Sergio Ramos Turns from Villain to Hero as Real Madrid Defeat Barcelona Again

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Sergio Ramos continued turning the balance of power from Barcelona to Real Madrid with his late winner at the Bernabeu Stadium.

The Spain international headed home in the 81st minute to give Real a morale-boosting 2-1 victory ahead of their Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester United on Tuesday.

After earning two red cards in the opening two months of 2013, the 26-year-old also put himself in the headlines for the right reasons.

Ramos was banned for five matches after insulting match official Miguel Angel Ayza Gomez during Real's 4-0 Copa del Rey win over Celta Vigo on Jan. 9, as ESPN.com reported.

Then, on Feb. 17, the defender received a second yellow card in the 20th minute of the La Liga win over Rayo Vallecano eight minutes after scoring the winning goal in the 2-0 victory.

Alvaro Morata, who was drafted into Real Madrid with coach Jose Mourinho having one eye on the trip to Old Trafford, created the opening goal in the seventh minute when he cut in from the left flank and placed his low cross into the path of Karim Benzema to score.

El Clasico history was matched 10 minutes later, however, when Lionel Messi equalised for Barcelona.

The Argentina international latched on to a through ball from Dani Alves and with the Real defence hesitiant, Messi slotted home.

It was Messi's 18th goal in the historic Barcelona vs. Real Madrid fixture, which drew him level with legendary Bernabeu striker Alfredo di Stefano as the highest goal scorer in the world famous matchup.

However, the newspaper headlines would not be the sole preserve of Messi this time around.

With nine minutes remaining, Ramos connected with a Luka Modric corner to claim Real's second win over their rivals in five days.

Ramos' role in the game did not finish with the goal, though. And when Adriano went down inside the area from his challenge, Barcelona players surrounded referee Miguel Angel Perez Lasa looking for a penalty which never came.

Even the dismissal of Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes for continuing to remonstrate with the official and earning a second yellow card in the final moments could take away from Ramos' moment in the spotlight.

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