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Barcelona draw at Valencia; Sevilla come back again, beat Villarreal

Barcelona draw at Valencia; Sevilla come back again, beat Villarreal

Lionel Messi was denied a goal after Neto fumbled, but Jordi Alba earned Barca a draw with his volley in the 82nd minute.

Lionel Messi was controversially denied a perfectly good goal as La Liga pacesetters Barcelona hit back to earn a 1-1 draw at second-place Valencia.

The Argentina forward thought he had opened the scoring in the 30th minute when his tame strike from just outside the area was fumbled by Valencia goalkeeper Neto, with replays showing the ball crossed the line.

But without the benefit of VAR technology, referee Ignacio Iglesias did not award the goal, much to Barca’s dismay.

Valencia piled more misery on their visitors when Rodrigo fired them into a 60th-minute lead but Jordi Alba volleyed in a late equaliser to secure a share of the spoils on his return to his former club.

The result leaves Barcelona four points clear at the top of the table.

Joaquin Correa
Sevilla came out on top against Villarreal.

Ever Banega scored the winner from the penalty spot as Sevilla produced another sensational comeback to win 3-2 at 10-man Villarreal.

Eduardo Berizzo’s side, who recovered from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Liverpool in the Champions League in midweek, fell behind in the 19th minute when Cedric Bakambu tapped in his ninth league goal of the season at the back post following Pablo Fornals’ right-wing cross.

And the hosts appeared on course for victory after Colombia striker Carlos Bacca ran half the length of the pitch and rounded Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico to double the lead eight minutes into the second half.

But Sevilla, whose head coach Berizzo was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, once again showed their fighting spirit and were soon level thanks to two goals in as many minutes from French defender Clement Lenglet and creative midfielder Franco Vazquez.

Villarreal defender Victor Ruiz was then sent off after picking up his second yellow card for bringing down Gabriel Mercado in the box and Banega confidently dispatched the resultant spot kick into the roof of the net 12 minutes from time to complete the remarkable turnaround.

Earlier in the day, Deportivo La Coruna and Athletic Bilbao fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Riazor.

Both sides were in need of points given their league struggles this season and Bilbao skipper Markel Susaeta fired the visitors into a 16th-minute lead when he raced onto Aritz Aduriz’s clever flick.

Depor levelled 10 minutes before the break when Pedro Mosquera volleyed across goal and Adrian Lopez stabbed home.

Inaki Williams — who struck the post late on — restored Bilbao’s lead on the hour with a crisp finish, but Fabian Schar equalised from close range after 76 minutes.

Jonathan Viera struck a second-half equaliser as Las Palmas moved off the bottom by ending their eight-game La Liga losing streak with a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad.

Midfielder Tana headed the hosts into a 21st-minute lead at Anoeta but goals either side of half-time from Willian Jose and former Manchester United midfielder Adnan Januzaj turned the game in Sociedad’s favour.

Midfielder Viera then lobbed into an unguarded net in the 67th minute after home goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli had come off his line to clear, before Sociedad defender Alvaro Odriozola was sent off in stoppage time after twice being booked for diving in the space of 11 minutes.

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