La Liga battle heats up as Barca drop points

Catalans let two-goal lead slip as they are held 2-2 by Deportivo la Coruna.

Afp December 13, 2015
Barcelona let a two-goal lead slip but striker Suarez should have given his side a bigger cushion. PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA: Barcelona threw away a two-goal lead set up by Lionel Messi and Ivan Rakitic in the final 13 minutes as Deportivo la Coruna struck a blow to their title hopes with a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

Despite missing the injured Neymar, the European champions looked on course to bounce back from last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Valencia thanks to stunning strikes from Messi and Rakitic.

However, Lucas Perez scored for the sixth consecutive game to bring Deportivo back into the game at the Nou Camp before he set up Alex Bergantinos to fire home an equaliser four minutes from time.

With Barcelona not in La Liga action next weekend due to their participation in the Club World Cup, they could fall to third before the end of the month with Madrid rivals Real and Atletico breathing down their necks.

“It is a little inexplicable. We lost control when we had to have it and we made it easier for them when it was 2-0,” Barca captain Andres Iniesta told Canal Plus. “They are things that happen. We have to analyse it so it doesn’t happen again.”

Barca were without La Liga’s top scorer, Neymar, due to a groin injury he picked up in midweek ahead of their Champions League clash with Bayer Leverkusen, and missed the Brazilian’s inventiveness against a well-organised Deportivo.

The third member of the famous MSN trident, Luis Suarez, failed to find the back of the net for the first time in nine games as he was unusually wayward. 

Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th,  2015.

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