Pique: I would have signed up for Deportivo defeat

Real are now two points clear of their bitter rivals and also boast a game in hand, but Pique remains bullish about his side's hopes of retaining their title.

In a near-carbon copy of his dramatic goal at the death against PSG, the right-back take on a clipped ball over the top of Depor's backline, but he could only knee his finish over.

Visiting forward Luis Suarez netted straight after half-time to cancel out Joselu's first-half opener but, rather than Barcelona pushing on for the victory, it was Depor who claimed the spoils thanks to Alex Bergantinos' header 17 minutes from time.

"The most important thing for me is the support Keylor received from his teammates", added Zidane.

Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Madrid went in level at the break as he rose unmarked to power home Marcelo's cross from close range for his 26th goal of the season.

Barca opened Sunday's showdown with their usual glut of possession, with Sergi Roberto impressing in a midfield role days after his injury-time strike against PSG pushed Barca through in the Champions League.

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"Only those who went through what we went through this week can understand what it meant", Luis Enrique said.

Former Real Madrid youth trainee Joselu gave Deportivo a deserved lead in the 40th minute after an error from Barca goalkeeper.

But despite what Barca's quick restart might have suggested, the goal onslaught the away team desired didn't materialise, and Mel's men were able to gather their thoughts and once again hold their foes at bay.

Barca reverted to a 4-3-3 formation, with Denis Suarez and Arda Turan replacing Rafinha and Neymar.

But Barca found it hard to create clear-cut chances against the mass ranks of Deportivo defence, whilst the hosts were always a threat on the break.

In the 74th minute Alejandro Arribas saw his header saved by Ter Stegen and Barcelona were forced to concede a corner.

  • Lawrence Cooper