Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo draw blanks as Portugal win

Ricardo Queresma and Raphael Guerreiro celebrate Portugal's winner against Argentina
Raphael Guerreiro's header was Portugal's only effort on target

Portugal beat Argentina 1-0 in an Old Trafford friendly that ran out of steam after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were taken off at half-time.

Raphael Guerreiro, a second-half substitute, scored the only goal as the Argentine defence left him free to head home from close range in stoppage time.

The lure of Ronaldo and Messi drew 41,233 fans - well short of a capacity crowd - at Manchester United's ground.

But it was a poor game after the two star forwards were withdrawn.

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Messi v Ronaldo on the world stage

Portugal's Ronaldo, making only his second appearance at Old Trafford since his then-world record £80m move to Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009, and Argentina talisman Messi both showed glimpses of their class before they were taken off.

Messi's industry and dribbling unsettled the Portugal defence early on and he came closest for his side, stabbing a shot against the post from a tight angle after a sharp one-two.

Ronaldo, who is favourite to beat his Barcelona rival to this year's Ballon d'Or award, drew cheers with a couple of slick touches before blasting a half-chance over the bar when team-mate Danny was better placed.

There was a concerning moment for Manchester United fans when Nani, on loan at Sporting Lisbon from the Premier League club, caught Angel Di Maria, a £59.7m summer signing for United from Real Madrid, with a hefty challenge.

Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal was among those in the ground relieved to see Di Maria shake off the after-effects and rejoin the action before he too was substituted on the hour.

Neither side were able to create any decent openings without their key attackers, and some of the crowd were already heading home by the time that Lorient full-back Guerreiro sneaked into a centre-forward position to nod in.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo (left) denied claims that he had a obscene nickname for Lionel Messi (right) last week
Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo's only previous match at Old Trafford since he left for Real Madrid was in the Spanish side's Champions League win over Manchester United in 2013
Angel Di Maria
Angel Di Maria recovered after a heavy challenge from Portugal's Nani
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo scarves on sale at Old Trafford
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominated the merchandise stalls as well as the build-up to the match

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