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La Liga Roundup: Barcelona struggles return as Sevilla ends Villareal’s fine run

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Time and time again Barcelona has suffered whenever the backbone of the team, Lionel Messi, doesn’t feature or has a bad day. Many would love to say it’s not so but it’s no rocket science.

He was missed again on Tuesday as Barcelona drew 1-1 at home to struggling Eibar in La Liga as injured Messi watched from the sidelines.

Barcelona were flat up until struggling Eibar took a shock lead in the 57th minute through Kike Garcia. But Barca was pulled back into the game by substitute Ousmane Dembele who levelled 10 minutes later.

The game might have turned out differently had Martin Braithwaite not missed a penalty in the first half. He also endured a miserable evening as VAR chalked off his goal as he was found offside and was denied what seemed a sure winner from point-blank range when the ball bounced off his chest on the rebound and went wide.

Messi, who is still recovering from an ankle problem had returned to Barcelona from Argentina earlier on Tuesday but watched from the stands as his team-mates lacked a cutting edge.

Koeman’s side slip to sixth in the table, seven points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who have played two fewer games.

Watch the highlights of the match below

Other La Liga actions from Tuesday…

Sevilla enjoyed a smooth ride against Villareal and climbed to fourth on the standings after a 2-0 win on Tuesday.

Lucas Ocampos opened the scoring from the spot with just eight minutes gone and Youssef En-Nesyri added a second eight minutes after the interval as Unai Emery’s side’s 18-game unbeaten run finally came to an end.

Elsewhere, Jos Morales scored twice as Levante overcame Real Betis in a 7 goal thriller.

Oscar Duarte scored first for Levante as early as in the second minute before Aissa Mandi equalised 10 minutes later.

Morales then fired in two goals in quick succession before Roger Marti extended the advantage early in the second half.

However, substitute Sergio Canales also scored twice for the visitors late in his first match since recovering from a muscle injury that sidelined him for seven games, but it wasn’t enough to stop Levante.

Real Valladolid drew 1-1 at Cadiz, who are four games without a win since their stunning victory against Barcelona earlier this month.

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