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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Ronaldo, Messi conjure up wins

PHOTOS: Ronaldo, Messi conjure up wins

Last updated on: February 27, 2012 17:50 IST

Ronaldo, Messi conjure up wins

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi produced moments of magic to earn victories for Real Madrid and Barcelona which kept Real 10 points clear at the top of La Liga on Sunday.

Manchester City and Manchester City won to stay clear at the top of the Premier League but third-placed Tottenham Hotspur's challenge faltered after they surrendered a two-goal lead to lose 5-2 at local rivals Arsenal.

Liverpool celebrated their first silverware since 2006 when they won the English League Cup, surviving a fright at Wembley from Championship side Cardiff City to win 3-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Quick-thinking Lionel Messi netted a brilliant free kick and Cristiano Ronaldo scored with an audacious backheel as Barcelona and Real Madrid won 2-1 at Atletico Madrid and 1-0 at Rayo Vallecano respectively on Sunday.

The victories for the top two maintained Real's 10-point lead over their arch rivals, while third-placed Valencia slipped 14 points behind Barca when they surrendered the lead and were beaten 2-1 at home by Sevilla.

The Atletico defence were still lining up their wall in the 81st minute at the Calderon when Messi curled the ball over home goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and into the far top corner to secure victory for Barca.

Ronaldo pounced on a loose ball at a 54th-minute corner at Real's Madrid neighbours Rayo and, with his back to goal, sent it through a crowd of players into the net - a 29th league goal of the season to keeps him one ahead of Messi at the top of the La  Liga scoring chart.


Image: Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd L) of Real Madrid scores his team's opening goal during the La Liga match between Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid at Estadio Teresa Rivero
Photographs: Getty Images

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Giggs caps 900th match with a stoppage-time winner

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In the Premier League, Ryan Giggs capped his 900th match for Manchester United with a stoppage-time winner and fellow veteran Paul Scholes also scored as the champions beat Norwich City 2-1 on Sunday to stay within two points of leaders Manchester City who beat Blackburn Rovers 3-0 on Saturday.

Third-placed Tottenham lost ground when they crashed to an astonishing 5-2 defeat at Arsenal in the North London derby after leading 2-0.

Spurs led with goals from Louis Saha and a penalty by ex-Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor, but Arsenal struck back to win with five goals in 28 minutes from Theo Walcott (2), Bacary Sagna, Robin van Persie and Tomas Rosicky.

Liverpool won the League Cup for the eighth time by beating Championship side Cardiff City 3-2 on penalties after the final at Wembley had finished 2-2 after extra time.


Image: Ryan Giggs of Manchester United celebrates his last minute goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road
Photographs: Getty Images

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Matri smashed home the leveller for Juve vs Milan

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Leaders AC Milan drew 1-1 with second-placed Juventus but should have taken the three points after replays showed a Sulley Muntari effort had crossed the line.

Antonio Nocerino had given hosts Milan the lead before Gianluigi Buffon clawed Muntari's effort away from beyond the line without the officials seeing it had gone in.

Juve made the most of their luck and Alessandro Matri smashed home the leveller seven minutes from the end having had a goal disallowed moments earlier.

Ezequiel Lavezzi's goal helped Napoli beat Inter Milan 1-0 to pile more pressure on Nerazzurri coach Claudio Ranieri, while Lazio beat Fiorentina 1-0, Udinese overcame Bologna 3-1 and AS Roma lost 4-1 at Atalanta.



Image: Alessandro Matri of Juventus celebrates with team-mates after scoring a goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Juventus FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
Photographs: Getty Images

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Ribery grabs both goals against Schalke

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Borussia Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski scored twice as the champions beat Hanover 96 3-1 on Sunday to go four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and stretch their winning streak to seven games.

Poland international Lewandowski fired in from a tight angle in the first half and he took his league tally to 16 goals by sliding in 10 minutes after the restart.

Bayern Munich moved into second place on 48 points from 23 matches after beating Schalke 04 2-0 with Frenchman Franck Ribery grabbing both goals in a dazzling performance.

Bayern are a point ahead of Borussia Moenchengladbach, who drew 1-1 with Hamburg SV on Friday. Schalke remain fourth on 44.



Image: Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich celebrates his second goal against FC Schalke 04 with team mate Arjen Robben (L) during their German first division Bundesliga soccer match in Munich
Photographs: Reuters

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PSG salvaged a point thanks to a Hoarau equaliser

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Paris St Germain surrendered their Ligue 1 lead on Saturday when they drew 4-4 draw at Olympique Lyon as Montpellier took charge with a 1-0 win against Girondins Bordeaux.

PSG salvaged a point thanks to a Guillaume Hoarau equaliser four minutes into stoppage time after a seven-minute goal blitz had put Lyon 3-1 ahead in the first half.

Montpellier continued their impressive league run when a late John Utaka goal sent them top with 53 points from 25 games with PSG trailing by one point.

Champions Lille, who conceded a last-gap 1-1 draw at 10-man Stade Rennes, were third, seven points off the pace.

NETHERLANDS

PSV Eindhoven let slip a two-goal lead against Feyenoord but grabbed a late win through Zakaria Labyad to move two points clear at the top of the Dutch league.

AZ Alkmaar, in second, dropped points in a 3-3 draw with fourth-placed Heerenveen, despite two goals from US international Jozy Altidore.

Steve McClaren's Twente Enschede stayed in touch with the leaders by beating Utrecht 1-0. They are three points behind PSV but have a game in hand.

PORTUGAL

Champions Porto earned a 2-0 home win over 10-man Feirense to go top of the Premier League on 49 points after 20 matches, joint-level with Benfica, who were held up to a goalless draw at Academica.

Goals by Brazilian centre back Maicon and Colombia winger James Rodriguez in the second half sealed a precious win for Porto ahead of a top-of-the table 'Classico' against Benfica next Friday.


Image: Guillaume Hoarau (L) and Kevin Gameiro of Paris St-Germain celebrate after scoring against Olympique Lyon during their French Ligue 1 soccer match at the Gerland stadium in Lyon
Photographs: Reuters

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