Real Madrid draw with Barcelona

A solo goal from Brazilian striker Ronaldo helped Real Madrid Barcelona to a 1-1 draw.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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A classy solo goal from Brazilian striker Ronaldo helped Real Madrid come from behind to hold La Liga leaders Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp on Saturday. The result meant the champions preserved their 11-point advantage over their archrivals at the top of the table with seven games left to play. Real fell behind to a Ronaldinho penalty in the 22nd minute and then had Roberto Carlos sent off three minutes later. Real Madrid were given a fright after only three minutes when Mark van Bommel ran on to a through ball from Ronaldinho, but the Dutch man failed to hit the target. Real, who trailed Barca by 11 points with just eight games to go, conceded a penalty when Roberto Carlos was adjudged to have brought down van Bommel in the 20th minute. Television replays suggested the Brazilian full back pulled out of his tackle and the midfielder dived. Nonetheless, referee Medina Cantalejo awarded the penalty and Ronaldinho made no mistake to put Barca 1-0 ahead after 22 minutes with his 15th league goal of the season. Cautioned again Juan Ramon Lopez Caro's team were reduced to 10 men when Roberto Carlos was sent off after being cautioned for a second time following a foul on Henrik Larsson. He had earlier been booked for dissent following the penalty decision. The Catalans, who are looking for their 18th league title, appeared to be cruising, but Ronaldo took advantage of an injury to Thiago Motta. The defender pulled up clutching his leg after straining a muscle and the Real striker powered forward to equalise in the 37th minute. Barca might have doubled their lead in the 66th minute when a defence-splitting pass by Ronaldinho found Larsson running through. But Iker Casillas was quick to see the danger and saved well. Ronaldinho's free kick in the 68th minute might have been blocked but he was still able to force Casillas into an important save. Barca went looking for the winner right to the end and if Larsson had been less profligate in stoppage time they might have taken maximum points. (AP)