Messi, Ronaldo trade blows in 2-2 Clasico draw
MADRID (REUTERS) - Real Madrid came away with a deserved point but failed to secure the victory they needed to trim the gap to leaders Barcelona when the outstanding Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo each struck twice in an attritional 2-2 draw in La Liga on Sunday.
A stuttering start by Jose Mourinho's Real side had left them eight points behind their great rivals after six matches, threatening to derail their title defence before it had even got off the ground.
While they will take comfort from preventing Barca making it seven wins out of seven this term, they may feel they let slip an opportunity in the opening league Clasico of the campaign after Ronaldo gave them a 23rd-minute lead in front of almost 100,000 fans packed into an electric Nou Camp arena.
With millions more around the world watching the heavyweight clash, Messi levelled eight minutes later after a defensive lapse by Pepe and the Argentine World Player of the Year curled in a stunning free kick just after the hour to make it 2-1.