SI Staff
Wednesday December 9th, 2015

After watching Cristiano Ronaldo open a nine-goal edge in the race for the all-time Champions League goal record on Tuesday, Lionel Messi started the process of chipping away at that lead on Wednesday.

Messi opened the scoring for Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen in their group finale, running onto a pinpoint pass from Ivan Rakitic before rounding goalkeeper Bernd Leno and finishing with his right foot in the 20th minute. The lead was short-lived, as Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez equalized three minutes later. The match is of little consequence to Barcelona, which was playing without the injured Neymar and had already wrapped up first place in the group. 

For Messi, the goal was the 80th of his career in the Champions League (five came against Leverkusen in a legendary 2012 appearance). Ronaldo's four-goal game vs. Malmo has him at 88.

Watch Messi's goal below: 

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