Lionel Messi reduces Cristiano Ronaldo's league goals lead to seven
Each week, ESPN FC forecasts and reviews the scoring battle between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga.
Current goals total in La Liga: Ronaldo 31-24 Messi
Messi scored Barcelona's sixth in an 8-0 thrashing of Deportivo. The Argentine forward, who also claimed a pair of assists, got two of the four shots he took on target.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo failed to find the net in Real Madrid's 3-0 win against Villarreal, despite having seven shots, just two of which he got on goal.
Ratings and review
Here's what our Real Madrid and Barcelona club bloggers had to say about each man's performance.
Rob Train on Ronaldo: 6/10 -- He took a crunching early tackle from Mario Gaspar in good humour, drew a save from Sergio Asenjo after 10 minutes and was involved in the first goal. However, Ronaldo found a worthy adversary in Eric Bailly, with the Ivory Coast defender thwarting the Portuguese several times. Ronaldo reverted to the pot-shot option as a result, sending a few into the upper tier.
Lee Roden on Messi: 8/10 -- Luis Suarez stole the limelight but Messi was immense for Barca, too. He produced a tremendous touch for the Uruguayan's second in the first half, a fine through ball for his third after the break and delivered a great pass to Neymar for Suarez's fourth. Eventually Messi got his goal as well, lofting the ball into an empty net after some good work from Suarez.
How did Twitter react to Ronaldo and Messi's latest displays?
Ronaldo still set to play all minutes in Liga this season. No outfield player done it since Depor's Coloccini in 07-08 [via @pedritonumeros]
- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) April 20, 2016
Lionel Messi: Has now scored in each of his last 7 games against Deportivo (12 goals)
- WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) April 20, 2016
What do you think about Messi and Ronaldo? Let us know using the hashtag #ESPNFCMessiRonaldo. Plus, tell us who will win this season's scoring battle in our poll.
The next league game
Both players return to action on Saturday. Ronaldo and Real Madrid visit Rayo Vallecano, before Messi and Barcelona host Sporting Gijon.
The Messi vs. Ronaldo goals-projection model
Here's an explanation from the model's creator, analytics specialist Zach Bradshaw:
"These projections account for the historical performance [goals scored and minutes played] of the two players since 2010, strength of opposing defences faced [measured by SPI defensive rating], game location and the potential for injury or missing games. Based on these inputs, the predictor will estimate the chance of each player scoring any number of goals for each remaining game. From this, we can project the total number of goals scored, hat tricks and the chance of each player accruing more goals than the other over the course of the entire Liga season."