Five minutes later Real were level, Karim Benzema meeting a Toni Kroos cross with a header down in the box for Ronaldo to sweep home.
The nine-time LaLiga champion is expected to complete a switch to the Chinese Super League and said he is struggling to cope with the physical challenge of big matches.
Sergi Roberto had just been sent off for a clash with Marcelo when Messi made a beeline for Hernandez.
It was an ill-tempered Clasico with Referee Alejando Hernandez Hernandez showing a total of eight yellow cards and one red.
The Wales forward later denied Liga champions Barca victory by hitting a scorching late equaliser from outside the area.More news: France slams Donald Trump for Bataclan remarks during NRA speech
Regardless of any developments, Jürgen Klopp and his players will feel confident they can beat Real Madrid given the incredible way they have progressed through the tournament this season. "It's not a worry for the Champions League final". "But we can not talk about him, the referee wants to do his best". "In a Clasico where there was nothing at stake, it was a great game". "I am doing everything possible so I can play these last few games and try to absorb them", Iniesta told Barca TV.
"Technology is going to be good for football, but it will take time to adjust, the important thing is that the games have rhythm, at the beginning it will be complicated, but there are plays that require it". That, though, was when the season only compromised of 18 games, so Barca are on track to make history in a 38-game campaign.
Suarez's blatant kick on Raphael Varane went unpunished and from there it was all about Messi.
Suarez admitted after the game: 'I think it was a small foul. Ronaldo's injury, coupled with Barcelona avoiding defeat despite playing half the contest with 10 men, meant it was the Catalans who left the more satisfied.
"The referee could have given a penalty for Marcelo", Casemiro added.
Tiredness eventually took its toll on Barca, who were forced to defend deep and Real Madrid equalized thanks to Gareth Bale in the 73rd minute, but they were unable to find the winning goal to end Barca's unbeaten run.