Barcelona’s lead at the top of La Liga has been cut to five points after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Sevillam while Giuseppe Rossi scored for the fourth match in succession as Villarreal were also held to a draw.
Josep Guardiola’s men took the lead through Bojan Krkić, but the visitors were unable to strike again after the hosts, who brought on Frédéric Kanouté at half-time, were rewarded for their bold tactics with Jesús Navas’s equaliser. Their third draw of the season leaves Barca five points clear of second-placed Real Madrid.
Villarreal missed the chance to close to within a point of third-placed Valencia as they were also held to a 1-1 draw by Real Sporting de Gijón. The three points were all but secured after Giuseppe Rossi scored for the fourth match in succession but, in added time, after the dismissal of Rafael Sastre, Diego Castro snatched a late equaliser to lift his side three points clear of the relegation zone.
Fifth-placed RCD Espanyol, meanwhile, earned a long-awaited 2-0 success against RC Deportivo La Coruña. The Barcelona-based side, who had lost six of their previous seven Liga matches, stopped the rot with goals by Iván Alonso and Joan Verdú.
Elsewhere, bottom-placed Málaga CF completed a 2-0 victory at Real Sociedad de Fútbal, CA Osasuna triumphed 3-1 against Real Racing Club and Levante UD drew 1-1 with RCD Mallorca.