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BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi scored his 700th profession purpose for membership and nation earlier than Atletico Madrid got here again to attract 2-2 within the Spanish league on Tuesday and deal Barcelona’s title hopes a significant blow.

Barcelona’s third attract 4 rounds left it in second place, one level behind chief Actual Madrid.

Madrid hosts Getafe on Thursday with an opportunity to open up a four-point lead with 5 extra matches remaining.

Barcelona was two factors forward of Madrid when the league was halted in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Whereas Madrid has received 5 of 5 because the resumption after a three-month stoppage, Barcelona has solely received three of six. The stress is growing on coach Quique Setién, who took over the workforce in mid-season with the duty of rekindling its attacking spirit.

“It’s too dangerous as a result of we maintain dropping factors and getting additional and additional away from the title,” Setién mentioned. “However now we have to maintain preventing.”

Barcelona struck first within the 11th minute when Atlético striker Diego Costa inadvertently redirected a nook by Messi into his personal internet.

Costa’s night time bought worse shortly after when his penalty was blocked by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Atlético, nevertheless, bought to retake the spot kick when a video evaluate decided that the Barcelona goalkeeper had moved off his line too early.

Saúl Ñíguez stepped up as a substitute of Costa on the second try and transformed to degree the rating within the 19th.

Messi restored the host’s lead in 56th by coolly scoring a penalty within the “Panenka” model, chipping it softly previous goalie Jan Oblak. The purpose was Messi’s 630th membership purpose to go together with 70 for his Argentina. It was additionally his league-leading 22nd purpose of the season.

Atlético responded once more by means of the pace of ahead Yannick Carrasco, who was tripped by Nelson Semedo and despatched Saúl again to the spot. Ter Stegen bought a hand on his penalty however not sufficient to maintain it out.

Diego Simeone’s Atlético remained undefeated within the six matches because the competitors resumed. It stayed in third place, 12 factors behind Madrid.

Simeone left ahead João Félix on the bench till the second half in favor of the in-form midfielder Marcos Llorente, who is prospering in help of the assault.

Llorente led the assault early on, however Carrasco together with his pace on the left flank proved to be the guests’ greatest weapon. Twice the Belgian ahead burst into the field on a counterattack and was taken down by late tackles from Arturo Vidal and Semedo.

“Carrasco got here again from the stoppage in higher form, and is now again to enjoying at his finest degree,” Simeone mentioned about his ahead, who’s in his second stint with the membership.

Setién opted for leaving Messi and Luis Suárez alone up entrance and including an additional midfielder in teenager Riqui Puig, retaining forwards Antoine Griezmann and Ansu Fati on the bench. Puig had one among his finest performances for Barcelona, displaying his passing and ball management expertise as he linked up effectively with Messi and his different teammates.

Barcelona shouldn’t be blowing out rivals prefer it used to, however its predominant drawback is its failure to guard leads. It additionally went forward twice at Celta Vigo on Saturday solely to concede twice to attract 2-2.

“All of the video games which might be left are tremendous necessary and all factors we drop harm our possibilities,” the 20-year-old Puig mentioned after his second straight begin. “The opposite day the identical factor occurred, they had been in a position to battle again in video games we had been successful because of our foolish mistake or lapses in focus.”

Messi helped put Barcelona forward when he struck a nook low and laborious on the close to put up, the place Costa tried to clear it however as a substitute let it hit the within of his leg. The ball bounced off the turf and left Oblak no likelihood.

Earlier than his penalty, Messi virtually curled in a shot from the proper facet that got here inches from bending into the far nook of the purpose.

Barcelona’s finest likelihood to get the winner got here from Vidal, who fired a shot simply by the put up with 20 minutes to go.

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Kepa could be offered escape from Chelsea misery with Sevilla lining up loan transfer – but £150k-a-week wages an issue

KEPA ARRIZABALAGA could be offered a get-out from his Chelsea misery with a loan move to Sevilla.

Chelsea’s keeper is again under pressure after letting in four goals at West Ham on Thursday night.

1 Kepa Arrizabalaga could be handed a way out of Chelsea with a loan move to SevillaCredit: Reuters

One was disallowed via a controversial VAR decision but the world’s most expensive goalkeeper is once more facing an uncertain future under boss Frank Lampard.

The £71.6million Spaniard may even be willing to accept a move to regain confidence or ultimately help seek a permanent transfer away from Stamford Bridge.

Kepa wants a top European club but is unlikely to interest Spanish big guns Real Madrid and Barcelona at present.

Sevilla are fourth in LaLiga and pushing for a Champions League place next season. But Kepa’s £150,000-a-week wages would be an issue as would the fee for a permanent deal because he is just two years into a mammoth six year contract.

Rivals Valencia would be another alternative but again the finance will be a problem.

Chelsea may have to adapt their normal loan policy in order to resolve the stand-off.

They normally ask loaning clubs to pay their players’ wages in full. But there are ways around it and one is for Chelsea to subsidise the salary but charge a loan fee to Seville instead.

CHELSEA NEWS LIVE: Follow for the latest Blues news

Kepa is fully aware that he has become the victim of the mega-deal which took him to Stamford Bridge in 2018.

And with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid all content with established keepers Kepa is boxed in.

Lampard dropped Kepa for five games earlier in the season and replaced him with understudy Willy Caballero.

He is back in the first team again but is still considered a weak link in the defence.

Chelsea have conceded 44 Premier League goals following Wednesday’s 3-2 loss at West Ham - more than any team in the top eight.

Kepa loves life in London but is struggling to convince his bosses at Chelsea that he can cut it as their long term No1.

LADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City scores this coming weekend and win £100 Latest Chelsea newsLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea news LIVE: Follow all the latest updates from Stamford BridgeTHREEKYChelsea fans fear new 3 shirt sponsorship is 'cursed' after West Ham defeatPLAYING FOR KEEPSChelsea and Newcastle in Areola fight with Lampard keen on new keeperHAMMER BLOWPremier League reveal why Soucek goal was ruled out during West Ham vs ChelseaCHRIS NOT CROSSChristensen open to new Chelsea deal and has no intentions of quittingFan's viewFEELING BLUELeaky Chelsea must buy keeper & defender after slumping to new low vs West HamCHELSEA RATINGSPulisic is biggest threat but Kepa awful & Barkley unsurprisingly subbedLive BlogWEST HAM 3 CHELSEA 2 - LIVEReaction as Hammers earn huge win in relegation fight

But the club have been regularly linked with moves to find replacements for the keeper who came in at last-minute notice on a huge deal to replace Thibaut Courtois when the Belgian demanded a move to Real Madrid.

SunSport exclusively revealed how Chelsea were plotting a cheeky £15m move for Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Burki, who later signed a new contract with the Germans.

Burki said: “I heard about this offer but at the end Dortmund convinced me to stay.” Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga mocked after own goal goes in off his nose in Champions League match with Ajax

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