Euro Zone: Messi is magic as Ronaldo fails again

"It's not about me being better than Cristiano Ronaldo it is about Barcelona being better than Real Madrid," said Lionel Messi after his 40th goal of the season gave the Spanish champions their fourth win over their great rivals inside two years.

Messi now has seven goals in eight games against Madrid. Ronaldo has yet to score against Barcelona in five meetings. Fifteen home wins from 15 games in the league had taken Real to the top but in their most important contests – against Lyons in the Champions League and here they and Ronaldo have failed to deliver.

Saturday's win was more a slap in the face than the hiding dished out last season, but it hurt just the same. Madrid spent £250m last summer and instead of losing 6-2 at home to Barcelona, they lost 2-0 – hardly an acceptable return on their investment.

"We are very happy. We still have a job to finish. There are 21 points left but we've taken an important step," said Pep Guardiola afterwards. And with seven games left Madrid's sporting director Jorge Valdano reminded everyone that Barcelona had dropped points twice in the last seven games prior to the clasico while Real had enjoyed a maximum return. But the thousands of home supporters who streamed out before the final whistle know these were the points that mattered. The same fans lined the streets two hours before kick-off to deliver the traditional hostile welcome to the Barcelona team bus. And they were encouraged by a peculiar team selection from Guardiola who left Messi up front on his own.

But a little Messi is still an awful lot for any defence to deal with and when the Argentine received a first-half pass from Xavi he shuffled around Raul Albiol and dispatched it into the back of Iker Casillas's net.

Xavi's pass for Pedro in the second half sent the Canary Islands winger scuttling clear to shoot coolly past Casillas for the second goal.



Bayern keep their treble chance dreams alive

Bayern Munich closed in on the Bundesliga title with a draw away to Bayer Leverkusen. Arjen Robben scored his 10th goal of the season converting a penalty won by Franck Ribéry to leave Bayern, with just four games left, two points clear of second placed Schalke who lost 4-2 away to Hanover.

"We have had so many matches in the past weeks and we are still two points ahead. I can only be satisfied," said Munich's coach, Louis van Gaal.

Bayern and Internazionale are the only sides in Europe who can still win the treble but Jose Mourinho's side dropped to second in Serie A, behind Roma, after they were held 2-2 by Fiorentina. Roma beat Atalanta 2-1 at home to climb to the top.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power