Cristiano Ronaldo stole the headlines as he scored two against Lionel Messi and Barcelona.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has a shot in a Champions League group game against Juventus
Barcelona lost a Champions League group game for the first time since going down 3-1 at Manchester City on 1 November 2016

Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties to take his Champions League goal tally to 134 as Juventus beat Barcelona to seal top spot in Group G.

Ronaldo sent Marc-Andre ter Stegen the wrong way after being fouled by Uruguay defender Ronald Araujo.

It is Barcelona’s first defeat in a group game since 2016.

They started the day with a three-point cushion over Juve but finish second and will be unseeded in next Monday’s last-16 draw.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, regarded as the two greatest players of their generation, were facing one another for the first time since May 2018.

While Ronaldo scored two, Messi was frustrated by 42-year-old Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon, who made a string of fine saves.

The final Group G table in the Champions League
Juventus finish top of Group G due to their superior head-to-head record over Barcelona

Ronaldo comes out on top against Messi

This was the 36th, and possibly final, meeting between great rivals Messi and Ronaldo on the international, European and domestic stage.

They have won the Champions League nine times between them, scoring a combined 252 goals in the competition.

But this was Ronaldo’s night, the Portuguese scoring for the first time in the Champions League against Barcelona with Messi on the pitch.

Twelve years on from their first meeting, Ronaldo, the all-time leading scorer in Champions League history, got the better of his arch-rival.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi greet one another before Barcelona's Champions League match with Juventus
Lionel Messi had all seven of Barcelona’s shots on target in this match

Earlier in the 2020-21 season, Messi became the first player to score in 16 successive Champions League campaigns.

Messi had seven shots on target but could find no way past Buffon, while Antoine Griezmann headed against the bar.

At the age of 35, Ronaldo might not get too many more chances to cross swords with Messi.

He still trails Messi 16-11 in terms of victories between the two but this was a night to savour for Juventus’ former Real Madrid player.

Leave a Comment