An Osasuna side that refused to be intimidated put Barca to the sword. The other Llorente, the one who is not sulking, Joseba, scored his debut goal finishing off Rolando Lamah’s surging cross with an acrobatic volley for the first salvo. Osasuna had a golden chance going two up after Sergio Busquets getting a bit too cute lost the ball but Nino’s shot just about bounced off the upright. Tito Vilanova thought Busquets had been fouled and was sent to the stands for protesting.
However, it was the team from Pamplona left aggrieved after a sequence of events led to Barca’s bitterly disputed equalizer. The referee obstructed Patxi Punal allowing Barca to forge ahead from which Alexis Sanchez received Messi’s pass in a fractionally offside position leading to a frantic interchange from which the Argentinian scored. Punal lifted his hand in an unmistakable gesture and received his marching orders. Thereafter it was the Messi show as he directed a centre with a cultured left foot and the ball slithered past the goalie into the left hand corner.
Note to Arsenal. Barcelona do not over elaborate when they are pressed for goals. Messi is equally adept at scoring from distance as is Iniesta.