Messi scores his 700th but title hopes fall apart after 2-2 draw

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Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid live blog, full-time: Late Correa ...

Barcelona suffered yet another roadblock in their title quest after drawing 2-2 with Atletico. Lionel Messi finally got his 700th through a penalty but Saul eventually equalised late on to snatch a point. A match which involved 3 penalties, 1 for Barca and 2 for Atletico was an end to end game, but Barcelona would feel hard done by the 2 penalties.

Barcelona gave Madrid another chance to extend their lead further as the Blancos can go 4 points clear of Barcelona.

Both the teams started the match on positive note. There was an early chance for Atletico after Costa and Jimenez failed to get on the end of a dangerous cross from Carrasco. Rakitic forced a save from Oblak minutes later before the Catalans took the lead. Messi’s corner hit the thigh of Costa and travelled past Oblak. Costa misjudged the ball into his own net to give Barcelona the lead.

There was more drama to come, as Atletico restored parity within 5 minutes. Carrasco after going past Pique cuts inside and gets tripped by Vidal. The referee awarded a penalty which was missed by Diego Costa. Although, VAR intervened and ruled that Ter Stegen was off his line before the kick and the penalty should be retaken.

Saul took the penalty and made no mistake to make it 1-1. The end to end stuff continued with Messi hitting the post within 2 minutes of Atleti goal.

Atletico were playing the better football while Barcelona were relied on Messi to create a difference. That is exactly what the talisman did as soon as the second half started. Semedo was brought down by Felipe inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty to Barcelona.

Messi got the chance to score his 700th and he made no mistake. A brilliant Panenka gave no chance to Oblak as Messi hit another milestone in his career. Barcelona were back in the lead again, but not for long.

10 minutes later another penalty was given, this time to Atletico. Semedo was the culprit as he tripped Carrasco with the slightest of touches. It was Saul who stepped up again and made no mistake. It was not the best of penalty, Ter Stegen was furious as the ball went through his hands, but it did. The scores were level again.

There were half chances for both sides after 2-2 but the match eventually ended in a draw.

A match decided by refereeing decisions and an own goal was exciting to watch for the neutral fans. Atleti would be happy to get a point as they have not won at the         Camp Nou under Simeone. Barcelona will rue their chances of not regaining the 1st position.

Next up for Barcelona is an away trip to Villareal. By the time they face Villareal, they may find themselves trailing to Madrid by 4 points. Atletico meanwhile remain in 3rd with them hosting Mallorca in their next fixture.

Also Read: African Cup of Nations postponed to 2022

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