Messi Ronaldo trade blows in 2-2 Clasico draw

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Real Madrid failed to secure the victory they desperately needed to trim the gap to leaders Barcelona when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo each struck twice in an attritional 2-2 draw in La Liga on Sunday.

A stuttering start by the champions had left them eight points behind their great rivals after six matches but they made the better start to the ‘Clasico’ at an electric Nou Camp and Ronaldo fired them ahead deservedly in the 23rd minute.

A defensive lapse by Pepe let Messi in to equalize from close range eight minutes later before the Argentine World Player of the Year curled a stunning free kick past Iker Casillas to make it 2-1 in the 61st.

Real were level within five minutes when Mesut Ozil slid the ball through to Ronaldo and the Portuguese forward beat Victor Valdes for a second time with a powerful low strike.

Barca came close to a winner in an entertaining clash, watched by millions around the world, when substitute Martin Montoya crashed a long-range effort against the crossbar in the 89th minute.

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