Lionel Messi equaled Pele’s record for the most goals for a single club by netting his 643rd goal for Barcelona in a 2-2 draw against Valencia in La Liga.
Frenkie de Jong dropped out of the Barca lineup after the midweek win over Real Sociedad with youngsters Ronald Araujo and Osacar Mingueza keeping their place at the heart of the defence.
They couldn’t stop Valencia from taking the lead, though, as Mouctar Diakhaby headed home unmarked from a corner kick just before the half-hour mark. Drama at the end of the first half saw Barca awarded a penalty, with Messi’s spot kick initially saved. The Argentine, however, was on hand to head home Jordi Alba’s cross from the rebound.
De Jong was introduced at the break and Barcelona took the lead seven minutes into the second half when Araujo angled a spectacular scissor kick into the back of the net after the ball had bounced around the Valencia penalty area.
But Valencia hit back with an equaliser of their own after 69 minutes, with Maxi Gomez getting ahead of Mingueza to prod home a low Jose Gaya cross into the penalty box from a matter of yards out.
The result sees Barcelona stay in fifth place in the La Liga table, three points behind Real Madrid and eight points behind table-toppers Atletico Madrid.