MADRID- Barcelona kept their title hopes alive today when Lionel Messi scored his 500th goal in the last minute of stoppage time to give his team a huge 3-2 win in Madrid.
The absence of Neymar meant Paco Alcacer got the start, and Gareth Bale returned to the Madrid line up.
The beginning of the game didn’t have much action, Suarez had a half chance for Barcelona ten minutes in and Casemiro picked up an early yellow card for a tackle on Messi.
The controversy began when Marcelo elbowed Messi in the face and the Argentine was full of blood, and there was no foul or card given.
Madrid took the lead in the 28th minute when Ramos’ shot rebounded off the post right to Casemiro who passed the ball into the open net to make it 1-0.
Madrid’s lead didn’t last long when Lionel Messi tied the game up just five minutes later. Messi dribbled past two players and tucked the ball in the bottom corner to get his 499th goal.
Just when it couldn’t get worse for Madrid, Gareth Bale went off in the first half with another injury just after returning to the team.
Madrid started the second half off better with good chances from Kroos and Ronaldo, but were unable to regain the lead.
Barcelona took the lead in the 71st minute when Ivan Rakitic’s left foot shot cannoned into the top corner.
Minutes after Barcelona took the lead, Sergio Ramos was given a straight red card for a two-footed tackle on Lionel Messi. Madrid were down to ten men for the last 15 minutes.
James Rodriguez came on for Benzema and made an instant impact when he got on the end of Marcelo’s cross to make it 2-2 with just five minutes to go.
Barcelona’s title chances would be all but over without a win, the champions’ were pushing forward for a late winner.
Lionel Messi scored his 500th Barcelona goal in the last ten second of stoppage time when he got on the end of Alba’s pass to curve the ball into the bottom left corner.
The rivals are now level on points with Barcelona leading the league via the head-to-head rule, but Madrid have a game in hand away to Celta Vigo.
There is still hope for Barcelona to keep the trophy in Catalunya, but they will need some help from the other teams.
Real Madrid: (4-3-3) Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, Casemiro; Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema.
Barcelona: (4-3-3) ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic; Alcacer, Messi, Suarez.
Real Madrid: Marco Asensio (39′), Mateo Kovacic (70′), James Rodriguez (86′).
Barcelona: Andre Gomes (70′).