Real Madrid overcame fierce rivals Barcelona 2-1 at Camp Nou on Saturday evening, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting a late winner.
The first hour lacked the nonsensical theatrics we've grown accustomed to lambasting during previous El Clásicos, but naturally, by the end, we'd had a wrongfully disallowed goal, a Sergio Ramos red card and a 'calma' Ronaldo finish. Normal service was resumed, in many ways.
Barcelona hit the front through a Gerard Pique header from a corner before Karim Benzema stunned the Camp Nou back into silence with an acrobatic flick of his right boot.
With both sides upping the tempo, Gareth Bale then had a stunning back post header ruled out for a push, which at first, second, third and fourth viewing seemed ludicrously harsh on the Welshman.
El no-gol de Bale
Un escandalo absurdo.https://t.co/IfvBq5KCrw
— Paul Morrissey (@Paul_Morrissey) April 2, 2016
Sergio Ramos was given his marching orders shortly afterwards, compounding Madrid's sense of injustice, even if both of his yellow cards were absolutely nailed on. It's Ramos' 142nd career red card, with 139 of them arriving against Barcelona.
As the clock ticked down, justice was served via a floated right-footed cross from an aggrieved Gareth Bale, who had just returned from the corner flag where he was celebrating his disallowed goal. The Welsh wizard's ball was coolly chested down by his pal from Portugal, and Ronaldo slotted home the goal he scores almost every year away at Barcelona.
The win eases some pressure on an under-fire Zinedine Zidane, moving the capital club to within seven points of their bitter rivals. Barcelona remain in top spot, six ahead of Real's Madrid neighbours Atlético.
So, in a sense, the victory means little, though it does end Barcelona's 39-game unbeaten home run.