*

upload_article_image

Messi scores 700th goal, Barcelona held 2-2 by Atlético

Lionel Messi scored his 700th career goal for club and country before Atletico Madrid came back to draw 2-2 in the Spanish league on Tuesday and deal Barcelona’s title hopes a major blow.

Barcelona’s third draw in four rounds left it in second place, one point behind leader Real Madrid. Madrid hosts Getafe on Thursday with a chance to open up a four-point lead with five more matches remaining.

Barcelona struck first in the 11th minute when Atlético striker Diego Costa inadvertently redirected a corner by Messi into his own net.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, center, kicks the ball in front Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP PhotoJoan Monfort)

Costa’s night got worse shortly after when his penalty was blocked by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Atlético, however, got to retake the spot kick when a video review determined that the Barcelona goalkeeper had moved off his line too early.

Saúl Ñíguez stepped up instead of Costa on the second attempt and converted to level the score in the 19th.

Messi restored the host’s lead in 56th by coolly scoring a penalty in the “Panenka” style, chipping it softly past goalie Jan Oblak. The goal was Messi’s 630th club goal to go with 70 for his Argentina. It was also his league-leading 22nd goal of the season.

FC Barcelona players celebrate their opening goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP PhotoJoan Monfort)

Atlético responded again through the speed of forward Yannick Carrasco, who was tripped by Nelson Semedo and sent Saúl back to the spot. Ter Stegen got a hand on his penalty but not enough to keep it out.

Barcelona’s best chance to get the winner came from Arturo Vidal, who fired a shot just by the post with 20 minutes to go.

The match was the sixth for both teams since La Liga resumed after a three-month stoppage while Spain contained its COVID-19 outbreak. Games are being played without fans and teams are playing every three nights to finish the competition by July 19.

FC Barcelona soccer shirts are displayed at the Camp Nou stadium stands prior the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP PhotoJoan Monfort)

More AP soccer https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Atletico Madrid's Saul, center, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP PhotoJoan Monfort)

Barcelona's head coach Quique Setien, center, gestures during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP PhotoJoan Monfort)

Barcelona's goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen stops the ball during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP PhotoJoan Monfort)

Atletico Madrid's Saul scores his side's second goal on a penalty kick during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP PhotoJoan Monfort)

Barcelona's Clement Lenglet, left, and Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata jump for the ball during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP PhotoJoan Monfort)