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Inspirational Messi rescues draw for Barca in thrilling comeback against Valencia

Lionel Messi scored for a ninth consecutive match, but his latest double on Saturday was only enough to earn Barcelona a 2-2 draw against Valencia. Kevin Gameiro and Dani Parejo's penalty gave Valencia a surprise two-goal lead but Messi pulled one back with his own spot-kick before curling in a brilliant equaliser with 26 minutes left. After their stunning comeback against Sevilla in midweek, Barca looked destined to again finish the job, but Valencia held on for a point after a breathless contest at the Camp Nou.

Reuters SPORTS
Published February 02,2019

Lionel Messi dragged Barcelona back from two goals down by scoring twice to snatch a 2-2 draw at home to Valencia in a thrilling encounter on Saturday which interrupted the La Liga leaders' streak of eight consecutive league wins.

Valencia, who hit the woodwork in the second minute, went ahead in the 24th with a well-taken finish from French forward Kevin Gameiro and doubled their lead with a powerful penalty from Dani Parejo in the 32nd.

Messi halved the deficit seven minutes later by scoring for the ninth consecutive game in all competitions, converting from the spot after having a goal chalked off as the referee had already blown his whistle to award the penalty.

Barca's insatiable captain equalised in the 64th with an unstoppable curling strike from outside the area, averting a first league loss for the league leaders since November and taking them on to 50 points from 22 games.

Ernesto Valverde's side are six points ahead of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid, who visit Real Betis on Sunday, and 11 clear of third-placed Real Madrid, who host Alaves on Sunday.