Ronaldo squeezed in a shot at the near post in the 23rd minute at the Camp Nou last night to set a record for scoring in consecutive so-called El Clasico matches. Messi then put Barcelona ahead with goals in the 31st and 61st minutes before Ronaldo tied it five minutes later.
The result leaves Barca eight points ahead of defending champion Real after seven matches. Atletico Madrid is tied on 19 points with Barca atop the standings after Radamel Falcao’s 90th-minute goal secured a 2-1 win against third-place Malaga.
“If at the beginning of the season we would have said that we would be eight points ahead of Real at this stage we would have taken it,” Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova said in comments on his team’s website.
Ronaldo opened the scoring with a shot that beat Victor Valdes at his near post, becoming the first player to score in six straight El Clasico matches. He had shared the previous record of five with former Real striker Ivan Zamorano.
Barca was level on 31 minutes after Pepe failed to clear the ball in his team’s penalty area, leaving Messi to tap into the net. Just after the hour, the World Player of the Year put the home side in front by curling in a free kick for his 17th goal in matches against Real.
Ronaldo scored off Mesut Ozil’s pass to tie it in the 66th minute and join Messi and Falcao atop the La Liga scoring list with eight goals. Barcelona’s Martin Montoya, on for the injured Dani Alves, had a chance to win it for the home team in the closing minutes, though his curling shot struck the crossbar.
“It was tightly fought and nobody knew what the outcome was going to be until the last minute,” Real coach Jose Mourinho said in comments on his team’s website. “The world will be happy because often these matches are too tactical and finish goalless. This match had everything that people like.”
In Milan, Walter Samuel’s fourth-minute header secured the victory for Inter, which went a man down three minutes into the second half when Yuto Nagatomo was red carded for a handball, having earlier been shown the yellow card.
Defending champion Juventus maintained its unbeaten start in Serie A this season with a 2-1 win at Siena as Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio got its goals.
Juventus, unbeaten in 46 Serie A games, is tied atop the standings on 19 points with Napoli, which defeated Udinese 2-1. Lazio and Inter Milan are four points back.
Second-place Eintracht Frankfurt slipped to its first defeat in Germany’s Bundesliga this season, 2-0 at Borussia Moenchengladbach, to give Bayern Munich a five-point cushion at the top of the standings.
Bayern and third-place Schalke both won two days ago, 2-0 against Hoffenheim, and 3-0 against Wolfsburg respectively. Defending champion Borussia Dortmund is nine points behind Bayern after it tied 1-1 at Hanover yesterday.
Andre-Pierre Gignac and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two goals apiece as Marseille drew 2-2 against Paris Saint-Germain to stay three points ahead of its rival atop France’s Ligue 1. All four goals came in the first half at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, with Gignac scoring either side of two Ibrahimovic goals in the space of three minutes.
Third-place Lyon tied 1-1 at Lorient, and Bordeaux drew 1-1 against Brest in yesterday’s other games.
Last season’s champion Montpellier is 15th in the 20-team league after sliding to a 3-2 home loss against Evian on Oct. 6, its fourth defeat in eight matches.
Ajax was held to a 1-1 home tie by Utrecht, while PSV beat NAC Breda 4-0. Two days ago, Vitesse drew 3-3 with Heerenveen.
WEEKEND RESULTS =============== Spain: Celta Vigo 2-0 Sevilla, Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Deportivo La Coruna, Real Zaragoza 0-1 Getafe, Real Valladolid 1-1 Espanyol, Real Betis 2-0 Real Sociedad, Levante 1-0 Valencia, Real Mallorca 1-2 Granada, Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Osasuna, Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid 2-1 Malaga. Italy: Chievo 2-1 Sampdoria, Genoa 1-1 Palermo, Roma 2-0 Atalanta, Catania 2-0 Parma, Fiorentina 1-0 Bologna, Pescara 0-3 Lazio, Siena 1-2 Juventus, Torino 0-1 Cagliari, AC Milan 0-1 Inter Milan, Napoli 2-1 Udinese Germany: Augsburg 3-1 Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich 2-0 Hoffenheim, Greuther Furth 0-1 Hamburg, Mainz 1-0 Fortuna Dusseldorf, Freiburg 3-0 Nurnberg, Schalke 3-0 Wolfsburg, B. Monchengladbach 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt, Hanover 1-1 Borussia Dortmund, Stuttgart 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen. France: St Etienne 4-0 Nancy, Montpellier 2-3 Evian, Bastia 3-2 Troyes, Lille 2-0 AC Ajaccio, Reims 3-1 Nice, Sochaux 0-1 Rennes, Toulouse 2-2 Valenciennes, Brest 1-1 Bordeaux, Lorient 1-1 Lyon, Marseille 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain. Netherlands: NEC Nijmegen 1-1 Den Haag, Willem II 1-0 RKC Waalwijk, FC Zwolle 0-3 Heracles Almelo, Vitesse Arnhem 3-3 Heerenveen, Roda JC 3-0 VVV, Ajax 1-1 FC Utrecht, Groningen 2-2 Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven 4-0 NAC Breda, FC Twente 3-0 AZ Alkmaar.