MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo scored a wonderful, backheeled goal while Lionel Messi hit the target with a deadly accurate free-kick as Real Madrid and Barcelona both emerged victorious from testing La Liga trips on Sunday.
Ronaldo gave Real a 1-0 win over neighbours Rayo Vallecano while Messi scored his team’s second goal in a 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid as Spain’s two box office attractions took their league goals tally to 29 and 28 respectively.
The results also kept Real 10 points in front of the defending champions.At Rayo Vallecano, the second half was eight minutes old when the home defence failed to clear a corner at the first attempt.Portuguese superstar Ronaldo, facing away from the goal, backheeled the ball so powerfully from 15 yards out that it evaded four Rayo defenders on its way into the left hand corner of the net.
The game was competitive throughout and the main talking point of a goalless first period was whether or not Madrid’s Sergio Ramos had intentionally used an elbow to stop Diego Costa in the penalty area after already receiving a yellow card.
Meanwhile, Barcelona dominated the first half at Atletico and the breakthrough came on 35 minutes when Dani Alves finished off a swift attacking move started by Messi who presented Cesc Fabregas with the chance to gift the Brazilian the opener.However it was a different Atletico that emerged for the second period and they were soon level when Colombian striker Radamel Falcao met a corner to grab his 15th league goal of the season on 48 minutes.
The game seemed to be heading for a draw until Gabi Fernandez tripped Pedro Rodriguez on the edge of the Atletico area.As Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was lining up his defensive wall Messi surprised everyone with a curling left-foot shot into the far corner.
There was time for Juanfran to have a shot blocked at close range by Victor Valdes before the Barca keeper then had to stop a Gabi Fernandez piledriver in injury time. For Atletico it was their first defeat in 10 games since the turn of the year when Diego Simeone took over as coach.