Real Madrid, playing with 10 men, came from behind to tie Barcelona 1-1 in a matchup of the top two teams in Spanish soccer’s La Liga.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty kick in the 82nd minute earned Real the home draw last night at the Bernabeu Stadium. It canceled out an earlier penalty from Lionel Messi, after Raul Albiol received a red card for fouling David Villa in the area.
The draw keeps Barcelona eight points ahead of second-place Real with six games remaining in the season. It was the first of four meetings between the teams over the next 16 days.
Ronaldo had the game’s first chance with a long free kick that was caught by goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Messi then tried to chip the ball over Iker Casillas, who made the save.
Ronaldo charged into the Barcelona area in the 33rd minute but was unable to shoot as Adriano slid to clear the ball away. Casillas than saved Messi’s shot 10 minutes later and Adriano cleared Sergio Ramos’s header off the line just before halftime.
Ronaldo hit the goalpost with a free kick in the 50th minute. Albiol was then sent off two minutes later fouling Villa and Messi converted from the spot for his 49th goal of the season.
Real tied the game with eight minutes left on Ronaldo’s penalty, his 41st goal of the season, after Marcelo was fouled by Dani Alves. Real’s Sami Khedira had one final shot in the 90th minute which Valdes dived to his right to save.
The two teams will play in the Copa del Rey final in three days before meeting in the Champions League semifinals April 27 and May 3.