Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals and United States Men's National Team star Weston McKennie added another as Juventus earned a 3-0 win over Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona in the Champions League Group G finale Tuesday at Camp Nou in Spain.
The victory pushed the Serie A side to the top of the Group G table based on head-to-head results against Barca, leaving Messi and the Spanish club in second place. Barcelona still advances to the last 16 as runners-up.
"The defeat was because of how we played in the opening 25 minutes," Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said. "We started badly, we looked scared, we weren't aggressive. It looked as if we'd come out looking not to lose, as opposed to trying to control the game. We weren't good, not even positionally.
"We got better, but we lost the game in the first half an hour."
Ronaldo tested Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen early in the match and eventually struck in the 13th minute when he converted a penalty kick. Seven minutes later, McKennie put the Italian champions ahead by two goals with a stunning volley.
Ronaldo converted another penalty kick in the 52nd minute when Clement Lenglet was penalized for a handball to seal the victory.
Tuesday's game was the first meeting between Ronaldo and Messi in more than two years. The last matchup between the two soccer legends came in May 2018, when Ronaldo was still playing for Real Madrid. The Portuguese star departed Real Madrid for Juventus two months later.
"I have always had a cordial relationship with Messi," Ronaldo said after the match. "As I have said before, for 12, 13, 14 years [I have been] sharing prizes with him.
"I never saw him as a rival. He always tried the best for his team and I tried the best for mine. I always got on well with him. I am sure he will say the same if you ask him. But we know in football people always look for a rivalry to create more excitement."
It was the 36th all-time meeting between Ronaldo and Messi for both club and country, although this marked the first time they faced off in the UCL group stage.
The 33-year-old Messi and Ronaldo have combined to win the Ballon d'Or -- an award given annually to the top player in the world -- in 11 of the last 12 years.
Juventus and Barcelona will now advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League.