Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been bringing the best out of one and other for the last 15 years.

It was the Argentine’s turn to the grab the headlines last night with two goals against RB Leipzig.

With Mauricio Pochettino’s side trailing 2-1 heading into the last 25 minutes at the Parc des Princes, the 34-year-old rescued his team and ensured they stayed top of Group A, ahead of second-placed Manchester City.

Paris Saint-Germain v RB Leipzig: Group A - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Messi took his Champions League tally for the season to three, one more than Ronaldo, and lifted his overall total in Europe’s premier club competition to 123, which meant he closed the gap to 13 to his great rival (136).

Response from Ronaldo

Manchester United v Villarreal - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Sebastian Haller is the surprise Champions League top goalscorer this season with six from the first three games.

But neither Ronaldo or Messi have topped the Champions League charts since 2019.

Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski have been the competition’s last two top goalscorers.

 

Before that Messi and Ronaldo had dominated the competition. Kaka was the last man before Haaland and Lewandowski in 2006/07 to stop the great Argentine or Portuguese running away with the award.

TOPSHOT-FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-JUVENTUS
(Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

But with no goals in his last three Manchester United appearances, Ronaldo is in unfamiliar territory, the 36-year-old hasn’t gone four games without scoring since 2017.

There is no denying Messi and Ronaldo’s powers are waning but they still feed of one and other’s existence at the top of the game.

United’s number seven has already come out and said there are ‘no excuses’ ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s clash against Atalanta.

Manchester United v Villarreal - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

The pressure was already on the team to get a result against the Serie A side. But with Messi’s goalscoring antics the night prior, Ronaldo will be itching to respond to his great rival.

An expectant Old Trafford will be rocking and this is the stage that throughout his career, Ronaldo relishes and delivers.

With our backs against the wall, this is when Manchester United and Ronaldo in particular come out fighting and silence the critics.

Messi’s goals will only motivate Ronaldo further to remind the footballing world that he can be the man to lead this Manchester United team to big trophies.

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