Lionel Messi proved that anything Cristiano Ronaldo can do he can do better when he struck twice for Barcelona to rescue a 3-2 comeback win for the favourites at home to Spartak Moscow in their Champions League Group G opener on Wednesday.
Ronaldo, hoping to end Messi's three-year run as World Player of the Year, thrilled the Bernabeu when he snatched a 90th-minute winner in Real Madrid's 3-2 victory over Manchester City in Group D on Tuesday.
Messi not only netted Barca's 71st-minute equaliser against the unfancied Russians at the Nou Camp, but also grabbed the winner with a rare header 10 minutes from time.
The Argentina international has been top scorer in Europe's elite club competition the past four seasons and his latest double took his Champions League goal tally to 53 in 69 appearances while Ronaldo has 39 in 81 matches.
"We deserved to win but it was a really tough game," Messi told Spanish television.
"It's not easy when they defend so deep and you can't find the spaces," added the 25-year-old, who has now scored 109 goals in his last 100 official matches for Barca.
"They were comfortable defending in their penalty area and they have very strong and quick forwards and can break quickly.
"Things got complicated but we kept pressing and we managed to turn it around."
Messi has so often stepped up at crucial moments to save Barca and he was again decisive after they found themselves 2-1 down in the 59th minute.
Spartak were looking to catch the four-times European champions on the break and, after a Messi effort was well saved by Andriy Dykan, they raced up the other end and Brazilian midfielder Romulo finished low past Victor Valdes.
The match had appeared to be going Barca's way when B team youngster Cristian Tello struck to make it 1-0 in the 14th minute but Spartak were level a quarter of an hour later when Daniel Alves turned the ball into his own net.
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