Real Madrid beats Barcelona in El Clasico on late winner by Ronaldo (Video)

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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, scores his sides second goal past Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Real Madrid, dubbed 'el clasico', at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Ronaldo scores late to give Madrid 2-1 win at Barcelona

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, scores his sides second goal past Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Real Madrid, dubbed 'el clasico', at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Barcelona said goodbye to deceased club icon Johan Cruyff on Saturday in the final Clasico against Real Madrid of the La Liga season, but the Catalans couldn't honor his legacy with a home win. A captivating game yielded a 2-1 victory to the visitors when goals by Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo canceled out Gerard Pique's opener to end Barca's 39-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.

Gracies Johan, read a giant display by the Barca fans before the game, along with his old jersey and iconic number 14 on it.

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But if the club's ideological architect forever proselytized about attacking soccer, the first Barcelona game since his untimely passing from lung cancer at age 68 produced plenty of scoring chances for the home side but few actual goals.

Then again, there wasn't as much at stake as usual in this Clasico – merely glory and regional pride. Because Barca's lead on third-place Real in the league was 10 points going into the game, and so realistically the title was already decided. And both teams face Champions League quarterfinals in midweek, which must have played in the back of their minds.

Then there was the obvious fatigue to Barca stars Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, who had all just returned from international games in South America earlier in the week. And that was to say nothing of Real's eagerness to avoid a humiliation, like in the season's first Clasico in Madrid, where they lost 4-0.

That it wouldn't be a high-scoring game was foretold in just the 10th minute when Neymar got away on a goal kick, after Sergio Ramos had crashed to earth dramatically on a Suarez nudge but didn't get a call. Neymar squared it back for Suarez, who had a wide-open look, a continuum of time and space, but somehow whiffed on the ball. You would have bet just about anything on him scoring.

Real Madrid set up high and kept the field narrow, and while Barca initially picked them apart easily, the visitors managed to slow the game down and break the trance Luis Enrique's men can lull opponents into with their pass-pass-passing.

And when Real did get played for traffic cones, like in the 19th minute, goalkeeper Keylor Navas was there to make a splendid parry on Ivan Rakitic's placed shot.

Midway through the first half, Messi was brought down at the edge of the box by Ramos, who perhaps grazed the ball by accident, but controversially, the little Argentine got no call.

Early in the second half, Messi's chip once again coaxed goalkeeping brilliance out of Navas as the Costa Rican managed to slap it away with the very tips of his fingers.

Soon thereafter, in the 56th minute, Pique got away from Pepe on a corner and headed it in with authority.

But then Real Madrid quickly struck back. Marcelo made a long run into the middle and Toni Kroos's cross was deflected and looped to Benzema, who bicycle-kicked the ball home artfully.

Real would simply outlast Barca, wresting control of the game in the final phases. In the 80th minute, Gareth Bale was denied a perfectly good goal on a far post header due to a foul on Jordi Alba that never occurred.

Ronaldo then struck the top of the bar on the very next play. But when Ramos was finally sent off at the other end for slashing through Suarez, it seemed Real Madrid wouldn't get a reward for its late push.

In the 85th minute, however, Bale loped away on the right again and lofted a high cross to Ronaldo at the far post. There, the Portuguese finally managed to make his mark on the game by shaking off Dani Alves and beating Claudio Bravo with a lashing shot from close range.

And so the point difference between these two clubs is down to seven, with Atletico Madrid still in the picture as well. It likely won't much matter. But Real earned its points with a savvy game plan, beating a sluggish Barcelona on a day spent morning a club great. And if nothing else, they saved their club's honor.

Leander Schaerlaeckens is a soccer columnist for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.

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