Barcelona draws but Valencia’s defeat widens gap on top of La Liga

FC Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw against Juan Carlos Unzue’s Celta Vigo, but saw their lead on top of La Liga widened against Valencia after Los Che succumbed to 10-man Getafe.

This was the second game in a row that Barca dropped points, but was given a helping hand in their La Liga campaign thanks to Getafe’s 1-0 win over title challengers Valencia.

Their own game at home saw Celta striker Iago Aspas silencing the Camp Nou by giving Celta the lead in the 20th minute, knocking in on the rebound after splitting the home defence with a darting run through the middle.

But Barca star Lionel Messi quickly replied by clinically finishing a sweeping team move two minutes later to score for the first time in six games in all competitions. Messi then set up what looked to be the winning goal for Luis Suarez in the 62nd minute as the striker thrashed home a Jordi Alba cutback, but his team was denied victory by Maxi Gomez, who slotted in from close range after another brilliant run by Aspas.

Gerard Pique missed a chance and hit the woodwork from close range, while Messi, who also saw an earlier effort in the game found the post, sent a free kick just wide deep in stoppage time.

However, second-placed Valencia could not close their gap against the leaders after they lost for the first time in La Liga this season as Getafe beat them to leave Barcelona five points clear at the top.

Getafe, who move up to eighth in the table thanks to their 1-0 victory, had to play 65 minutes with 10 men after Mauro Arambarri was sent off for a second booking.

Markel Bergara scored the only goal of the game when his 25-yard strike deflecting in off Gabriel Paulista.

Valencia, who could have overtook Barca with a win, instead saw striker Simone Zaza — who is the joint second top scorer in the league — missed a glorious chance to equalise deep into injury time, when he headed over from close range.

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