Real's title credentials to be tested at Riazor

Carla Harmon
April 26, 2017

The Balon d'Or holder was livid after Lionel Messi scored an injury time victor which sent Barcelona back to the top of the table at Madrid's expense.

Victory takes Barcelona top of the table, thanks to its better head-to-head record with both sides locked on 75 points, but Madrid has a game in hand.

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. Given the circumstances, it was an unbelievable play - Sergio Ramos had been shown a red card, and Madrid didn't have a central defender on the bench. Now people are better prepared and he makes the difference.

Captain Andres Iniesta said: "Leo's greatness doesn't stop surprising us".

In order to celebrate Messi's landmark of 500 goals for the club, Barcelona released a touching tribute video, recalling the first occasion he scored a senior team goal for the club, twelve years back.

Messi had cancelled out Casemiro's opener before half-time. It was the first time in history that Real Madrid lost a home game in La Liga in extra time. "At 2-2 we should have used our heads more", said the Frenchman.

However, Madrid rallied when a man down as substitute James Rodriguez fired home an equaliser four minutes from time.

"I think the true greatness of Leo is that he never ceases to amaze even after so many years", he said. "For us, it is an honour and a blessing for the club". "Three vital points are at stake and we'll need to perform to our best".

"I arrived late for the tackle but there was no contact, there was no intention to deliberately attack a player".

Vasiljevic said he would not name his team until the day of the game and was not forthcoming over how he would approach things tactically.

"As with every league game we have to compete again and show we are superior to our opponents".

We've seen it all before with Ronaldo, of course, but Spanish broadcasters' understandable urge to pan to Ronaldo when Messi produces something decisive in any El Clásico tends to up the ante as where the already-colossal fixture is concerned.

Madrid will have to split its attention between the title race and the semifinals of the Champions League, which will be played in the coming weeks.

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