La Liga: Barcelona held by Atletico Madrid as they lose ground to race to title

Barcelona 2 - Atleti 2

Barcelona held by Atletico Madrid as they lose ground to race to title

Barcelona were held by Atletico Madrid to a 2-2 draw that dents their chase for a third consecutive La Liga title.

Barcelona came into the match on the back of another 2-2 draw away at Celta Vigo that was marked with a row between the players and the team’s coaches.

Quique Setien is now under more pressure in the third draw in four matches that now leaves Real Madrid a point clear of them at the summit of the table with a game in hand.

Barcelona 2 - Atleti 2
Saul Niguez scored his second penalty against Barcelona at the Nou Camp that earned them a point

Barcelona took the lead on 12 minutes after Diego Costa deflected the ball into his own net.

Saul Niguez restored parity in the 19th minute when Atletico had their penalty retaken after Diego Costa’s effort had been saved by Marc Ter Stegen.

Barcelona talisman Messi would send the hosts to the lead when he stepped up to a second-half penalty after Atletico’s Felipe had brought down Nelson Semedo in the penalty area.

It was the Argentine’s 700th career goal and his 22nd league goal of the season.

Atletico got themselves level in the 62nd minute when Semedo clipped the galloping Carrasco and Saul stepped up again. This time Ter Stegen dived the right way but despite getting a hand on the ball it squirmed past him and into the corner.

The result leaves Atletio Madrid third on the table with 59 points, two above fourth placed Sevilla.

Barcelona will now be hoping that Real Madrid will drop points in between the remaining fixtures with the Los Blancos hosting Getafe on Friday night.

Should they beat the fifth placed side, Zinedine Zidane’s side will now be four points clear at the top of the table with five games left in the season.