Bitter draw after sweet 16 for Barca | sports | Hindustan Times
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Bitter draw after sweet 16 for Barca

League leaders Barcelona saw their record winning run come to an end with a shock 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon and it could have been worse had David Villa not scored a brilliant 79th-minute equaliser to salvage a point.

sports Updated: Feb 14, 2011 00:46 IST

League leaders Barcelona saw their record winning run come to an end with a shock 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon and it could have been worse had David Villa not scored a brilliant 79th-minute equaliser to salvage a point.

Barcelona had won 16 consecutive league games to beat the old mark of the great Real Madrid side of 1960/61.

But the champions saw their historical sequence broken yesterday and the two dropped points are a real boost for title rivals Real.

Barcelona are now eight points ahead of Real in the Spanish first division and Jose Mourinho's side will want to capitalise on the rare slip by winning at Espanyol. Unfashionable Sporting, two points above the relegation zone, took the lead through David Barral after 16th minutes and Barcelona needed a delightful chip from Villa late on to snatch a point.

It was the first away points dropped all season for Barcelona, who had won all 10 of their away games prior to this game.

A fired-up Sporting started the better of the two sides and took a surprise 16th-minute lead as Barral cut inside from the left flank and left Gerard Pique in his wake before firing low into the corner.

Barcelona don't often go behind and found it difficult to respond against hosts who defended deep in numbers. Barca didn't have a noteworthy effort on goal until just after the half hour mark when Andres Iniesta dribbled past his marker and shot across goal but goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar saved well.

Lazio win, stay third
Rome: Lazio recorded their first away win in the league since October, winning 2-0 at Brescia as the Serie A goals flew in on Sunday. Goals either side of halftime kept Lazio in third spot, seven points behind leaders AC Milan who won on Saturday.