Cracks widen as Barcelona stars give contrasting views on title race with Real Madrid
- Barcelona was held to a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou by a resilient Atletico Madrid outfit.
- With the Catalans losing further ground to Real Madrid, Sergio Busquets and Riqui Puig presented their views on the title race.
Barcelona was held to yet another draw in the restarted La Liga season as the Catalans slipped to a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou. Barcelona is currently 2 points behind arch-rivals Real Madrid in the title race with Los Blancos yet to play their game in hand.
Lionel Messi scored the 700th goal of his career with an audacious penalty against Jan Oblak to restore Barcelona's lead in the second half. The Argentine talisman tried his best to create chances for his Barcelona teammates in the final third but found little joy against Diego Simeone's well-drilled outfit.
A second-half penalty from Saul Niguez levelled the scores for Atletico Madrid and Los Colchoneros held out till the closing whistle to take a point away from the Camp Nou.
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets admits Real Madrid has the advantage
After the match, Sergio Busquets opened up about Barcelona's La Liga aspirations to the press and acknowledged that the Catalans are in a difficult situation. Barcelona may fall short of the title even if the side wins all its games for the remainder of the season.
"Dropping two points in the fight for this title is going to give the rival a big advantage. But for as long as we still have a chance, we're going to keep fighting."
Barcelona's veteran midfielder also conceded that the ball is well and truly in Real Madrid's court at the moment. Busquets claimed that while Barcelona played well against Atletico Madrid, the Catalans were unlucky to drop points.
"We were leaders before the break but we have dropped points. But we have to focus on ourselves, even if it seems unlikely that they will drop points because they're doing really well."
Barcelona starlet Riqui Puig also weighed in on the situation on social media and promised the fans that the team will do everything it takes to secure the title.
The La Masia prospect was one of the best Barcelona players on the pitch and continues to consolidate his place in the starting lineup. In contrast to many senior Barcelona players, Riqui Puig was optimistic of Barcelona's chances and seems determined to give Los Blancos a run for their money in the title race.
"We are Barca and we will leave our skins out on the pitch!"
Riqui Puig started his second consecutive La Liga game against Atletico Madrid and was a creative and tenacious presence on the pitch for Barcelona. The midfielder broke Atletico Madrid's lines with ease and displayed incredible work-rate off the ball.
With Arthur being shipped off to Juventus next season, Riqui Puig has emerged as a viable alternative in Barcelona's midfield. The Catalan youngster has spent plenty of time on the fringes of the first team and has done well to seize his opportunity in Barcelona's starting eleven.
Barcelona fell further behind Real Madrid in the title race and will now have to depend on other teams in La Liga to win the title. With Los Blancos in blistering form in the recent past, the La Liga crown may well change hands this season.
Published 01 Jul 2020, 13:22 IST