Cristiano Ronaldo scored late for 10-man Real Madrid to snatch a 2-1 comeback win at Barcelona and revive its slim hopes for the Spanish league title on Saturday.Madrid ended Barcelona’s Spanish record unbeaten streak at 39 games across all competitions with its first come-from-behind win at Camp Nou since 1965, according to STATS. In Zinedine Zidane’s first clasico as a manager, Madrid avenged a 4-0 home loss to Barcelona it endured under Rafa Benitez in November by dealing the Catalan club its first defeat since Oct. 3.On a night that Barcelona honored Johan Cruyff with a moving tribute, it was Ronaldo and Madrid’s star forwards that outperformed Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez.”There are some things above winning and losing,” Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesa said about Cruyff. “We were all thinking about him and we weren’t able to get the victory that we wanted.”After a lackluster first half, Barcelona’s Gerard Pique opened the scoring with a header in the 56th. But after Karim Benzema equalized six minutes later, instead of staying true to the trademark ball-possession style that Cruyff instilled at the club, Barcelona lost its hold of the match and went on fruitless charges forward.The up-and-down flow played to Madrid’s favor, and Ronaldo slotted in the winner off a counterattack in the 85th, moments after Madrid’s Sergio Ramos received a second booking.”Even before Ramos’ sending off, there were five minutes when we didn’t have control of the match,” Pique said. “I don’t know if we got tired, but we couldn’t find a way to attack.”advertisementThe big win kept Madrid in third place, one point behind Atletico Madrid after its 5-1 win over Real Betis, reducing the deficit with Barcelona to seven points with seven rounds left. Given the considerable gap and dwindling chances to overtake both frontrunners, Madrid’s best shot at silverware still rests in the Champions League, where it will play German side Wolfsburg on Wednesday.”First, we have to overtake Atletico Madrid because we are still third, and then we will see what happens,” Zidane said. “What I can say is that winning here is a huge reward for our players. It’s very important for our morale, and just before we play a game in the Champions League in Germany.”Despite the loss, Barcelona’s quest to repeat its rare treble of Liga, Copa del Rey, and European Cup from last season remains intact. Barcelona hosts Atletico in the Champions League on Tuesday.”Their first goal unnerved us and unfortunately we lost our first game at home” this season, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. “We have to shake it off and recover for the Champions League, which will be a demanding match. We have to think that we are still the leaders with seven rounds left.”Before kickoff, Barcelona played a video of many former players giving thanks to former player and manager Cruyff, who died of lung cancer last week. The 90,000-plus crowd responded with a long ovation, and formed a huge mosaic with the message “Thanks Johan” in Catalan while they sang the club anthem before a minute of silence. The same message was also painted on the side of the pitch and worn on the players’ shirts.Another round of applause came at the 14-minute mark, in honor of his number as a player.The intensity revved up after halftime, and Keylor Navas had to dive and stretch to turn Messi’s crafty lobbed shot past his post. From the resulting corner, there was nothing Navas could do to keep out Pique’s pointblank header.Madrid quickly leveled against the flow of the match when Marcelo led a disorganized attack that undid Barcelona when Toni Kroos’ deflected pass fell to Benzema to sweep in. While Barcelona battled to regain command, Madrid mounted counterattacks. Gareth Bale appeared to have scored but his goal was waived off for a foul on Jordi Alba. Moments later, Ronaldo sent a ball off the top of the bar.Ramos’ second yellow card for a clumsy foul on Suarez didn’t swing the flow back Barcelona’s way, and Madrid got the decisive goal when Bale crossed the ball to Ronaldo at the far post. He chested the ball down after Dani Alves mistimed his challenge and drilled it under Claudio Bravo for his league-leading 29th goal of the season.Elsewhere, Valencia lost at Las Palmas 2-1 in the debut of coach Pako Ayestaran, while Deportivo La Coruna drew at Celta Vigo 1-1.
HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia government was in damage-control mode Thursday as it modified its assertion that police had asked the Internal Services Department to hold off on releasing information about a security breach involving the province’s freedom-of-information internet portal.On Wednesday, Internal Services Minister Patricia Arab and Premier Stephen McNeil said they delayed telling the public about the breach on the advice of police. Later in the day, Halifax Regional Police Supt. Jim Perrin denied that assertion, saying “there was no conversation between us and the province about holding off and not telling anybody.”On Thursday, McNeil and Arab said department staff were in contact with police, but they confirmed it was staff members who recommended the delay.“I didn’t specifically speak to Halifax Regional Police,” said McNeil. “Our security people who did in that conversation said the longer that they (police) would have to identify that IP address the better it would be. We made the choice, as I said yesterday, they (police) did not tell us not to notify.”McNeil suggested reporters check back with police.A reply was provided by police spokeswoman Const. Carol McIsaac.“During the course of the investigation, it is normal for us to have discussions with complainants to ensure the best possible outcome, understanding it is not up to us to make the final decision on a public communication by the complainant,” she said. “We provided no instruction to hold back information.”Meanwhile, Halifax police have arrested a 19-year-old man, who is now facing a charge of unauthorized use of a computer.The government says about 7,000 documents were inappropriately accessed between March 3 and March 5, with about 250 containing highly sensitive personal information such as birthdates, social insurance numbers, addresses and government services’ client information.The confirmation of the breach came nearly a week after the problem was first noticed by accident, when a provincial employee made a typing error. The portal was shut down April 5.Arab said credit card information was not accessed in the breach.She said her department is contacting people who were affected by the breach, and will offer to pay for third-party credit checks.In an email, a department spokesman said the checks “will be offered to those clients where a level of personal information was disclosed that may cause risk of financial jeopardy. We don’t have an exact number at this time.”Karla MacFarlane, the Progressive Conservative’s Interim leader, said the government had “created a mess” and were offering explanations that lack credibility.“We have some mixed messages coming from the police, coming from her (Arab’s) department, coming from the premier. So I’m sure they are all scrambling to . . . make it look like they are all on the same page,” she said. “We clearly know that they are not.”NDP Leader Gary Burrill said the handling of the situation called into question “the trustworthiness of the government’s word.”The government has said the documents were accessed through a “vulnerability in its system” and not through a hack. They said someone wrote a script of computer code that allowed them to sequentially access “every document available on the portal.”Privacy lawyer David Fraser said it’s always prudent to determine the nature of the data involved in any breach before going public with it.“It can be sensible for them to do that,” Fraser said in an interview. “It’s just curious that we are getting differing accounts on what in fact happened and it sounds like the government is making some attempt to reconcile those accounts.”