|Real Betis 1-1 Barcelona|
FC Barcelona have slumped in their title race as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Real Betis in the 20th game of their 2016/2017 La Liga campaign, taking them four points behind leaders Real Madrid at the top of the table.
Real Betis were the side who caused the most problems for their opponent in the game and deservedly got the opener in the second half with 15 minutes left to play via Alex Alegria but Luis Suárez got the equalizer on 90th minute to give Barça the draw in a controversial game.
Barça started well but then died down, allowing Real Betis to take over. However, they came the closest when Messi found Neymar with a fine through ball on the 38th minute but the star’s shot was saved by Adan in a one-on-one situation. Ter Stegen was then tested by Dani Ceballos late in the first half which ended 0-0.
Betis continued fighting in the second half but still Barça were the first to cause trouble after Aleix Vidal was set up by Messi, but the right back shot wide. After that, it was all Betis creating chances and Barcelona needed Ter Stegen to be in top form on two occasions before Dani Ceballos struck a thunderous shot that came off the crossbar on 70 minutes.
Barça looked confused and Real Betis hit the post for the second time in three minutes when Ruben Castro shot rattled the upright after leaving Ter Stegen motionless. Barcelona ran out of luck though as Alex Alegria turned in a corner to make it 1-0 for Victor Sanchez’s men.
Barça woke up after that and almost got the equalizer immediately, in fact they got it, Aleix Vidal’s cross was deflected towards goal and the ball clearly crossed the line by more than 50cm before Mandi cleared it off, but the referee somehow didn’t give the goal. And during the build up, Neymar was clearly fouled, but the ref didn’t give a penakty.
Barça kept on fighting and once again, another ball was cleared off the line by Mandi, although it wasn’t clear this time, it might have just been over the line, that brings out the disadvantage of La Liga not having goal line technology.
Barca got carried away in attack, leaving Ruben Castro free in a one-on-one situation at the other end but Ter Stegen was equal to the task. Barça then got the equalizer on the 90th minute after fine work from Neymar found Messi close to the area, the Argentine did well to recover the ball and lay a pass to set up Suarez who slotted home.
Barça didn’t play well to deserve a better result, but the officiating was atrocious. Luis Enrique’s men are now 4 points behind Real Madrid who beat Real Sociedad 3-0 in the late fixture and still have a game in hand.