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Zidane remains defiant as last gasp Messi rinks Real

Lionel Messi blew the LaLiga title race wide open as his 500th Barcelona goal stunned Real Madrid by giving the Catalans a 3-2 El Clasico win at the Bernabeu.

Messi, sporting a black eye and missing teeth following Marcelo's first-half challenge on him, struck twice with his winner coming from the last kick of the match.

Ivan Rakitic had earlier given Barcelona a 2-1 lead, while Casemiro and James Rodriguez were on target for hosts Real, who had skipper Sergio Ramos sent off 13 minutes from time for a two-footed challenge on Messi.

Barcelona go top because of a better head-to-head record than Real, although Zinedine Zidane's men have a game in hand and six matches left to play to the Catalans' five.

"This doesn't decide the league," Zidane said. "We are a bit disappointed because we had lots of opportunities and didn't score. They punished us for that. Clearly it would have been better to win all three points but we have to accept it and move on. We still depend on ourselves."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph