Barca hold Real
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
A bright start by the visitors was almost undone when good work by Raul set-up Ronaldo and the Brazilian jinked right and just fired wide of Roberto Bonano's goal.
Barca should have been ahead on nine minutes when Patrick Kluivert tested Casillas with a close-range effort, but the Spanish international keeper somehow guided the ball wide after excellent work by Luis Enrique.
Inevitably it was former Barca hero Ronaldo who opened the scoring with a cool finish past Bonano, after Flavio's harmless looking though-ball caught out Juan Pablo Sorin.
Barca to their credit fought-back and levelled matters on 31 minutes when Marc Overmars' cross found Kluivert and his effort was superbly saved by Casillas, but the rebound fell kindly for former Real ace Luis Enrique to tap home from close-range.
Kluivert almost Barca the lead moments into the second half, however his lob was well held Casillas, whilst Bonano was equal to Michel Salgado's effort 15 minutes later.
The longer the match progressed the greater in confidence the visitors grew, with few being able to tell the sides were separated by over 20 points prior to kick-off.
Luis Figo almost won the match single-handedly with 10 minutes remaining when he burst though the midfield, however Bonano made a superb save at the feet of the Portuguese ace.
Ronaldo was inches from scoring his second of the game with a late header, however Xavi was perfectly placed to clear off the line after the striker's effort crashed off the crossbar.
Real finished the contest with 10-men when Salgado was dismissed for picking up his second yellow card for bringing down Overmars.
Valencia's chances of retaining their Le Liga title were all but extinguished following a surprise 1-0 loss to Real Valladolid.
The Estadio Mestalla outfit would have moved within seven points of leaders Madrid with a victory, but were left to rue their missed opportunity.
Valencia were sunk by a solitary second half goal from midfielder Antonio Lopez with just 15 minutes left in the contest.
With their chances of securing back-to-back titles over, the side are now left focusing on resurrecting their Champions League bid following a first-leg 1-0 quarter final deficit to Internazionale.
Elsewhere, Mallorca shared the spoils with Villarreal after Samuel Eto'o cancelled out Martin Palermo's goal in a 1-1 draw at the Estadio El Madrigal.
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