Up to date: July 1, 2020 9:10:02 am
Lionel Messi scored his 700th profession objective for membership and nation earlier than Atletico Madrid got here again to attract 2-2 within the Spanish league on Tuesday and deal Barcelona’s title hopes a significant blow.
Barcelona’s third attract 4 rounds left it in second place, one level behind chief Actual Madrid. Madrid hosts Getafe on Thursday with an opportunity to open up a four-point lead with 5 extra matches remaining.
Barcelona was two factors forward of Madrid when the league was halted in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Whereas Madrid has gained 5 of 5 because the resumption after a three-month stoppage, Barcelona has solely gained three of six. The stress is rising on coach Quique Setién, who took over the group in mid-season with the duty of rekindling its attacking spirit.
“It’s too dangerous as a result of we preserve dropping factors and getting additional and additional away from the title,” Setién stated. “However we’ve to maintain combating.”
Barcelona struck first within the 11th minute when Atlético striker Diego Costa inadvertently redirected a nook by Messi into his personal web.
Costa’s night time received worse shortly after when his penalty was blocked by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Atlético, nonetheless, received to retake the spot kick when a video evaluation decided that the Barcelona goalkeeper had moved off his line too early.
Saúl Ñíguez stepped up as a substitute of Costa on the second try and transformed to stage the rating within the 19th.
Messi restored the host’s lead in 56th by coolly scoring a penalty within the “Panenka” type, chipping it softly previous goalie Jan Oblak. The objective was Messi’s 630th membership objective to go along with 70 for his Argentina. It was additionally his league-leading 22nd objective of the season.
Atlético responded once more by the velocity of ahead Yannick Carrasco, who was tripped by Nelson Semedo and despatched Saúl again to the spot. Ter Stegen received a hand on his penalty however not sufficient to maintain it out.
Diego Simeone’s Atlético remained undefeated within the six matches because the competitors resumed. It stayed in third place, 12 factors behind Madrid.
Simeone left ahead João Félix on the bench till the second half in favor of the in-form midfielder Marcos Llorente, who is prospering in help of the assault.
Llorente led the assault early on, however Carrasco along with his velocity on the left flank proved to be the guests’ greatest weapon. Twice the Belgian ahead burst into the field on a counterattack and was taken down by late tackles from Arturo Vidal and Semedo.
“Carrasco got here again from the stoppage in higher form, and is now again to taking part in at his finest stage,” Simeone stated about his ahead, who’s in his second stint with the membership.
Setién opted for leaving Messi and Luis Suárez alone up entrance and including an additional midfielder in teenager Riqui Puig, conserving forwards Antoine Griezmann and Ansu Fati on the bench. Puig had certainly one of his finest performances for Barcelona, exhibiting his passing and ball management expertise as he linked up nicely with Messi and his different teammates.
Barcelona isn’t blowing out rivals prefer it used to, however its fundamental drawback is its failure to guard leads. It additionally went forward twice at Celta Vigo on Saturday solely to concede twice to attract 2-2.
“All of the video games which can be left are tremendous essential and all factors we drop damage our possibilities,” the 20-year-old Puig stated after his second straight begin. “The opposite day the identical factor occurred, they had been capable of combat again in video games we had been successful due to our foolish mistake or lapses in focus.”
Messi helped put Barcelona forward when he struck a nook low and laborious on the close to put up, the place Costa tried to clear it however as a substitute let it hit the within of his leg. The ball bounced off the turf and left Oblak no likelihood.
Earlier than his penalty, Messi virtually curled in a shot from the precise facet that got here inches from bending into the far nook of the objective.
Barcelona’s finest likelihood to get the winner got here from Vidal, who fired a shot simply by the put up with 20 minutes to go.
Oliver Torres scored a brace as Sevilla eased to a 3-Zero at relegation-threatened Leganés to strengthen its maintain on fourth place and the final Champions League spot.
Mallorca’s 5-1 rout of Celta Vigo rekindled its hopes of avoiding relegation.
Mallorca’s greatest victory of the season moved it into 18th place, 5 factors behind Celta, which is clinging to security in 17th.
Spanish league video games are being performed with out followers because of the well being rules concerning COVID-19 and groups are taking part in each three nights to complete the competitors by July 19.
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