Barca’s Draw With Las Palmas Dents Title Hopes
La Liga leaders Barcelona for the second game in a row for the first time this campaign were held to a 1-1 draw to lowly Las Palmas on Thursday and threw the title race wide open.
Lionel Messi seemed to have set Barca on course to restoring their advantage to seven ahead of this weekend’s showdown at the Camp Nou with a stunning free-kick but two decisions from referee Antonio Mateu helped lowly Las Palmas snatch a point.
First, Mateu overlooked a handball from goalkeeper Leandro Chichizola outside the box, which could have drawn a red card, and then he awarded a penalty when the ball struck Lucas Digne on the arm. Former West Ham striker Jonathan Calleri made no mistake.
Barcelona will host Atletico Madrid on Sunday, in a clash of first against second with extra weight, now that the Catalans’ lead has been cut to just five points. Atletico thrashed Leganes 4-0 on Wednesday night.