La Liga: Barcelona held 2-2 by Atletico, Messi scores 700th goal

Barcelona gave up more ground to Real Madrid in the 2019-20 La Liga season’s title race on Tuesday after being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Atletico Madrid as a late penalty from Saul Niguez cancelled out Lionel Messi’s 700th career goal.

The draw meant the Catalans stayed second in the standings on 70 points and leader Real Madrid, which has 71, will go four points clear at the top with five games left if it beats Getafe at home on Thursday.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS |
La Liga highlights: Barcelona draws 2-2 with Atletico Madrid

Barca went ahead at an empty Camp Nou stadium in the 11th minute when Atletico striker Diego Costa knocked Messi’s delivery from a corner into his own net.

Saul levelled soon after from the spot after the referee ordered a re-take due to consultation from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). A few moments earlier, Costa’s initial penalty was saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen but the referee ruled that the German had strayed from his line.

Barcelona then earned a penalty soon after the interval which Argentina forward and Barca skipper Messi coolly converted for a remarkable 700th strike for club and country, only for Saul to strike again from the spot in the 62nd minute to earn a share of the points for his side.