Sunday, 7 October 2012
222nd El Classico
The 222nd El Clasico a match between Barcelona and Real Madrid which epitomizes the ultimate in team rivalry turned into an individual showcase for the two greatest players in world football and fittingly ended in a 2-2 draw Sunday.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi scored twice to put his side 2-1 ahead in their Camp Nou Stadium after an early strike from Real's Cristiano Ronaldo.
But the Portuguese star drew the reigning Spanish champions level on the hour mark with his second goal and almost certainly kept their title hopes alive.
They trail leaders Barcelona by eight points after seven games and they will take comfort from preventing Barca making it seven wins out of seven this term, they may feel they let slip an opportunity in the opening league 'Clasico' of the campaign after Ronaldo gave them a deserved 23rd-minute lead in front of almost 100,000 fans packed into an electric Nou Camp arena.
With millions more around the world watching the heavyweight clash, Messi levelled eight minutes later after a defensive lapse by Pepe and the Argentine World Player of the Year curled in a stunning free kick just after the hour to make it 2-1.
Real were level within five minutes when Mesut Ozil slid the ball through to Ronaldo and the Portuguese forward beat Victor Valdes for a second time with a powerful low strike.
Barca twice came close to a winner in a frenetic finale when substitute Martin Montoya crashed a long-range effort against the crossbar in the 89th minute and Pedro dashed on to an Andres Iniesta pass in stoppage time only to fire wastefully wide.