Lionel Messi reached a another milestone Tuesday night when he scored what was his 700th career goal but unfortunately it was not enough as Barcelona were forced to a 2-2 draw by Atletico Madrid in their LaLiga clash at Camp Nou.
The Catalan giants were desperate for the whole three points as they fight bitter rivals Real Madrid for the La Liga title but Diego Simeone’s men had other ideas as the game ended in a pulsating 2-2 draw.
Though far from impressive, Barca shot into the lead in the 12th minute, when Diego Costa inadvertently diverted a corner into his own net at the near post as he attempted to clear Lionel Messi’s low delivery.
Costa was then a villain again for Atletico at the other end as he hit a weak penalty a few minutes later and saw it saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Luckily for the Spaniard he was let off as VAR ordered it to be retaken because the German goalkeeper was slightly off his line.
After several minutes of protests from Barca’s players, Saul Niguez stepped up to take the second kick and sent Ter Stegen the wrong way.
Barca then won a penalty of their own early in the second half and Messi kept his cool to beat Jan Oblak with an exquisite effort for his 700th career goal.
That restored Barcelona’s lead and while the home team was hoping to build on their advantage, Simeone’s men won another penalty just after the hour as Semedo was adjudged to have upended Carrasco.
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Despite replays suggesting there may have been no contact, the decision stood and Saul took up the challenge again to take the kick and though Stegen came close to registering a crucial safe, he could only help it into the corner.
Despite playing a game more, Barcelona are one point behind Real Madrid on the log with 70 points from 33 games and they could fall four points behind in the title race if Zinedine Zidane’s men take all the three points in their next game against Getafe.