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Barca title bid on rocks as Atletico upstage Messi's 700th goal
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  • 30 Jun 20
  • Soccer
  • 4
Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Atletico Madrid - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - June 30, 2020  Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets celebrate an own goal scored by Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa and the first for Barcelona, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)   REUTERS/Albert Gea 691px 444px Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Atletico Madrid - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - June 30, 2020 Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets celebrate an own goal scored by Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa and the first for Barcelona, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Albert Gea

BARCELONA (Reuters) - BARCELONA gave up more ground to Real Madrid in La Liga'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 leaders Real Madrid, who have 71, will go four points clear at the top with five games left if they beat Getafe at home on Thursday.

Barca went ahead at an empty Camp Nou 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 when Costa's initial penalty was saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen who had strayed from his line.

BARCELONA then earned a penalty soon after the interval which Argentine Messi coolly converted for a remarkable 700th strike for club and country, only for Saul to strike again from the spot in the 62nd to earn a share of the points.

The Catalans desperately needed to win after twice throwing away the lead to draw 2-2 with Celta Vigo on Saturday but history repeated itself as Quique Setien's side failed to sparkle against a determined Atletico who are unbeaten since the season resumed after the coronavirus stoppage.

"It's very hard to try and fight for the title when you drop points two matches in a row but we'll keep going until the end," said Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets.

As well as defending with their usual steel, Diego Simeone's side caused Barca plenty of problems down the wings due to the pace of Yannick Carrasco and their man-of-the-moment Marcos Llorente, who is enjoying a new lease of life as a forward.

Belgian winger Carrasco won both penalties for Atletico, out-foxing Arturo Vidal in the first half and then proving too quick for Nelson Semedo.

Saul had sent Ter Stegen the wrong way to score his first equaliser but the German guessed the right way in their second duel from the spot. The ball, however, squirmed through his hands and crept in off post.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)

2019 English PL Fixtures & Results

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2019/2020 Premier League
2019/2020 Bundesliga
2019/2020 Serie A
2019/2020 La Liga
2019/2020 UEFA Champions League
2019/2020 UEFA Europa League
2019/2020 A-League
2018/2019 Ligue 1
2018/2019 Primeira Liga
2018 World Cup
2019 English PL Standings

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  • Group
  • e
Pts P W D L GF GA +/- Pts
1 Liverpool LIV 93 36 30 3 3 77 29 +48 93
2 Manchester City MAC 75 36 24 3 9 93 35 +58 75
3 Chelsea CHE 63 36 19 6 11 64 49 +15 63
4 Leicester City LEI 59 35 17 8 10 65 36 +29 59
5 Manchester United MUN 59 35 16 11 8 61 35 +26 59
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers WOL 56 36 14 14 8 49 38 +11 56
7 Tottenham Hotspur TOT 55 36 15 10 11 57 46 +11 55
8 Sheffield United SHE 54 35 14 12 9 38 33 +5 54
9 Arsenal ARS 53 36 13 14 9 53 45 +8 53
10 Burnley BUR 51 36 14 9 13 40 48 -8 51
11 Everton EVE 45 35 12 9 14 41 52 -11 45
12 Southampton SOU 45 35 13 6 16 45 58 -13 45
13 Newcastle United NEW 43 36 11 10 15 37 55 -18 43
14 Crystal Palace CRY 42 35 11 9 15 30 45 -15 42
15 Brighton & Hove Albion BRI 36 35 8 12 15 36 52 -16 36
16 West Ham United WES 34 35 9 7 19 44 59 -15 34
17 Watford WAT 34 35 8 10 17 33 54 -21 34
18 AFC Bournemouth BOU 31 36 8 7 21 37 62 -25 31
19 Aston Villa AST 30 35 8 6 21 38 65 -27 30
20 Norwich City NOR 21 36 5 6 25 26 68 -42 21
*e1 & e2 advances to R16, e3 possible R16
2019/2020 Premier League
2019/2020 Bundesliga
2019/2020 Serie A
2019/2020 La Liga
2019/2020 UEFA Champions League
2019/2020 UEFA Europa League
2019/2020 A-League
2018/2019 Ligue 1
2018/2019 Primeira Liga
2018 World Cup
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