|Mesut Ozil, left, congratulates Cristiano Ronaldo |
on his winning goal
Real Madrid defeated Barcelona in the El Clásico meeting as Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning goal, 139 seconds after the equaliser from Sanchez, to end Barcelona's title pursuit.
Trailing by 10 points only a few weeks ago, Barça, had cut the lead to four and as Pep Guardiola had insisted before this latest clásico that the equation was simple: lose or draw and Real Madrid would be league champions.
The visitorss scored the opener when Alonso swinged the corner to the far post. Pepe rised to head straight at Valdes and the keeper went low to smother, but mishandled, and Khedira moved in ahead of the confused Puyol, to force the ball home.
This was the first time that Madrid had scored here in the league since late 2007. It was also Madrid's 108th league goal of the season – a new record.
Barcelona started giving the ball away but still had it most of the time and could do little with it. Rarely did they find the wide men. Twice Tello got the ball and attacked before the break and Xavi Hernández missed one on one chance with Iker Casillas in the 26th minute as Barcelona under pressure with time running down, became vulnerable and Ronaldo ran the ball into the net seven minutes into the second half but was just offside.
The two best chances of the opening minutes of the second period fell to Tello Barcelona before they got the equaliser with 20 minutes left in the match.
Messi dashed through and found Iniesta, whose back heel reached Tello, who kept the ball on target. Casillas saved, the ball fell to Adriano, Casillas saved again and Sánchez reached out to bundle the ball over the line and suddenly the stadium errupted bringing in the faith but for only a few seconds.
Mesut Ozil played the pass from halfway. And in a flash, Ronaldo was there, taking a touch forward at high pace as he went round Victor Valdes on the right to clip the ball into the empty net, delivering the league to Madrid four years on.