Lionel Messi overshadows Cristiano Ronaldo in El Clasico once again

first_imgBarcelona talisman Lionel Messi once again lived up to his reputation as the greatest footballer of his generation by inspiring the Catalans to a 3-2 victory over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night.Messi netted twice, including the winner at injury time, which was also his 500th goal for Barca, who are now level at the top with Real on 75 points. Barcelona leads on the head-to-head tiebreaker but Madrid has six games left in the La Liga – one more than Barcelona. (Lionel Messi is an honour for us and a blessing for Barcelona: Andres Iniesta)It was another outstanding performance by Messi, who played part of the game with a bloodied mouth after colliding with Madrid left back Marcelo’s elbow.Messi’s arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo also had a few chances coming his way but the Portuguese playmaker couldn’t really cash in on them and was visibly upset with his own performance even after the fantastic support he got from the home crowd. (Is Zinedine Zidane underutilising the bench strength of Real Madrid FC?)Messi has in the past overshadowed Ronaldo in Clasico encounters and he did it yet again in Madrid last night. He has scored 14 goals in his last 10 league matches, and is the competition’s leading scorer with 31 goals, seven more than teammate Luis Suarez. The Argentine playmaker has 47 goals with Barcelona in 46 games this season.Messi vs Ronaldo in El Clasico over the years:24 April, 2017: Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 3Messi’s winner at the Bernabeu came after Sergio Roberto made a great run from Barcelona’s defense, leading to Alba’s low pass across the area as Messi came charging to one-touch the ball into the corner past the diving Keylor Navas.advertisementMessi’s first goal came after he got past Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal with a run inside the area after picking up a pass by Ivan Rakitic outside the box in the 33rd. He is the all-time leading scorer in the Clasico with 23 goals.Messi had not scored in the Clasico in three years but he more than made up for the goal-drought in this encounter and lead his team to victory.2 April, 2016: Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 2Last year it was Cristiano Ronaldo who had the better outing in the Clasico when Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-1 at the Nou Camp to snap end the Catalans’ 39-match unbeaten run.Once again Real were down to 10 men with captain Sergio Ramos being sent off but and with the match tied at 1-1 after Karim Benzema and Gerard Pique scored once each for Real and Barca respectively. Ronaldo, who had little impact on the match up until then, converted a Gareth Bale cross on the far end of the post and shot past goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to grab the winner in the dying moments of the match, handing Zinedine Zidane his maiden win in his first match as Real coach. It was also Ronaldo’s 42nd goal of the season.23 March, 2014: Real Madrid 3 Barcelona 4One of Lionel Messi’s best performances came in the El Classico at the Santiago Bernabeu when he scored his second hat-trick against Real Madrid to stun the home crowd.The three goals helped Messi reach the 21-goal mark against Real as he surpassed Alfredo Di Stefano’s record of 18 goals in the Clasico as Barcelona won a seven-goal thriller and closed the gap on Real to just one point in the La Liga.Twice Barcelona came from behind after Karim Benzema’s brace in the first-half and Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty strike in the second-half as both teams played out one of the most entertaining Clasico’s in recent times.7 October, 2012: Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 2As well as being a potential title decider, the Clasico at Nou Camp in 2012 between the bitter rivals served up the latest installment in the goal-scoring drama featuring record-setting marksmen Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.It was as if Ronaldo and Messi were competing in a match of their own with the rest of the players from either side playing supporting roles. Both the superstars scored two goals each with Ronaldo putting Real in the lead in the 22nd minute which was then cancelled out by Messi in the 31st minute.It was then Messi who put Barca in the lead in the second-half but the joy was shortlived as Ronaldo equalised six minute later to secure a 2-2 draw for Real at the Nou Camp.last_img read more