Barcelona has taken another big hurdle in the league's first perfect season.
The league champion receives his rival Real Madrid on Sunday at Camp Nou for the latest issue of El Clasico. Barcelona have taken the championship title in their last game, but still have something in their sights to do something that has never before played in Spain's leading group. Lionel Messi & Co. have played 26-8 in the league this season in Primera División and have unbeaten in 41 league games. His last loss in the Primera División came on April 8, 2017 in Malaga.
Real Madrid, who struggled through part of the league season but reached it and reached a fourth Champions League final in five years, would love nothing more than to play spoiler, which also catches Atletico Madrid for second place in the league.
The first few minutes began in the expected manner, with Barcelona holding possession and Real Madrid, and counting on counteracting. In the first three minutes, Luis Suarez took Messi's pass from the penalty area and fired, but in the end he was deflected into the corner. Los Blancos seemed to jump out of the game on the occasion and find Ronaldo, especially on the left, but Barça stopped.
After the pressure was eased, Barcelona made a fantastic finish for the Uruguayans thanks to Sergi Roberto's cross from the right. But Real Madrid responded almost immediately when Ronaldo's back-heel started a great game that ended with Benzema, who returned it to the Portuguese star and followed suit.
Ronaldo felt a bit uncomfortable with his ankle, but pulled away as the game got more steam. Real Madrid became more and more comfortable throughout the match and the stadium was able to feel it. Gareth Bale made a tremendous threat on account of his speed, and when Barcelona lost the ball in midfield, Madrid was capitalized. Shortly before the break Luka Modric Ronaldo found a nice pass in the pits, but Ter Stegen came out early enough to avert any danger.
After thirty minutes, Modric and Jordi Alba got into a scuffle, fortunately for both players just a serious conversation with the official meant.
Benzema and Ronaldo were in complete agreement, working the flanks and controlling most of the offensive creativity as we approached the 35th minute, and Los Blancos were the ones with more possession while Barça seemed to respond. A free kick from Messi hit Samuel Umtiti, but the central defender could not bring the ball under control.
In the 40th minute, Karim Benzema came back from the left and tried to steer the ball wide past Ter Stegen. Regardless, the home team struggled in the first half clearly to protect their box. After Keylor Navas Messi almost stopped in the pit, it got even hotter when Luis Suarez and Sergio Ramos both got yellow cards. After the replay, it seemed as if Ramos Suarez pressed into the elbow after the Uruguayans had released the ball to Messi and thus launched a couple of collisions between the two players. Lionel Messi remembered the attack on his team-mate and moments later he was booked out for a late attack on the Madrid defender.
The hot fight became even more intense when Samuel Umtiti got a nasty thing from behind by Gareth Bale just before the end of the half. The Welsh man was lucky not to get a red. Literally seconds later, Sergi Roberto received a red card after a goal on Marcelo.
The first half ended with tremendous intensity and Ernesto Valverde had everything to do, as he now had to contract his team with 1
The second 45 minutes left for Cristiano Ronaldo, as his ankle obviously harassed him, which meant a change was inevitable. Marco Asensio replaced him when the whistle sounded. In the meantime, Philipe Coutinho went to Nelson Semedo for more coverage. As expected, the game took a different turn when Barcelona played a deeper role, while Real Madrid seemed to have more control. However, in the 52nd minute, Lionel Messi made use of Luis Suárez's big left-sided play, which found the Argentinian just to defeat La Pulga in the penalty area.
Shortly after the gate, Andres Iniesta had a fantastic reception. It was an emotional moment as this was his last Clasico as a Barcelona player. Surprisingly, the goal for Ernesto Valverde's men became a new energy sensation when Barcelona came with a man less. Shortly after one hour Messi was fouled just outside the box, but his free-kick was blocked.
Real Madrid increased the pace and looked to equalize again, but it was clear that Zinedine Zidane's man missed his star. The crowds continued to push, especially on the grand piano, but there was no one to pick in the box as the Portuguese were missing. Barcelona counterattacked again in the 69th minute when Lionel Messi chased a ball out of his own half while Sergio Ramos did not catch him. But there was Keylor Navas, who stood strong and denied Messi's shot and Barça's third.
And it ended with an important parry as Gareth Bale scored a great shot from the penalty area to 2: 2.
Soon after, however, Bale also showed the ugly side of his game when he received a yellow for a ruthless challenge to Nelson Semedo. Marcelo also had a penalty, but the referee had none of that because it seemed too soft. Navas again made a heroic performance as the Costa Rican central defender saved Messi's attempt.
After five minutes Real Madrid realized that the home team were getting tired and pushing for the winner, although the match was not over for Luis Suarez, who could not get up after a challenge with Sergio Ramos. It was a tough day in the Suarez office when he was hostile to Real Madrid. In the last moments, Barça held on tight as Modric tried to pull the strings in the last third, but the hosts kept on.
Paco Alcacer came into overtime for Suarez and received standing ovations from Camp Nou. Moments later Paulinho drove on the left and got into a bend. Los Blancos clarified and pushed again, hoping to end the unbeaten season of Barça. Bale fired an optimistic shot from 25 yards deflected for a corner. Desperate attempts by Real Madrid, but in the end Barcelona held the draw.
It was an intense fight and one in which Zidane could think it was a glorious moment to score three points against a Barcelona that often fought 10 men. In the end, Lionel Messi has delivered and helped one point for the league champions this season.
At the end of the match, Barcelona's players thanked the fans and celebrated their championship title as well as Andres Iniesta's last season at the club.
Here are the lineups for the game:
Barcelona will end its season against Villarreal, Levante and Real Sociedad, while Real Madrid will face Sevilla, Celta Vigo and Villarreal ahead of the Champions League final on 26 May will compete with Liverpool.