La Liga: Etebo star as Las Palmas hold Barcelona to a stalemate


Super Eagles midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo was the most threatening player for minnows Las Palmas as he helped them secure their first point ever over Barcelona in 17 years.

Etebo became the second Nigerian player after Victor Moses for Chelsea in the champions League to face Argentine super star Lionel Messi, this time in the La Liga, with their teams failing to prevent him from scoring.

Messi scored from a free kick in the 21st minute after dusting himself off from the initial foul on him on the edge of the box.

The first half ended with Barcelona failing to kill off the game with some chances they created, but the Catalans will feel aggrieved after goalkeeper Leandro Chichizola escaped a red card for handling the ball way outside his box while trying to clear a true ball for Suarez.

Within 2 minutes of resumption, Las Palmas were back on level terms with a contentious penalty tucked away by Jonathan Calleri.

Etebo was unplayable for the Barcelona midfielders and defenders who found his pace, energy and stamina difficult to cope with.

The Nigerian who had several tangles with diminutive Messi, was booked in the 67th minute for hacking down the Argentine while he was running at goal, Etebo also won some duels against a foe he might likely face at the World Cup.

The match eventually ended 1-1 with Barcelona late possession and probing failing to open up a resolute Las Palmas who picked up their second consecutive draw and are now on 20 points, one point adrift of safety.

Las Palmas face Celta Vigo on Sunday, with a win certain to take them out of the relegation places.

Las Palmas: Chichizola; Aguirregaray, Ximo, Gálvez, D. Castellano (Michel); Halilović, Gómez (Aquilani), Etebo; Samperio, Calleri, Tana.

Goal: Calleri 48’

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Umtiti, Vermaelen, Digne; Vidal (Coutinho), Paulinho, Busquets, Iniesta (Dembele); Messi, Suarez.

Goal: Messi 21’

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