SPAIN SOCCER PRIMERA DIVISION.jpg
FC Barcelona's Argentinian striker Leo Messi (L) fights for the ball with Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric during the Primera Division match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 03 December 2016.
Photograph: EPA/ALBERTO ESTEVEZ

Sergio Ramos earned Real Madrid a dramatic late draw in El Clasico by heading in a Luka Modric free-kick to hold Barcelona 1-1 on Saturday.

Luis Suarez put Barcelona ahead on 53 minutes getting in front of Raphael Varane to head in Neymar’s corner.

But Real Madrid fought to maintain an unbeaten run that now stands at 33 games thanks to Ramos' 90th minute leveller. They stay six points clear of Barca at the top of La Liga.

"The team worked very hard and a 1-0 defeat would have been unjust," Ramos said. "But we cannot get carried away, there is a lot of the season still left to go.”

Luis Enrique was unhappy with Arda Turan for giving away the late foul which enabled Modric to deliver the free-kick from which Ramos scored.

He said: "It’s clear that we should not give away fouls especially when the Madrid player has his back to goal.

"They can always come back into games. They show a lot of heart."

There was a lively start to the game and Lucas Vazquez wanted a penalty when dispossessed by Javier Mascherano who looked to have just got a foot to the ball in the area.

Barcelona’s best earlier chance came when Neymar was played in by a long ball over the top and he crossed for Luis Suarez whose shot was blocked. 

Ronaldo began to dominate towards the end of the half and he tested Marc Andre ter Stegen with a shot at his near post and then beat Gerard Pique and Mascherano before again shooting straight at ter Stegen.

Madrid finished the half strongly and it was Raphael Varane who had a header from an Isco corner saved.

Barcelona supporters chanted 'come out of the closet' at Ronaldo before half time and will almost certainly be fined with La Liga very keen to clamp down on homophobic chanting at football grounds.

Barcelona were a different side in the second half and when Suarez headed in Neymar’s corner the game looked to be under their control. Andres Iniesta came on at the hour mark making his first appearance in six weeks since suffering knee ligament damage.

Asked if he should have started his playmaker Luis Enrique snapped: "If my grandmother had wheels she would not be my grandmother she would be a motorcycle."

With Iniesta on Barca dominated but Suarez lamented the team’s second half failings in front of goal. He said: “We were superior to them and we made a lot of chances.

“But if you don’t take the chances to make it two then this can happen. We are still six points behind but we have to keep going and try to close the gap.”

Messi missed from close range with the game’s penultimate opportunity and Ramos pounced to earn Madrid a point.

"Once again we showed our heart," said Real coach Zinedine Zidane. "Ramos always comes up with something. He never gives in. And we know how important Modric is to this team.”

Asked if the draw felt like a win, Zidane added: “No. We suffered against a very good team. It is not easy to pick up points here. We needed all of our character.”

In the earlier game, Granada picked up their first win of the season with a shock 2-1 victory over third-placed Sevilla but stay in the relegation zone.

Later on Saturday night Atletico Madrid slipped further from the top of the table with a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Espanyol. 

Related stories

Latest news

Trump administration opens door for mass deportations

The US Department of Homeland Security laid the groundwork Tuesday for mass deportations of immigrants living illegally in the United States under an executive order by President Donald Trump last month.

Brexit bill: House of Lords says public can change mind on leaving EU

The British public should be able to change their minds on Brexit - just as Prime Minister Theresa May did, the upper chamber of parliament heard Tuesday during a marathon debate on legislation to kick off EU negotiations.

Italian lawmakers, rights activists clash over gay sex club scandal

Gay rights activists and conservative politicians clashed Tuesday after the chief of Italy's anti-discrimination office quit over allegations that money had been authorized for gay sex clubs.

EU countries agree new rules to avoid tax evasion

European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday reached a political agreement on new rules to ensure that multinational corporations do not declare profits in the countries where they pay the least tax but in the countries where they generate it.

Trump condemns "horrible, painful" anti-Jewish incidents

US President Donald Trump condemned a recent spate of threats against Jewish community targets across the United States, during a visit Tuesday to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

FinMin expects Croatia to exit Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Tuesday Croatia could exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring and that it was showing progress in correcting macroeconomic imbalances.

Austria seeks to create jobs, but new EU immigrants need not apply

Austria plans to create 160,000 jobs in the next three years by subsidizing companies, but the project has raised concerns because it effectively excludes people who recently immigrated from other EU countries.

Juncker: Not good for W. Balkans that some in Washington want to water down EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday it was not good for Western Balkan countries that some people in the new US administration gave the impression of being against the European Union because those countries needed the prospects of EU membership.

Citizens invited to help create Croatian version of Monopoly

A project to create a Croatian edition of Monopoly, in which citizens can participate by submitting proposals and which could become a souvenir for tourists, was presented at a press conference on Tuesday.

German state approves full-face veil ban

Legislation that bans face veils in select public spaces and situations was agreed by the government of the southeastern German state of Bavaria on Tuesday.

Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia's best for third year

Bangkok's Indian eatery Gaggan on Tuesday was named the best restaurant in Asia for the third consecutive year by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

HGK: 16 Croatian companies to exhibit at IDEX defence exhibition

Sixteen Croatian companies will exhibit their products at the 13th IDEX 2017 defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi, to be held on February 19-23.

Trump and the nuclear codes: Carnival again takes aim at politicians

US President Donald Trump, Brexit, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Germany's right-wing AfD party: Floats unveiled Tuesday for this year's Carnival parades in Cologne and Mainz once again turn to political satire to entertain revellers.

Barcelona police open fire on stolen lorry laden with gas canisters

Security forces in Barcelona opened fire on a stolen lorry laden with gas canisters to bring a rampage through the city to an end, police in the Spanish city said on Tuesday.

Stuttgart to issue bans on high-polluting diesel vehicles from 2018

Most diesel vehicles will be banned from roads in the southern German city of Stuttgart during times of heavy pollution, a bid to clean up the city's air, the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg decided Tuesday.