Spain: Ronaldo, Messi take share of La Liga scoring record
MADRID (AP) -- Archrivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both set the Spanish league scoring record Saturday in victories.
Ronaldo's record 41st goal was the deciding score as Spanish leader Real Madrid beat Sporting Gijon 3-1. Ronaldo headed home Angel di Maria's short cross in the 74th minute Saturday to surpass his own mark, which the Portugal forward set last season.
Nearly two hours later, Messi's 72nd-minute penalty kick lifted Barcelona to a 2-1 victory at Levante as the three-time defending champions rallied to maintain the four-point difference before next Saturday's "clasico."
Ronaldo's 53rd goal of the season in all competitions, matching his career high.
Miguel de las Cuevas' penalty saw Sporting take a 30th-minute lead, but Gonzalo Higuain headed home his 21st goal seven minutes later.
Substitute Karim Benzema scored his 18th goal in the 82nd, three minutes after Roberto Canella was sent off for a second booking.
Benzema's goal took Madrid's total for the season to 107, matching the mark for most goals in a season set by the Spanish giant in 1989-90.
Messi curled home a 64th-minute equalizer against Levante to close the gap with Ronaldo to one. Then he scored the winner.
Messi's 63 goals in all competitions are the most in European play since Bayern Munich's Gerd Mueller scored 67 during the 1972-73 season.
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