First Division - Day 37

Barcelona 2 - Espanyol 2

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Zambrotta, Puyol, Thuram, Van Bronckhorst (Oleguer 46'); Iniesta, Xavi, Deco; Messi, Eto'o, Gudjohnsen (Motta 77'). 4-3-3.
Espanyol: Kameni; Lacruz, Torrejón, Jarque, Chica; Corominas (Jonatas 64'), Moisés Hurtado (Angel Martínez 61'), De la Peña, Riera (Rufete 42'); Luis García, Tamudo. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Barça: Zambrotta, Iniesta, Gudjohnsen for Belletti, Edmilson, Ronaldinho / Espanyol: Kameni, Lacruz, De la Peña, Luis García for Gorka, Zabaleta, Julián, Angel Martínez.

0-1. 30. Tamudo. Ran on to De la Peña pass and fired shot wide of Valdés.
1-1. 43. Messi. Knocked ball past Kameni with hand after Iniesta cross deflected.
2-1. 57. Messi. Picked up pass from deco and struck angled shot across Kameni.
2-2. 89. Tamudo. Collected pass from Rufete and turned low shot past Valdés.

Barcelona threw away another opportunity to tie up their third league title in a row after they were held to a late 2-2 draw by city neighbours Espanyol. The visitors had nothing to play for but local rivalry, but that was enough to get them off to a good start, Luis García testing Valdés before Tamudo ran on to a clever through ball from De la Peña to whip a shot past the keeper. It was the team captain's 112th goal for his side, making him the club's top goalscorer of all time.

Up to that point only Messi had caused any problems for Kameni, and he was to prove once again that he is a worthy successor to Maradona, emulating his controversial predecessor by knocking the ball past the keeper with his "hand of God" after Iniesta's cross was deflected up by a defender, referee Rodríguez Santiago waving away protests from the visiting players.

Messi struck again early in the second half, but this time the goal was legitimate after he ran on to Deco's wide pass to beat Kameni. Eto'o could have wrapped things up when he failed to beat his Cameroonian team mate after breaking free a few minutes later, but with just two minutes to go Tamudo ran on to Rufete's pass to square the match once again.

The home fans were stunned into silence, even more so when news came through that Real Madrid had equalised at Zaragoza just a few seconds before, and they now have to beat another local rival Nàstic in their last match, and hope for a slip up by Capello's side at the same time, if they are to celebrate that third title prize.