Barcelona slump to a third consecutive league defeat to blow title race wide open

Lionel Messi scored his 500th career goal but couldn't prevent his side losing 2-1 at home to Valencia

BY Cian Roche 07:38 Monday 18 April 2016, 7:38 18 Apr 2016

Image: Manu Fernandez / AP/Press Association Images

Lionel Messi's 500th career goal couldn't prevent Barcelona suffering a third consecutive league defeat for the first time since 2003 as they opened the door to Atletico Madrid.

Luis Enrique's side were beaten 2-1 at home to Valencia and Atletico, who had already beaten Granada, now move level on points with the league leaders.

Both sides are level on 76 points, with Real Madrid a point further back after their 5-1 victory over Getafe.

Barcelona fell behind after just 26 minutes due to a Ivan Rakitic own-goal. Valencia doubled their tally on the stroke of half time through Santi Mina.

Lionel Messi reached a personal milestone recording his 500th career goal, ending a five-game goal drought, but it wasn't enough to see his side come away with nothing from the match.

"We’ve got a marvellous challenge, if we win the five games remaining we will be champions," Enrique said after the game.

"Of course, our credit has run out and we are aware of the challenge. We’re going to approach it like a Barça player always does, with our heads held high."

News

European Tour confirms 2017 Irish Open will move away from Lough Erne Resort

16:17 Monday 11 April 2016 0 Minute Read
News

As It Happened: Rovers thump Bohs in Dublin Derby

21:38 Friday 15 April 2016 0 Minute Read
News

WATCH: Rangers oust Celtic from cup on penalties

16:11 Sunday 17 April 2016 0 Minute Read
News

IMMAF: Government have kept MMA at arm’s length, it’s time to regulate

20:36 Friday 15 April 2016 0 Minute Read
Off The Ball

Newsletter

The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week