Messi and Ronaldo Watch: Lionel Messi Closes on Record, Real Madrid Lose

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Messi and Ronaldo Watch: Lionel Messi Closes on Record, Real Madrid Lose

For one, it was another week of smooth sailing. For the other, not so much.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo experienced differing fortunes this past week, and as usual, we're here to document it all for the world's two biggest football superstars.

Barcelona kept winning, both in Europe and back home. Real Madrid, meanwhile, drew once and lost once in a week that had manager Jose Mourinho pointing fingers in multiple directions.

How did our two superstars fare this week? Keep reading for all the updates.

 

Champions League action

Champions League Matchday 5 saw Barcelona win 3-0 at Spartak Moscow on Tuesday, one day before Real Madrid drew 1-1 at Manchester City.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Messi scored twice as Barca rebounded from a loss to Celtic on Matchday 4. The result kept Barca atop the Group G table with 12 points. Tito Vilanova's team have qualified for the knockout stage as group winners.

The goals were Messi's 79th and 80th of 2012. He is five behind Gerd Müller's all-time record of 85 goals in a single calendar year, set in 1972.

Messi's highlights, including both goals, appear in the video above.

Real took the lead at City through Karim Benzema in the first half before City leveled through a Sergio Aguero penalty in the 73rd minute. The draw sent Real through to the Round of 16 and eliminated City.

Highlights from the match can be viewed here.

 

Two more for Messi as Barca win again

Barcelona kept up the pace atop Spain's La Liga with a 4-0 victory at Levante on Sunday. The win maintained Barca's three-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Messi scored two more goals, his 81st and 82nd of the season. He is now just three short of Müller's all-time record.

But while Messi took the headlines for the goals, Andres Iniesta starred for Barcelona. Iniesta set up both of Messi's goals as well as Cesc Fabregas' in the 63rd minute. The midfielder capped a strong display with a goal of his own in the 57th minute.

Highlights from the match, including Messi's goals, can be seen in the video above.

For much of Sunday's match, Barcelona's entire team was made up of players from the club's youth academy. Midfielder Xavi Hernandez said that achievement fulfilled a dream of former Barca manager Louis van Gaal (via FCBarcelona.com):

“It’s extraordinary, especially for those of us that learned to play football at La Masia. We’re proving and showing the good work that’s being done (in the youth system).”

 

Real Madrid fall further behind in league

Ronaldo and Real Madrid lost 1-0 at Real Betis on Saturday. The result left Real 11 points behind Barcelona in the Spanish league table.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Ronaldo started and played the full 90 minutes but did not score. Highlights from the match can be viewed in the video above.

Real manager Jose Mourinho lamented a pair of decisions by the referee, including an offside call that wiped away Karim Benzema's would-be equalizer.

Mourinho said (via RealMadrid.com): "I congratulated the Betis players because it’s not their fault that the Benzema goal was ruled out or that the penalty wasn’t given in the last minutes of the match."

 

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Keeping track and looking ahead

Real Madrid host Alcoyano in a Copa del Rey fourth-round match Tuesday. Mourinho's team return to La Liga with a home match against local rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Ronaldo has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season, including 12 in La Liga.

Barcelona host Alaves on Wednesday in the fourth round of the Copa del Rey. On Saturday, Barca host Athletic Bilbao in a league match.

Messi has scored 26 goals in all competitions this season. He is currently La Liga's top scorer with 19 goals in 13 appearances.

 

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