Barcelona dropped points for the ninth time this LaLiga Santander campaign and the first time in 2021 with a disappointing 1-1 draw against newly-promoted side Cadiz CF at the Nou Camp. A Lionel Messi goal from the spot was nearly enough to see the Blaugrana through to the win, which could have sealed three precious points for them.
However, Cadiz — who had beaten Barcelona in the league during their last meeting at the Estadio Ramon de Carranza earlier in the season — fought back late into the game after winning a penalty with just a minute of regulation time left.
Landmark day for Lionel Messi, a game to forget for Barcelona
Barcelona dominated proceedings for nearly the whole 90 minutes as they looked to break down a well-drilled Cadiz side who sat deep in their own half for most of the game. They did struggle to break them down and saw an astonishing 80% of the possession with 21 attempts, compared to just three from Cadiz.
The first of the two spot-kicks was awarded in Barcelona's favour in the 32nd minute, when Pedri was brought down in the visitors' box. Lionel Messi stepped up and coolly slotted the ball past Jeremias Ledesma to give his side the lead.
It was a landmark game for the 33-year-old for two reasons. The first is that the game was his 506th LaLiga Santander appearance for Barcelona, the most of any player to have represented the Catalan giants. He overtook Xavi Hernandez's record of 505 to become Barcelona's all-time record appearance maker in the league.
The second is that his 32nd-minute spot-kick against Cadiz meant that he has now scored against 38 different teams in the league — a feat that no player in Spanish top-flight history has ever managed to achieve.
While that goal was almost going to be what separated the two sides and gave Barcelona all three points, but a clumsy challenge from Clement Lenglet led to a penalty for Cadiz in the dying embers of the fixture.
The second spot-kick was conceded by former Real Madrid and Espanyol man Alex Fernandez to break Barcelona hearts right at the very death. He is also the brother of current Blancos star Nacho Fernandez.
These points were all the more important given that Atletico Madrid slipped up with a draw and a loss to Levante. While Real Madrid capitalised on their slip, Barcelona failed to do so, and now find themselves five points behind Los Blancos in second place. Ronald Koeman's men are a whopping eight points off the top of the table as things stand.
Here are some of the best tweets from the game!