Real Madrid: Sergio Ramos happy to take penalty duties from Cristiano Ronaldo

06 February, 2019, 13:13 | Author: Ginger Lawrence
  • Barcelona 2-2 Valencia Every player rated from a thrilling draw at Camp Nou

A defender who once played at the highest level has insisted that it was tougher to play against FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi than it was to play against Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi picked up a knock on his right thigh during Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Valencia on Saturday evening.

Any hint of Messi being sidelined with the season entering its critical phase with titles on the line immediately overshadowed yet another outstanding performance by the Argentine.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde is hopeful that it's nothing too serious and is optimistic that Messi will be available to face Madrid in the Copa del Rey semifinal first leg. We will wait to see what the doctors tell us when they do the tests and we will look at it.

That took the 32-year-old's overall record in this fixture to nine goals in 11 outings, having also struck in both of last term's league encounters.

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His double took his league-leading tally to 21 goals in 22 rounds.

Barca could see their lead at the top cut to three points if Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis on Sunday, but in the meantime they will turn their attention to Wednesday's Clasico in the cup.

The hosts were 2-0 down after 32 minutes after a counter-attack goal from Kevin Gameiro and Dani Parejo's spot-kick.

Players in second-tier leagues (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Scotland, Greece, Holland, Israel, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine) receive 1.5 points for each goal scored; while players in third-tier European leagues receive one point.

Real Sociedad won the Basque derby 2-1 at home to Athletic Bilbao to move to eighth in the table. He is now a doubt, though, for the clash with Madrid this week.



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