Suarez equaliser saves Barcelona a point in game marred by row

Seville, Jan 29 (IANS) Luis Suarez scored a late equaliser as Barcelona drew 1-1 away to Real Betis in a La Liga game which will be remembered for an exceptional display from the home side and also for a goal which wasn’t given here on Sunday.

Suarez produced a clinical finish from a Messi pass in the closing seconds of normal time to rescue a point after Betis had looked odds on for all three points, reports Xinhua news agency.

Against a much-changed Barcelona side with one eye clearly on Wednesday’s Cup semi-final against Atletico Madrid, Betis took the game to their rivals.

Forwards Alex Alegria and Ruben Castro pressured Barcelona into their own penalty area aiming to force goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen into sending long clearances upfield.

As Barcelona insisted in trying to play short passes, they made a series of errors, and were it not for a series of saves from the Barcelona keeper, Castro could have had a hat-trick before the break.

Meanwhile Dani Ceballos was in charge of midfield and his long-range shot which Ter Stegen palmed away was the best effort of the half.

The usually calm defender Gerard Pique saw a yellow card for a foul on Castro and it was not until the closing minutes of the half that Barcelona were able to find some space in attack, but Neymar’s hot was well blocked by Betis keeper Antonio Adan.

The second half saw more of the same as Betis continued to push Barcelona back into their own half.

Ceballos hit the crossbar from 25 yards with 20 minutes remaining and Castro saw a shot hit the post three minutes later as it looked as if Betis were going to be out of luck.

However, from the resulting corner Ter Stegen was unable to punch clear and Alegria was on hand to prod the ball over the line and put his side ahead.

A minute later Barcelona should have been level as Jordi Alba got on the end of Vidal’s low cross to finish, but although the ball clearly crossed the line the linesman waved play on to the fury of the visitors.

Castro should have sealed the win as her went one on one with Ter Stegen, who did well to deny him and that allowed Suarez to score the late equaliser.

–IANS

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