MADRID (AFP) - Lionel Messi scored his 700th career goal but Barcelona suffered another blow to their La Liga title hopes after a 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
Messi chipped in a penalty to reach another astonishing milestone at Camp Nou but twice Atletico hit back with spot-kicks of their own, Saul Niguez converting both after Barca took an early lead through Diego Costa's own goal.
The result gives Real Madrid the chance to move four points clear at the top of the table if they can overcome
Getafe at home on Wednesday, a formidable lead with five games left.
Atletico stay third, two points ahead of Sevilla, who won 3-0 at Leganes.
With a superior head-to-head, it would take a dramatic capitulation for Real Madrid not to lift the trophy from here but there is no guarantee Barcelona can finish strongly enough even to create pressure.
This was their third draw in four matches and with suggestions of disharmony between the players and coaching staff, the future of coach Quique Setien looks bleak too.