Messi gets 500th goal; Barcelona beats Real Madrid


For coach Zidane, this El Clasico is aimed at confirming their supremacy over rivals Barcelona as his game could very well decide the race for the La Liga title this season.

As a result he missed out on Madrid's triumph over the Bavarian giants as they eliminated Carlo Ancelotti's side 4-2, thanks to emphatic Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the first player to score 100 Champions League goals.

The night when Messi truly announced his arrival to the world, but which ultimately handed Madrid the title.

A victory for the Madrid would extend their lead on the log to six points with a game in hand and put them in good stead to the title, while a loss would ensure Barca keep on the pressure on the leaders.

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The Argentine was still down when Ronaldo drilled another fine effort towards goal that Marc-Andre ter Stegen did well to parry to safety.

Ronaldo's shortage isn't for a lack of trying, yet, as the 32-year old goes for goal a whole lot more frequently than Messi, notching up over two shots per match more than the Barcelona guy.

But, against the run of play, Barca drew level within five minutes when Messi collected Rakitic's pass and glided past the challenges of Luka Modric and Carvajal before beating Keylor Navas down low from 12 yards.

Messi completed his brace with a dramatic 92nd-minute strike to guide Barca to a 3-2 win over a 10-man Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

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Lionel Messi has been crucial for Barcelona this season as his goals at important times have literally saved Barcelona on numerous occasions this season and he will once again be required to step up again. He would be the first player to reach that mark with the club. Madrid, seeking its first league title since 2012, also has a game in hand.

Barcelona will be without the suspended Neymar, although the club said Friday it was filing an appeal with the country's sports tribunal to annul the suspension.

On Saturday, the champions were reportedly in the process of trying to get the second match of Neymar's suspension for a red card in the 2-0 defeat at Malaga a fortnight ago expunged so he can feature in El Clasico. However, the difference in goals are easily described by the number of games played by every forward, with there being only a small disparity of 0.03 when we look at their goals-per-match ratios.

Zidane confirmed that winger Gareth Bale would be included in the squad but would not say whether the Welshman was fit enough to start or if he would be named among the substitutes.

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