Messi shows who's in charge at 'clasico' against Madrid

Whenever Real Madrid face Barcelona the subplot is always who will come out best between the undisputed top two players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Messi's arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo also had a few chances coming his way but the Portuguese playmaker couldn't really cash in on them and was visibly upset with his own performance even after the fantastic support he got from the home crowd.

Real's woes were compounded when captain Sergio Ramos was shown the 22 red card of his career for a two-footed lunge on Messi.

Barcelona thrashed Osasuna 7-1 on Wednesday as Lionel Messi, Andre Gomes and Paco Alcacer each scored twice to send them three points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga. "I know Pique said that I'd regret it once I saw the images, but after five minutes of cooling off, I feel the same way".

Messi went on to score the victor in a 3-2 win for Barca following Ramos' dismissal, with the defender having exchanged words with fellow Spain worldwide Gerard Pique on his way from the field.

"We had chances to kill the game ourselves, many chances to score goals", he said after the match.

His goal may not change the destination of the title, which is still in Madrid's hands given its game in hand, but it keeps the race alive.

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After Marleau's goal breathed life into the building, Pavelski's backhand attempt was the closest San Jose came to a second goal. Just 56 seconds later, Slepyshev got into the action when Paul Martin mishandled a pass from Chris Tierney at the point.

"You played unbelievable, as usual", Roberts told the defender after the game.

"We don't get carried away when we win and we won't get down after a defeat".

Pepe Mel's Deportivo, after a campaign of struggle now mathematically safe from the drop, gave Real Madrid food for thought with a Florin Andone goal 10 minutes before the break, but Lucas Vazquez re-established the two-goal cushion heading into half-time.

"The red card was excessive", Ramos told reporters after the match.

"We are disappointed as we did not deserve to lose, but football is like that".

Coach Zinedine Zidane insisted that, while they might now sit second, the fact that Madrid have played one game fewer means they still control their own destiny. Then we'll see how it goes until the end.

  • Regina Holmes