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Barcelona survive scare
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October 02, 2005 17:26 IST

Barcelona recovered from two goals behind to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Real Zaragoza in the Spanish Primera Liga on Saturday, with Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o levelling the scores two minutes from time.

Zaragoza's Argentinean brothers Gabriel and Diego Milito stunned the home side with two quick goals at the start of the second half.

But Barca won a penalty with 13 minutes left when Paraguayan defender Delio Toledo brought down Dutchman Mark van Bommel in the area.

Toledo was sent off for collecting his second yellow of the game and Brazilian forward Ronaldinho [Images] scored from the spot.

Eto'o pounced to net his sixth goal of the season in a frantic finish to the game, rescuing a point for the champions.

Second-placed Getafe can go top if they beat Valencia later on Saturday.

League leaders Celta Vigo travel to Cadiz on Sunday when Real Madrid [Images] host Real Mallorca.

Barca coach Frank Rijkaard continued his rotation policy, this time leaving Spain midfielder Xavi out of the squad.

But for the first time in the league this season he was able to include Argentine striker Lionel Messi [Images], who started on the bench, after the 18-year-old gained Spanish citizenship last Monday.


Barca took the game to Zaragoza with their trademark tight passing and swift attacks but chances were at a premium.

Ronaldinho produced a moment of sublime skill to tee up Eto'o after 20 minutes with a deft backheel in the area but keeper Cesar Sanchez blocked the striker's shot with his legs.

Zaragoza took the lead three minutes after the restart with their first effort on goal.

Brazilian forward Savio swung in a free kick from wide on the right and the ball was flicked on to the far post where Milito powered a header past Victor Valdes.

Barca were still reeling from that blow when Zaragoza struck again five minutes later.

Savio was the architect once more as he was given time to swing in a shot from almost the same spot that he struck the free kick.

Valdes saved one handed but the ball remained in play and Diego Milito followed up to slip the ball under the keeper.

Rijkaard threw on Sweden striker Henrik Larsson, Van Bommel and Messi in an attempt to bolster his bewildered side as Zaragoza dominated.

The substitutions paid dividends when Van Bommel was brought down in the area by Toledo as the pair tussled for a long ball and Ronaldinho scored with a twice-taken penalty.

Zaragoza looked set to deny Barca as Cesar made two great saves and Eto'o struck the post. However, a misunderstanding between Cesar and defender Alvaro allowed Eto'o to steal the ball from in between them and score into the empty net.


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