The Clasico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid was the main course of Matchday 22 in La Liga: a weekend when Athletic Club Bilbao were the only side in the top 10 to win.
The Clasico provided plenty of tension, but was lacking the quality expected from arguably the best two club sides in the world.
Real Madrid had the better of a first half in which Cristiano Ronaldo missed two good chances, before Barcelona improved after the break and took the lead with a Luis Suarez header. The Catalans were in charge in the second half, but after Leo Messi and Neymar missed chances to seal the win, Sergio Ramos equalized with a 90th minute header.
That result means Sevilla would have moved second had they won away to bottom of the table Granada, but Jorge Sampaoli’s side chose the wrong moment to have an off day against a rival who had not won all season.
Jerome Boga was a constant threat for the Granada and set up Andres Pereira for their opening goal before Lomban doubled the lead from a second half corner, with Sevilla’s only goal coming from the penalty spot in the last kick of the game.
Atletico Madrid also had a chance to close the gap at the top, but failed to break down an Espanyol that has now not conceded a goal in 496 minutes of league football.
Villarreal also failed to close the gap at the top as they were held to a 0-0 draw in a dull game away to Leganes with new home keeper Iago Hererin producing two fine saves to keep the scores level.
Athletic Bilbao got back to winning ways with a 3-1 win at home to local rivals, Eibar. Missing strikers Aritz Aduriz and Raul Garcia, goals from Benat Etxeberria, Inaki Williams and Iker Munian settled a tense gave where Sergi Enrique’s goal kept Eibar in with a chance right until the end.
Betis and Celta shared six goals and an exciting 90 minutes played during a heavy rainstorm which only served to add to the emotion.
Iago Aspas scored twice for Celta and has nine goals this season, while Ruben Castro, Antonio Sanabria and Pezzella scored for Betis and Roncaglia netted the sixth goal of the game.
Alaves and Las Palmas shared the spoils in Vitoria with Marco Livaja’s 57th minute goal cancelling out Alexis’ fourth minute opener for the home side.
Osasuna end the week bottom of the table as a result of their 3-1 defeat to Sporting Gijon: Carlos Carmona scored two goals and Douglas one for Sporting, who climb out of the relegation zone after their first win in 11 games. Osasuna meanwhile have four defeats in four games and have scored just one goal since Joaquin Caparros replaced Quique Martin as first team coach.
Finally Valencia are still struggling for points following a 2-2 draw at home to Malaga, who saw how two Pablo Fornals goals, the last in injury time, cancelled out strikes from Rodrigo and Alvaro Medran.