Saturday, February 12, 2011

Barcelona held to draw by brave Sporting

La Liga leaders Barcelona needed a late goal from David Villa on Saturday to rescue a 1-1 draw away at Sporting Gijon.

Josep Guardiola's side had been on a record-breaking 16-match winning streak prior to their stalemate at El Molinon stadium.

The reigning Spanish champions fell behind on 15 minutes thanks to a superb solo-strike from Sporting's David Barral.

Barral, 27, slipped past Gerard Pique before he cut inside Diego Milito and fired a low shot across Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes and into the corner of the net.

Barcelona trailed until the 80th minute, when Argentina's Lionel Messi released striker Villa.

The Spanish World Cup winner saw Sporting goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar off his line and executed a delicate chip from 20 yards out which sailed into the goal.

The result means second placed Real Madrid are now eight points behind Barcelona with one game in hand.

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