19 October 2014 00:41
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo starred as Barcelona and Real Madrid claimed comfortable La Liga wins on Saturday.
Messi edged one closer to La Liga’s all-time goalscoring record as Barcelona easily beat Eibar 3-0 at Camp Nou.
The Argentina international went into the match needing just two goals to go level on 251 top-flight strikes with Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra but he could only notch once as he was frustrated by Eibar goalkeeper Xabi Irureta.
Messi saw a couple of chances go begging in the first half, as he was first denied by the right leg of Irureta, before flashing an effort just wide.
In fact, Eibar should have taken the lead themselves before the break, as Ander Capa and Saul Berjon both failed when through on goal.
Xavi eventually gave Barca the lead with an hour gone following a clever pass from Messi and Neymar netted the second 18 minutes from the end to effectively secure the victory.
Messi rounded off a delightful move in the 74th minute to ensure Barca stay four points clear of Real Madrid, with the Argentine now eyeing a record-breaking day against their bitter rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu in a week’s time.
A brace from the in-form Ronaldo inspired a dominant Real Madrid to an easy 5-0 win over strugglers Levante.
The Portuguese superstar went into the game at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia having scored 13 goals in just six league appearances this season.
And he wasted little time in taking his tally to 14, scoring from the penalty spot after Javier Hernandez had been fouled by Juanfran after 13 minutes.
On-loan Manchester United striker Hernandez got on the scoresheet himself just before half-time with a well-taken header, before Ronaldo added his second of the game and 15th of the campaign with a brilliant individual effort just after the hour.
James Rodriguez got in on the act shortly after and Isco rounded the scoring off with superb finish from 20 yards eight minutes from time as Real warmed up for a week featuring a UEFA Champions League trip to Liverpool and the season’s first Clasico against Barcelona in style.
Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao’s struggles continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Celta de Vigo.
With just one win in eight league matches, Ernesto Valverde’s men are 16th.
Malaga rose to seventh with a 2-1 victory at Cordoba.