Lionel Messi, In The Centre In The Back Row, Watches Barcelona Draw With Eibar

Barcelona ended a difficult year with another disappointing result as they were held 1-1 at home by struggling Eibar on Tuesday.

The result left Barcelona in sixth place in La Liga, seven points behind Atletico Madrid who have played two fewer matches.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is nursing an ankle injury and watched from the stands.

In his absence Martin Braithwaite took an eighth minute penalty kick, and missed. The Dane did put the ball in the net in the 25th minute but the strike was disallowed.

Although Barcelona dominated possession and took far more shots, Eibar took the lead after 57 minutes. Their captain Kike Garcia pounced after a defensive mistake from Ronald Araujo.

Ousmane Dembele levelled 10 minutes later with a right foot shot but Barcelona could not find the winning goal.

In the other early game, Lucas Ocampo converted an early penalty and Youssef En-Neyri added a second after the break as Sevilla beat visiting Villarreal 2-0. Sevilla

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