La Liga, Camp Nou – Barcelona 2 (Costa 12 og, Messi 50 pen) Atletico Madrid 2 (Saul 19 pen, 62 pen)
Three penalty kicks were scored in a back-and-forth contest at the Camp Nou which saw Barcelona lose further ground in the Spanish title race with a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid.
Quique Setien’s side came into the game on the back of another 2-2 draw away to Celta Vigo on Saturday, a result that gave Real Madrid the initiative at the top of La Liga, but were unable to make amends, dropping more points here.
Things looked good for the Catalans early on, with Barca taking the lead after just 12 minutes when Diego Costa inadvertently diverted a Lionel Messi corner kick into his own net. Costa was then presented with a shot at redemption just minutes later, but had a penalty kick saved. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen was adjudged to have strayed off his line, though, and Saul Niguez converted the retake to restore parity.
Barca took the lead once more with a penalty of their own, awarded after Nelson Semedo was fouled by Felipe. Messi scored a ‘Panenka’ chip down the middle to make it 2-1, but the hosts’ joy was once again short-lived.
A third penalty was controversially awarded when Semedo felled Yannick Carrasco despite the Belgian appearing to trip himself. For the second time, Saul converted to put Atletico Madrid back on level terms.
The draw leaves Barcelona one point short of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with Zinedine Zidane’s side now presented with the chance to go four points clear with a win over Athletic Club on Thursday night. The point for Atletico Madrid, however, tightens their grip on a Champions League place.
Lionel Messi (FC Barcelone)
Image credit: Getty Images
Was tonight the night the Spanish title race was settled? Victory over Athletic Club on Thursday night will give Real Madrid a four-point lead at the top of La Liga with just five games left to play. Barcelona really needed a win here to keep the pressure on their fiercest rivals, but it already feels like the post-mortem has started on a disappointing season for the Catalans. The draw away to Celta Vigo could have been absorbed, but two draws in a matter of days? Was tonight the night the Spanish title race was effectively settled?
MAN OF THE MATCH
Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid): Many eyebrows were raised when news broke of Carrasco’s return to Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window, but the Belgian has since become a key figure for Diego Simeone’s side, hitting a particularly rich vein of form since the restart. Carrasco won both penalty kicks that ultimately saw Atleti claim a point at the Camp Nou, but he was a threat throughout with his direct running. The 26-year-old is finally fulfilling his potential.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak 6, Arias 6, Gimenez 6, Felipe 5, Lodi 6, Saul 8, Thomas 7, Carrasco 8, Llorente 5, Correa 6, Costa 7. Subs: Morata 5, Vitolo 5, Lemar 5, Felix 6.
11’ - BLOCKED! That would have been one of Messi's most inventive goals! The angle was tight, but Messi still managed to get the shot on target. Costa was on the line to block at the near post!
12’ - GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid (Costa og). Barcelona have taken the lead and it's an own goal by Costa! Messi's driven corner kick delivery was a dangerous one and the Atletico Madrid striker got himself in a tangle, with the ball deflecting past Oblak and into the back of the net.
15’ - PENALTY TO ATLETICO! Carrasco dribbles into the box, Vidal trips the Belgian and the referee points to the spot!
16’ - PENALTY SAVED BUT... Costa steps up to the 12-yard mark, but Ter Stegen reads the Atletico Madrid striker's attempt and makes the save! Was Ter Stegen off his line when he made the save, though?
18’ - PENALTY TO BE RE-TAKEN! The officials have decided Ter Stegen did indeed stray off his line to make the save from Costa and Atletico Madrid will get a second chance!
19’ - GOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Atletico Madrid (Saul pen). It's second time lucky for Atletico Madrid as they equalise from the spot! This time it's Saul, not Costa, who steps up and the midfielder rolls the finish into the opposite corner of the net to Ter Stegen. We are back on level terms!
48’ - PENALTY TO BARCA! Semedo goes down inside the box under the challenge of Felipe and the referee points to the spot!
50’ - GOAL! Barcelona 2-1 Atletico Madrid (Messi pen). Messi has put Barcelona ahead in this crucial match with his 700th career goal! And it's a Panenka finish down the middle. Oblak totally bought it and could only watch as the ball floated past him. He'd already made his dive to the left.
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring his 700th goal by penalty against Goalkeeper Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid
Image credit: Getty Images
62’ - PENALTY TO ATLETICO! Carrasco goes down inside the area under the challenge of Semedo and the referee points to the spot!
63’ - GOAL! Barcelona 2-2 Atletico Madrid (Saul pen). The penalty stands despite some replays making it look like Carrasco tripped himself up, Saul took the spot kick and squeezes his shot through the hands of Ter Stegen. That was frustrating for the German keeper! He maybe should have saved it!
Diego Costa scored his first own goal in 194 La Liga appearances and 89 Premier League appearances.
Lionel Messi scored the 700th goal of his career for club and country.