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Dogged Depor spring surprise on Barça

SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 12/12/2015 sportyou
La fe del Deportivo sorprende al Barça © Getty Images La fe del Deportivo sorprende al Barça

FC Barcelona - Deportivo de La Coruña

Six months after saving their top-flight status at the Camp Nou, Deportivo earned another draw on Barcelona's home turf; and like then, they fought back after trailing 2-0, a score that would have sunk just about anyone. Víctor Sánchez del Amo's side left a magnificent impression, they looked their opponents in the eye, fought as equals and earned their reward: a point that makes things more interesting at the upper end of the La Liga table.

Leo Messi's class seemed to have unlocked a game for Barça, one that was threatening to jam up on them. Where Barça's play did not get them, the Argentinean's left foot did. Shortly before the break he curled a direct free kick deliciously into the top corner, leaving Lux clutching at thin air.

Until then, Barça had been stuttering after a bright start. They had practically all of the possession, of course, but they played with little sparkle. With Neymar out injured, and Messi looking a little tame, the liveliest in attack were Iniesta and Luis Suárez, who missed a good chance against Lux right after the start. Jona Rodríguez then did the same at the other end, with Claudio Bravo saving at the last. That was Deportivo's best chance in the first half.

The second half opened with two mistakes in quick succession from Mascherano, which meant two chances for Deportivo, with Lucas Pérez coming close. But Barça were not yet in a charitable mood, and went 2-0 up without needing to create a clear chance for it. Just outside the area, Rakitic drew back his right leg and let fly with a rocket that flashed in close to the post.

The game looked to be decided, but Deportivo decided to liven it up. First with a shot that hit the crossbar, after the recently-subbed on Cardoso had had a goal disallowed. Straight after that, Lucas Pérez, the heart and soul of the team, reduced Barça's lead with almost a quarter of an hour still on the clock. Deportivo then started to believe in themselves and continued to maraud around Bravo's area. With more faith than anyone else, Bergantiños, a member, not of Deprtivo's second-string, but their third, turned up to smack in a well-hit shot past Bravo into the far corner.

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