Madrid, Apr 3 : FC Barcelona salvaged a point in dramatic fashion with a thrilling 4-4 draw away to Villarreal on Tuesday night, but saw their lead at the top of the Liga Santander cut by two points after Atletico Madrid won 2-0 at home to Girona.
Barca rested Leo Messi, but looked to be cruising as Philippe Coutinho and Malcom put them 2-0 ahead after just 16 minutes. Samuel Chukwueze pulled a goal back for Villarreal in the 23rd minute and the second half then saw an incredible fightback from Villarreal, who were inspired by Santi Cazorla to score three goals through Toko Ekambi, Iborra and Carlos Bacca, with Barca's goal making it 4-2 10 minutes from time.
Leo Messi, who came on as a substitute just before Villarreal's third goal, then gave Barca a lifeline in the last minute of normal time and Luis Suarez secured an astonishing draw with a left foot shot after Villarreal failed to clear a 93rd minute corner. Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann were both on the scoresheet as Atletico Madrid kicked off the day with a 2-0 win at home to Girona to keep the pressure on Barcelona at the top of the table.
Griezmann's goal came in the 94th minute to seal the win and end a drought which had seen him go seven games without a goal.
The bad news for Atletico was that Alvaro Morata was forced off injured and is now a major doubt for the decisive weekend visit to the Camp Nou.
The third game of the day saw fourth place Getafe held to 1-1 draw away to Espanyol. Borja Iglesias opened the scoring for Espanyol, who had Wu Lei back in their starting 11, but Angel Rodriguez assured a share of the points in the 72nd minute. XINHUA