FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi scored on Sunday's 1-1 draw against Cadiz. This is his 506th La Liga appearance for the club, which is a new club record. He surpassed former teammate Xavi, who previously held the most number of top flight appearances for the Catalan giants.

Unfortunately, the result meant that they have suffered a setback in the title race, and are firmly still in third place after losing the chance to catch Real Madrid.

Morale at the Camp Nou is low after the team only managed a draw against Cadiz. This match also came after a massive loss against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League earlier last week.

Nevertheless, it was a momentous night for Messi, who found himself on the scoreboard following a penalty brought about by a foul on Pedri inside the box. Unfortunately for them, it was not enough to secure three points as Alex Fernandez also got his chance from the spot in the closing minute.

Barcelona had been enjoying a seven-match winning streak in La Liga prior to this, and it had gotten them up to third place. They had been languishing mid-table for the earlier part of the season, but found a resurgence in the new year.

Now, the title race is wide open after leaders Atletico Madrid suffered a loss against Levante over the weekend. They are now just three points ahead of Real Madrid at 55 points, but still with a game in hand.

Real Madrid has 52, with Barcelona missing the chance catch up, as they now hold only 47 points albeit with a match in hand. Even if they win that match in hand, they missed the opportunity to sit on equal points.

Barcelona dominated against Cadiz, taking 81% of the possession. They threatened the goal 20 times but nothing materialised save for Messi's penalty.

Frenkie de Jong and Pedri both found the back of the net, only to have their goals disallowed. Cadiz was left to defend for most of the match, and they were lucky to salvage a point. However, the bigger blow is still on Barcelona, as a victory might have been a key point in their challenge for the title.

Barcelona will next face Elche in La Liga on Wednesday.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi AFP / LLUIS GENE