Messi, Ronaldo star in their team's wins ahead of El Clasico

Lionel Messi went level with Cristiano Ronaldo's record of 41 league goals for the season on Saturday when he scored twice in Barcelona's come-from-behind 2-1 win over Levante.

The victory closed the gap on Real Madrid to four points with El Clasico to come next weekend.

Earlier Real beat Sporting Gijon 3-1 with Ronaldo hitting his 41st league goal of the campaign, beating his own record set last year, but Messi was quick to reply just hours later.

Levante had gone ahead from a 23rd minute penalty converted by Jose Barkero after a foul by Sergio Busquets but with Barcelona heading for defeat Messi hit a second half brace.

The second goal came from the penalty spot after a foul by Pedro Botelho on Juan Cuenca.

Cristiano Ronaldo set a new La Liga scoring record and Real Madrid equalled the highest ever season goal tally as they came from behind to beat Sporting Gijon 3-1.

Ronaldo, who set the record last term, nodded home an Angel Di Maria centre in the 74th minute to make it 2-1 to Real at the Bernabeu, his 53rd goal in all competitions this term.

He became the first player in Europe's top four leagues - Spain, England, Germany and France - to score 40 goals in two consecutive seasons when he netted a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

A Sergio Ramos handball had seen Miguel Angel De las Cuevas put Sporting ahead against Real from the penalty spot before Gonzalo Higuain equalised with a header after 36 minutes.

Ronaldo finally broke Sporting's resistance and following the dismissal of Roberto Canella for a second yellow card, Karim Benzema hit the third which was Real's 107th goal of the season.

That is the same number as John Toshack's Real Madrid team in the 1989-90 season with Jose Mourinho's side still with five matches to play.  

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