A last minute header from Sergio Ramos saved Real Madrid from an embarrassment in the Saturday’s El- Clasico held at Camp Nou. A perfect header on an equally direct delivery by midfielder Modric, cancelled Luis Suarez’s 53rd minute header.
Earlier Luis Suarez had charged in a bullet header from a free kick by Neymar to give Barcelona the lead in the 53rd. The stalemate favored Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid, which left Camp Nou with its six-point advantage atop the table intact with Barcelona second.
“Our effort paid off,” Ramos said. “We were able to maintain the difference. We can’t go crazy. There is still a long way to go, but we depend on ourselves.”
Madrid, which also extended its unbeaten streak to 33 consecutive matches, is searching for its first domestic league title since 2012.
Central defender Ramos has a habit of striking late for Madrid, including his headed goal to force added time in the 2014 Champions League final, which Madrid went on to win against Atletico Madrid.
“What we have to highlight is the heart of this team. We believed until the end and got an important draw,” Zidane said. “I am not surprised (by Ramos). He has a lot of character and always shows up for games like this one. He never gives up. That is what Sergio brings.”
Despite having Andres Iniesta cleared to play from a right-knee injury hours before the match, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique decided to keep faith in the same starting 11 that was thoroughly outplayed in last weekend’s stumble at Real Sociedad. Andre Gomes started for Iniesta.
Iniesta went on for Ivan Rakitic in the 60th for his first action since injuring a ligament in his right knee at Valencia on Oct. 22.
Neymar, who picked up a suspension with a fifth yellow card, impressed with a sudden change of foot to breeze past Dani Carvajal, only to blast his point-blank shot over the bar in the 68th.
Iniesta, Neymar and Messi all added shots that could have sealed the win. But Madrid pinned the hosts back in the final minutes and got the equalizer when Ramos arrived unchecked to meet Modric’s service.
Before kickoff, both teams observed a minute of silence for victims of the plane crash in Colombia which included players from the Brazilian team Chapecoense.