apparently down injured. Roberto dribbled the ball up the right flank to set up Suarez's score. Roberto returned a cross for the striker to sweep in with his right foot after Messi had drawn in two defenders with a run to the near post.

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Despite signing a new lifetime contract in October, the Blaugrana icon tearfully announced last month that he would be leaving the Nou Camp after 22 years at the end of the season.

The duo had made a history between them-scoring a record 1,000 goals for their respective clubs in all completions.

After initially taking treatment, Ronaldo played on for 31 minutes here before Zidane chose to substitute him at half-time, which may at least offer Real encouragement.

Ronaldo appeared to shake off the injury.

Madrid was stamping its authority on the contest, Ronaldo heading over and drilling wide of the post either side of being denied at close range by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. That preceded Roberto's red card.

Suarez's blatant kick on Raphael Varane went unpunished and from there it was all about Messi.

That goal took Messi's clasico record to 26 goals. Bale received a pass from Marco Asensio on that possession. With most of the players visibly exhausted and struggling to recover on defense, both sides had chances to get the win.

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

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