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500 up for Messi as Barca beat Real Madrid

Lionel Messi scored his 500th Barcelona goal to send them top of La Liga with an injury-time winner against 10-man Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Barca, whose win put them top because of a better head-to-head record, have five games left, Real have six to play.

Casemiro scored first for the hosts before Messi and Ivan Rakitic put Barcelona in front and Sergio Ramos was shown a red card for a wild lunge.

Substitute James Rodriguez thought he had earned Madrid a point late on.

But Messi, who scored his first with a superb jinking run and finish, fired in from the edge of the area to win it for Barcelona.

Both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had earlier missed good opportunities to give their sides the lead, with the Argentina international poking wide of an open goal before the break and the Real Madrid forward slicing over in the second half.

Still Madrid's title to lose

Real - who have a game in hand on Barcelona - also felt they should have had a penalty when Ronaldo was clipped by Samuel Umtiti after only two minutes.

Real Madrid have won the Champions League in two of the past three seasons, but have been less successful domestically - they are without a La Liga title since 2012, with Barcelona taking the trophy three times and Atletico Madrid once since then.

Down to 10 men after Ramos' sending off and having pulled level with five minutes to spare, Zinedine Zidane's outfit looked intent on a winner that would have effectively put the title beyond Barcelona.

That left the space for the visitors to break away and score themselves. Tactical naivety from Zidane? Perhaps, but with a game in hand, La Liga still looks Real's to lose.

It had started promisingly for the hosts, with Casemiro the unlikely early hero when he poked home after Ramos hit the post. However, when Gareth Bale limped off with an ankle problem, the momentum swung in Barcelona's favour.

Has the momentum in the title race also shifted away from Los Merengues?

If Zidane's side, who remain on course to become the first team to secure back-to-back Champions Leagues, can win their remaining six games in La Liga, the Frenchman will end Madrid's five-year wait for the domestic title.