Cádiz grabbed a late penalty to draw 1-1 at Camp Nou and to deal an unwelcome setback to Barcelona in Sunday’s quest for the Spanish league title.
Ronald Koeman’s side saw two points slip away five days after being beaten 4-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League when substitute Álex Fernández converted an 88th-minute penalty awarded by Clement Lenglet.
In his club-record 506th league appearance in Spain, Lionel Messi seemed to put Barcelona on his way to a comfortable victory. But Barcelona struggled to finish off several scoring opportunities after Messi scored from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute.
The draw leaves Barcelona in third and eight points behind Atlético Madrid, who on Saturday lost 2-0 to Levante. After winning 1-0 at Valladolid on Saturday, Real Madrid was the biggest beneficiary of the round, moving three points behind Atlético. Madrid had one more game to play than Atlético and Barcelona.
These are two hard blows this week,” Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 match after slipping to Cádiz on the heels of enduring a hat trick by PSG star Kylian Mbappe on Tuesday.”
In the league, there is a way to go, but we didn’t count on that. We will still have a chance if we can get on a decent run of play and achieve good results. It’s going to be hard,” said Pique.
At the beginning of December, Cádiz, which came out of the second division this season, shocked Barcelona 2-1, while Koeman’s side was still finding its way under a new coach. Barcelona has not lost in the league since then and entered the game on a seven-game winning streak in the league.
Barcelona had 80% ownership and out-shot Cádiz 20-3. However, when he kicked Rubén Sobrino in the leg while trying to clear a ball on the edge of the field, a sloppy foul by Lenglet ruined a good performance that lacked just a second goal.