FC Barcelona held after “invisible penalty” awarded to Las Palmas

Jonathan Calleri’s controversial penalty helped lowly Las Palmas hold La Liga leaders Barcelona by 1-1 in the Gran Canaria.

The draw maintains Barca five points above their next opponents, Atletico Madrid, while extending the Catalan club-record unbeaten league run to 33 games.

Lionel Messi had fired a free-kick into the opposite corner of the net to give Barcelona the lead.

But 3 minutes after half-time, Calleri’s excellent converted his penalty into the top corner to rescue a point for the Canary Island hosts.

There had been plenty of confusion at the decision to award the penalty to Las Palmas, who remain in the relegation zone, with the most likely reason being for a Sergi Roberto foul on Matias Aguirregaray — although the ball also hit Lucas Digne’s hand.

“The penalty came as a shock to us because of how it was awarded,” said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde after the game. “We felt that they equalised with an ‘invisible’ penalty. They grew stronger after that and we played in too much of a hurry.”

“We really wanted to leave here with three points. In the first half we felt we were always creating danger and their players kept on picking up yellow cards. We went ahead in the first half but it was not a big enough margin.”

Atletico Madrid was the only team of the top four sides in La Liga to win their midweek fixtures, with Antoine Griezmann scoring all the goals in a 4-0 win over Leganes.

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