Lionel Messi dragged Barcelona back from two goals down by scoring twice to snatch a 2-2 draw at home to Valencia in a thrilling encounter on Saturday night which interrupted the Spanish La Liga football leaders’ streak of eight consecutive league wins.
Valencia, who hit the woodwork in the second minute, went ahead in the 24th with a well-taken finish from French forward Kevin Gameiro and doubled their lead with a powerful penalty from Dani Parejo in the 32nd.
Messi halved the deficit seven minutes later by scoring for the ninth consecutive game in all competitions, converting from the spot after having a goal chalked off as the referee had already blown his whistle to award the penalty.
Barca’s insatiable captain equalised in the 64th with an unstoppable curling strike from outside the area, averting a first league loss for the league leaders since November and taking them on to 50 points from 22 games.
Messi had to be treated on the sidelines shortly after scoring his second goal but was able to come back on and finish the game.
Coach Ernesto Valverde said the Argentinian had a light muscle strain, throwing his availability for next Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg against Real Madrid into doubt. — AFP.