La Liga: Messi's late equalizer spares Barca blushes against Villarreal

Villarreal [Spain], Jan.9 : Star striker Lionel Messi curled a last-minute equalizer as Barcelona resumed their La Liga campaign after the winter break with a 1-1 draw against Villarreal at the Camp El Madrigal here on Monday.

Despite being in possession in the opening period, Barcelona reached the first-half without any goal in their account for the fifth time in six league matches, reported.

It was in the 49th minute of the match when Villarreal scored the opening goal of the match through Nicola Sansone's fine strike.

However, Argentina striker Messi rescued a point for his side with a late 90th-minute free-kick to give Barcelona a point, thereby leaving them five points adrift of the in-form leaders, Real Madrid.

The match also saw Villarreal's Jaume Costa being sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow card as the hosts' hopes of sealing the Champions League qualification spots were shattered.

Barcelona, who are standing third in the La Liga table, will now lock horns with Eibar on January 23.(ANI)