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08th Jan 2017

Lionel Messi’s sumptuous free kick rescues point for Barcelona at the death

When the pressure is on, he delivers.

Sean McMahon

When you need someone to save the day, look no further than Lionel Messi.

Barcelona had to be content with a 1-1 draw with Villarreal at the Estadio El Madrigal.

It could have been so much worse for the Catalans, as they went behind to Villarreal early in the second half thanks to a goal from Nicola Sansone.

The goal came as Barcelona lost possession on the edge of Villarreal’s box, a quick counter attack ensued and it was Sansone who put the hosts a goal to the good with a cool right-footed finish into the bottom corner.

Villarreal frustrated their opponents for the rest of the match with some great defensive efforts and it looked like the home side’s record of only conceding five goals at home this season was to remain intact.

However, even having the best defensive record in La Liga cannot discourage a player of Messi’s quality.

The Argentinian won a free kick outside of Villarreal’s penalty area.

The 29-year-old stepped up and planted an absolute beauty of a free-kick into the top corner of the net.

The Villarreal goalkeeper was completely rooted to the spot and could only look on as his side conceded a cruel, late equaliser.

The away side definitely deserved a draw but it now means Barcelona have lost further ground on Real Madrid.

Barcelona now lie in third position, five points behind Real Madrid and one point behind Sevilla.

It gets worse for Barcelona, Real Madrid have a game in hand over their fiercest rivals so the gap between the two teams could become much greater.