Barcelona, Real Madrid draw as Clasico marred by violence


BARCELONA: Barcelona and Real Madrid could not be separated on Wednesday in a Clasico that was overshadowed by violent clashes between Catalan independence protestors and police outside Camp Nou.After being postponed in October, there were renewed fears of unrest around Spain’s most famous fixture and while the match was only briefly interrupted by yellow beach balls thrown onto the pitch, outside the stadium, chaos ensued.The game was less eventful than expected, with neither Barcelona nor Real ever really at their best and both, perhaps in the end, happier not to win than to lose.A goalless draw means Barcelona stay top of La Liga, ahead of Real on goal difference while the historic score in league meetings between the two rivals remains 72 victories apiece.Real were the better side in the opening half an hour although Luis Suarez might have scored early had he controlled Jordi Alba’s cross at the back post.There was a goalline clearance at both ends as Casemiro’s header bounced up and had to be hooked away by Gerard Pique before Thibaut Courtois punched out to Messi but his shot was blocked by Ramos.Shortly after the interval, stewards ran on to collect the beach balls and then Barcelona twice should have scored, only for Lionel Messi and Suarez both to fluff finishes in quick succession.Bale scored with 15 minutes left but his provider Ferland Mendy was a fraction offside. Neither team wanted to go for broke in the latter stages.
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