Barça pulled off a superb last gasp winner against arch rivals Real Madrid in a memorable 2-3 victory. Messi and Rakitic scored the first two goals before Messi sealed the winner in stoppage time.
Barça faced Real Madrid in Madrid with Neymar out of the lineup. Instead, it was Paco Alcacer who started in his place on the left side of MSN. Barça thought would fall behind when Casemiro put Real Madrid ahead in the 28th minute after Sergio Ramos’s effort struck the post and Casemiro was there to tap in the opener.
Fortunately, Messi made it 1-1 five minutes later after he got the ball from Rakitic outside the box. Messi evaded Dani Carvajal before calmly slotting it past Keylor Navas for another superb display of individual skill. That goal also meant that Messi had now broken the record for most goals in El Clásico history with 15 goals, just one ahead of Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano.
Barça took the lead in the second half when Rakitic scored a sublime a long-range effort in the 73rd minute. A few minutes later, Barça were enjoying a goal advantage and extra man advantage after Sergio Ramos was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Messi. It was his fifth red card against the Blaugrana.
Although they had the upper hand, Barça would pay for the squandered chances in front of the Madrid goal. Substitute James Rodriguez scored the game tying goal in the 85th minute and it seemed that Real Madrid had managed a great escape. However, Barça and Messi would have the final word.
Two minutes of stoppage time were awarded and Sergi Roberto managed to travel a great distance with the ball towards Madrid’s box. A quick exchange of passes from Sergi Roberto to Gomes to Jordi Alba followed. The left-back managed to cut back a pass for the unmarked Messi who was coldblooded as he managed to silence the Madrid fans after he curled the ball into the bottom right corner with the final kick of the match. Messi celebrated scoring his 500th goal by holding his shirt up in the air for all to witness this glorious moment.
Both teams are level on points atop of the league table with 75 points, although Madrid do have a game in hand. Barça next play Osasuna on Wednesday at the Camp Nou. With only five matches left, Barça are in must win mode.
Match Stats (From Sport):
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Carvajal, Nacho, Sergio Ramos (c), Marcelo; Casemiro (Kovacic, 69′), Kroos, Modric; Bale (Asensio, 39′), Benzema (James, 81′) & Cristiano. Ronaldo.
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba: Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta (c); Messi, Luis Suárez & Alcácer (André Gomes, 69′).
1-0 min. 28 Casemiro.
1-1 min. 32 Messi.
1-2 min. 72 Rakitic.
2-2, min. 85 James.
2-3 min 90+2 Messi.
Referee: Hernández Hernández.
Cautions: Casemiro (12′); Umtiti (38′); Carvajal (78′); Kovacic (80′); Messi (90+2).
Red Cards: Ramos (77′).