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Messi celebrates his second goal / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Barça maintained their eight point advantage over Real Madrid after a sparkling draw at the Camp Nou tonight. Madrid went one up through Ronlado and could have doubled their lead before Messi led the fightback with two goals, only for Ronaldo to strike again half way through the second half. Barça were on top and driving for a third in the last 20 minutes and were unlucky not to grab the winner.

Madrid open the scoring

Madrid came out of the traps the faster and Barça struggled to find their rhythm and settle, with Adriano playing his first game at the heart of defence alongside Mascherano. Di Mario was enjoying plenty of ball on his wing and Madrid were also creating danger from dead ball situations, with Ramos shaving the post with a header from a corner on 18 minutes. Four minutes later, Ronaldo made no mistake though, when he fired in a left foot drive that beat Valdes at the near post.

Messi strikes back

Madrid had Barça on the ropes for a few moments after the goal, as Benzema hit the post and Di Maria missed a great chance to put away the rebound. Alves was forced off injured to be replaced by Montoya and Tito’s side lifted themselves and dominated the final 20 minutes of the half, imposing their passing game and starting to create chances. The best of those fell to Messi after Xavi, Iniesta and Pedro had combined to get the ball into the Madrid box, where Pepe failed to clear and the World Number One pounced to fire past Casillas and send the teams in level at the break.

Superb free kick

Barça came out for the second half and continued to dominate possession, whilst Madrid tried to hit them on the break, but it wasn’t until the hour mark that the first real chance came along, when Messi scored a superb free kick from outside the box, clearing the wall and leaving Casillas flailing. The Camp Nou were on their feet and Barça were ahead!

Ronaldo levels the scores

The lead lasted for just six minutes though. Barça seemed to be more in control than ever, but after the referee waved away appeals for a foul in midfield on Iniesta, Madrid pounced and Ozil put Ronaldo through for his second to draw Madrid level again.

Montoya rattles the woodwork

The final 20 minutes were all Barça and Montoya came so close to winning the game in the final minutes with a shot from outside the box that struck the bar, whilst in the last move of the game, Pedro broke clear down the right, cut inside and fired just inches wide. But it wasn’t to be and the sides finished level, with Barça maintaining their imposing eight point lead over Madrid in the La Liga table.

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