The linesman signalled an infraction by Cristiano Ronaldo who was in an offside position as the ball sailed over him to Bale.
Luis Suarez’s poacher finish decided the game and came from a route one launch from Dani Alves, an apparent confirmation that tiki-taka is a thing of the past.
That system of course hinged upon the magic triangle of Andres Iniesta, Messi & Xavi, which has been supplanted by the ‘MSN’ of Messi, Suarez and Neymar.
Suarez played as a traditional No.9 against Real and it paid off, but it came at the expense of isolating Neymar, who but for one Dominoqq Online Terbaik exciting dribble, was comparatively peripheral.
Yet the Catalan fans had little to gripe about and have been on a victory lap, reveling in their four-point lead. El Mundo Deportivo hailed Gerard Pique’s imperious defensive shift, christening him ‘Piquenbauer’!
The title is now definitively in Barça’s own hands, but if there is a silver lining for Real, it is that they have a slightly easier run-in.
Six out of their last eleven games are at home, compared to five for Barça, who also have to travel to Atletico Madrid, while Real’s hardest trip is to Sevilla. Both have to play Valencia at home.
Nou Camp legend Johan Cruyff was as barbed as ever, opining without a hint of irony, “It is fantastic to win a game when you are playing badly.”
* The Camp Nou will host the Copa del Rey final on the 30th of May despite the fact Barcelona will effectively be playing a home game against Athletic Bilbao.
Real Madrid declined to offer the Bernabeu for the final, which seemed rather churlish but in character for owner Florentino Perez.
Two hours of negotiations …