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The two megastars remain neck and neck in the goalscoring charts, but who was better overall throughout February? Goal.com takes a look at their performances

ANALYSIS
Compiled by KS Leong

As part of our monthly series, Goal.com compiles the statistical data, expert analysis, and progressive season records in La Liga on two of the best players in the world, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

August/September Head-to-Head: Matchday 1-5
October Head-to-Head: Matchday 6-10
November Head-to-Head: Matchday 11-13
December Head-to-Head: Matchday 14-16
January Head-to-Head: Matchday 17-20

LA LIGA: ROUND 21




vs

REAL SOCIEDAD
February 4
Camp Nou


RESULT Barcelona 2-1 Real Sociedad
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 95
Goals 1
Assists 1
Shots
7
Shots on goal 5
Passes 79
Passes completed
 68
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

7.0
'Provided an inch perfect pass to set up Tello for the first goal but will have been frustrated by his own lack of killer instinct in the first half. He made up for his earlier missed chances by scoring a neat goal in the second half after latching on the end of a great pass by Dani Alves.'





vs

GETAFE
February 4
Coliseum Alfonso Perez





RESULT Getafe 0-1 Real Madrid
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 94
Goals 0
Assists 0
Shots
4
Shots on goal 2
Passes  58
Passes completed
 38
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

7.0
'Headed just over with his back to goal early on, then went down in the area under a challenge from Cata Diaz. Was then hauled down by Cata when in full flight but saw the resulting free-kick saved by Moya. Made very poor contact with a volleyed effort which he screwed wide just before the break, then cut in from the left in second half but fired straight at Moya. Saw an effort correctly ruled out for offside late on.'
TICS
LA LIGA: ROUND 22





vs

OSASUNA
February 11
Camp Nou



RESULT Osasuna 3-2 Barcelona
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 94
Goals 0
Assists 0
Shots
5
Shots on goal 3
Passes  74
Passes completed  52
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

5.5
'The conditions of the match certainly had a negative effect on the Argentine. Attempted a few strong runs through the centre but each well handled by Osasuna. Was guilty of taking too many touches at times, particularly in the first half when he had the chance to strike at goal first time from a decent position on the penalty spot.'





vs

LEVANTE
February 12
Santiago Bernabeu




RESULT Real Madrid 4-2 Levante
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 94
Goals 3
Assists 1
Shots
11
Shots on goal 4
Passes  46
Passes completed  38
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

9.0
Top of the Match
'A wonderful display from the Portuguese forward, who was a threat throughout, scoring a penalty, a fine header and a stunning strike from distance to complete his hat-trick before bagging an assist as well when he set up Benzema. Also produced a brilliant flick to set up the Frenchman for a controversially disallowed strike early on.'

LA LIGA: ROUND 23




vs

VALENCIA
February 19
Camp Nou




RESULT Barcelona 5-1 Valencia
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 93
Goals 4
Assists 0
Shots
11
Shots on goal 5
Passes  68
Passes completed  53
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

9.5
Top of the Match
'His performance shows why he is the current Ballon d'Or holder. Ran at Valencia incessantly and they just could not handle him. Scored a magnificent four goals in the match with two close-range finishes, a pass into an open goal, and a truly masterful lob over Diego Alves. An all round stunning display.'



vs

RACING SANTANDER
February 18
Santiago Bernabeu



RESULT Real Madrid 4-0 Racing
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 94
Goals 1
Assists 0
Shots
8
Shots on goal 2
Passes 43
Passes completed  33
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

6.5
'Immediately involved as he headed against the post and then nodded Madrid in front from point-blank range moments later. But he also missed several good opportunities and was woefully off target with his free-kicks once again.'

LA LIGA: ROUND 24






vs

ATLETICO MADRID
February 26
Vicente Calderon





RESULT Atletico 1-2 Barcelona
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 95
Goals 1
Assists 0
Shots
1
Shots on goal 1
Passes  54
Passes completed  43
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

7.5
Top of the Match
'He was superb in the build up to Alves' goal, dribbling past a couple of players before playing the ball out to Fabregas who provided the assist. Although he got booked in the first half and will now miss Barca's next game, he proved the difference here, scoring a fabulous free kick in the 81st minute to give Barcelona the win, curling the ball into the top corner from the left with Courtois caught stranded.'




vs

RAYO VALLECANO
February 26
Campo de Futbol de Vallecas




RESULT Rayo 0-1 Real Madrid
INDIVIDUAL MATCH STATS
Minutes played 94
Goals 1
Assists 0
Shots
7
Shots on goal 3
Passes 17
Passes completed 9
 GOAL.COM PLAYER RATING

7.5
Top of the Match
'The pick of the bunch for his side once more and eventually made the difference with a quite stunning backheeled effort as he improvised with his back to goal. Came close to another when he lashed into the side netting and tested Joel with a fierce free kick as well.'

FEBRUARY STATISTICS

         

377 MINUTES PLAYED
376
6 GOALS
5
0 PENALTIES
1
1 ASSISTS 1
24 / 14 (58.3%)
TOTAL SHOTS / ON GOAL
30 / 11 (36.7%)
275 / 216 (78.5%)
PASSES / COMPLETED 164 / 118 (72%)
7.37 GOAL.COM
AVERAGE RATING
7.5
28 2011-12 LA LIGA GOALS 29
43 (41)
2011-12 COMPETITIVE GOALS (APPEARANCES)
37 (36)
http://i1.goal.com/files/images/stats/goal/team-logos/1/451_48x48.jpg

EXPERT ANALYSIS
Martin Macdonald | La Liga Match Coverage Reporter

The saga between the duo took some interesting turns in the month of February. Each enjoyed three excellent games and one relatively poor performance, while both have continued to score freely. However, the fate of their clubs has differed.

Real Madrid have picked up 12 points out of 12 this month, whereas Barcelona suffered a damaging 3-2 defeat at the hands of Osasuna, leaving Jose Mourinho's men with a commanding 10-point cushion at the top of the table. However, despite a below-average performance from Messi in Pamplona, the Argentine's response has been characteristically impressive.

What better way to emerge from a bad game than to score four goals against the third-best side in the league; Messi was magical in the 5-1 victory over Valencia, with his pace and ruthlessness proving too much to handle for a usually capable defensive unit. The defeat at the Reyno de Navarra represented a blip, as only the week before he had grabbed a goal and an assist in the victory over Real Sociedad.

While Messi and Barcelona were toiling in Pamplona, Ronaldo helped himself to a brilliant hat-trick in an impressive 4-0 victory over Levante. He looked as good as ever in a display of pace and intensity, one which was capped by a stunning strike as he cut in from the left and sent a rocket into the top corner.

The most interesting battle, however, came in the last round of matches of the month. Both clubs won their respective matches narrowly, with each player providing a memorable moment. Ronaldo helped Los Blancos overcome a stubborn Rayo side with an audacious backheel in a single-goal win at Vallecas.

But Messi was not to be outdone, and later that night, the Argentine won Barca's match against Atletico Madrid with an improvised free-kick from the left that flew into the top corner.

Both were moments of genius.


Who was better in February? Who was more consistent? Who was more productive? Join the debate on goal_intl and leave your tweets with the hashtag #goalh2h. Goal.com will publish the best comments in our poll result article on March 5, 2012.

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