La Liga leader FC Barcelona stumbled to a 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo on Saturday, giving its nearest challengers a chance to move closer to the top of the Spanish league. The leaders had the lead till Samuel Umtiti suffered an injury which gave Iago Aspas a chance to draw level with the hosts at the Camp Nou.
Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas opened the scoring after Ter Stegen making a good save but only for the Spanish forward to net in on the rebound. Messi immediately equalled the scoring on the board after two minutes which saw Luis Suarez help the hosts take the lead in the second half in the 62nd minute. Umititi who later on caved in after catching Aspas on the counter attack stopped which gave the visitors a chance to score and Gomez did the job.
Barcelona now has a five-point lead over second-place Valencia, which plays at mid-table Getafe on Sunday.
Third-place Atletico Madrid and fourth-place Real Madrid are nine points behind the Catalan club ahead of their games later on Saturday. Atletico hosts Real Sociedad and Real Madrid plays at Athletic Bilbao.
Barcelona had won 11 of its 13 league matches entering the weekend. Its other setbacks in the league this season were draws at Atletico Madrid and at Valencia.
Celta Vigo, eighth in the standings with 18 points, opened the scoring with Iago Aspas' close-range shot in the 20th minute. Lionel Messi equalized just two minutes later from inside the area after an assist by Paulinho.
Luis Suarez put Barcelona ahead after a cross by Jordi Alba in the 61st, but Celta evened the match less than 10 minutes later with a goal by Maxi Gomez from inside the area after being set up by Aspas in a breakaway.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique nearly got the winner in the 74th, but his close-range shot hit the post.
The Catalan club never took their foot off the gas and continued to apply pressure and counter-attack at various times but Messi missed a header and Pique's strike hit the crossbar in the dying minutes of the match. Barcelona were awarded a free kick in the last minute of injury time and it was none other than the Argentine who had the thousands of supporter's pressure on his shoulder but his shot hit the Celta wall and the referee blew the whistle for each team to take a point back home.
(With AP Inputs)