LIONEL MESSI reached another epic milestone as he bagged the 700th goal of his astonishing career against Atletico Madrid.
But the Argentinian’s Paneka penalty was not enough to secure the points as Barcelona failed to overtake Real Madrid in top spot.
Their bitter rivals can now go four points clear in LaLiga if they win their game in hand following the 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp.
Despite their title hopes suffering a setback, it will still be the 33-year-old who captures the headlines after he joined rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the 700 club.
The legend, who is comfortably the club’s all-time top scorer, took his tally for the Catalan giants to 630 from 724 games with his effort from the spot moments after half time.
That figure, added to his 70 goals in 138 caps for his country, made him just the seventh player in history to reach the 700 mark.
That put Barcelona 2-1 up after a topsy-turvy clash that saw three penalties awarded.
Diego Costa’s own goal after 11 minutes broke the deadlock and handed the host the lead as he deflected a corner into his own net.
Costa then had a penalty saved only for VAR to spot Marc-Andre ter Stegen had strayed off his line.
Saul Niguez quickly stepped up in place of the ex-Chelsea man to level the scores from the spot for the visitors and it remained all-square until the break.
But just five minutes after the restart it was Messi, who was sporting a new haircut alongside team-mate Luis Suarez, who struck to restore his team’s advantage.
Felipe was the man who had been punished for sending Nelson Semedo to ground.
However, any hopes they had of holding on to the lead and overtaking Real Madrid were dashed just after the hour mark.
Saul Niguez kept his cool once again from the spot to make it two-all after Semedo caught Yannick Carrasco in the box.
And that provided a huge boost to Real, who can open up a four-point advantage at the summit by beating Getafe on Thursday.