Captain Lionel Messi, who bagged his 700th career goal in the 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid, was a milestone opportunity for Barcelona. Nevertheless, the outcome of the match left him and his Barca squad seeking more, as they dropped further behind in the championship battle against Real Madrid’s arch-rivals in La Liga.
Barcelona hasn’t been at its best since it took over from Quique Setien. The Catalans have struggled for consistency since the La Liga restarted after a 3-month Coronavirus break, which saw them lead the La Liga standings for much of the year. Three draws in last four games – against Sevilla, Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid – have seen the defending Spanish champions drop 6 points, hence paving way for Real Madrid to take lead in the league standings.
Against Atletico, in the 11th minute it was a Diego Costa goal of its own that opened the scoring for Barca. Saul Niguez scored from the spot just 8 minutes later to put the score back on level terms. Messi then got the chance to score his 700th goal after Atletico defender Filipe dropped Nelson Semedo in the 18-yard box early in the second half.
With the huge occasion in sight Messi lined up for the spot-kick and fooled the slovenian goalkeeper Oblak – considered by many to be the best in the world – with a panenka and celebrated in style by clicking his fingers and waving at the camera. The goal brought up his overall tally for the club (630) and country (70) in all competitions to a whopping 700 goals.
Only Messi can score a Paneka Penalty when the League title is on line, what a way to Bring up his 700th Career Goal
— Ryan (@MessiCF10) June 30, 2020
The happiness, however, was shortlived as Atletico were awarded another penalty at the other end of the pitch, with Niguez scoring form the spot again in the 62nd minute to make it 2-2.