Barcelona stumble, Real keep pace with Atletico

Barcelona stumble, Real keep pace with Atletico

Lionel Messi is brought down by a Cadiz player. Reuters

Barcelona, February 21

Cadiz snatched a late penalty to draw 1-1 at Camp Nou and deal Barcelona an unexpected setback in their bid for the Spanish league title.

Five days after being beaten 4-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, Ronald Koeman’s side saw two points slip away when substitute Alex Fernandez converted an 88th-minute penalty conceded by Clement Lenglet.

Lionel Messi appeared to put Barcelona on their way to an easy win in his club record 506th league appearance in Spain. But after Messi scored from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute, Barcelona were unable to finish off many scoring chances.

The draw leaves Barcelona in third place at eight points behind leader Atletico Madrid, who lost 2-0 to Levante on Saturday. Real Madrid were the biggest beneficiary of the round, moving three points behind Atletico after winning 1-0 at Valladolid also on Saturday. Madrid have played one more match than Atletico and Barcelona.

“These are two hard blows this week,” Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said. “There is a way to go in the league, but we didn’t count on this. If we can get on a good run of play and get good results, we can still have a shot. It is going to be difficult,” Pique said.

Barcelona had 80% of possession and out-shot Cadiz 20-3. But a clumsy foul by Lenglet — when he kicked Ruben Sobrino in the leg while trying to clear a ball on the edge of the area — ruined a strong performance that only lacked a second goal.

“I am very, very disappointed, even more than on Tuesday,” Koeman said. “We were on a good run in the league, and we had a game at home with the chance to cut into the lead of those ahead of us. It is a game that this team, with its talent, has to win.” — AP

Top Stories

Covaxin 81 per cent efficient in Phase 3 trials, says Bharat Biotech

Covaxin 81 per cent efficient in Phase 3 trials, says Bharat Biotech

‘It also demonstrates significant immunogenicity against rap...

SC says dissent can't be termed seditious, junks plea against Farooq Abdullah

SC says dissent can't be termed seditious, junks plea against Farooq Abdullah

Plea alleged that the former chief minister is trying to “ha...

IT Department raids Taapsee Pannu, Anurag Kashyap, others in tax evasion probe

IT Department raids Taapsee Pannu, Anurag Kashyap, others in tax evasion probe

Searches carried out across 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune,...

UK MPs to debate press freedom, safety of protesters in India next week

UK MPs to debate press freedom, safety of protesters in India next week

Move comes in response to an e-petition which had crossed th...

AAP sweeps MCD bypolls, says results an indication ahead of 2022 election

AAP sweeps MCD bypolls, says results an indication ahead of 2022 election

While the results have been a shot in the arm for AAP ahead ...

Cities

View All