Super Eagles midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo put up a stellar performance for Las Palmas after staring in their 1-1 draw against Barcelona.
Etebo who has been very impressive for the struggling LaLiga side since his loan move from Portuguese side CD Feirense had arguably his best game in a Las Palmas shirt against the Catalan.
The Nigerian was massive in midfield for his team, especially in winning possession and his pace in turning defence into attack.
Fans of Las Palmas cheered him on particularly as he helped shackle Barcelona legend Messi throughout the game.
Full of energy, running and use of strength in duels, the combative Nigerian however bagged a booking in the 66th minute for a foul on Barcelona star man Lionel Messi, a tackle which stopped Messi from putting the Las Palmas backline under pressure.
Despite Barcelona’s “expected dominant passing,” former West Ham striker Jonathan Calleri’s penalty cancelled out Messi’s strike, albeit under controversial circumstances.
Lionel Messi fired a free-kick into the opposite corner of the net to give Barcelona the lead.
But Calleri’s excellently dispatched penalty into the top corner rescued a point for the Canary Island hosts.
There was plenty of confusion at the decision to award the penalty to Las Palmas, who remain in the relegation zone, with the most likely reason being for a Sergi Roberto foul on Matias Aguirregaray – although the ball also hit Lucas Digne’s hand.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde could not hide his disbelief at the referee’s decision.
“The penalty came as a shock to us because of how it was awarded, we really wanted to leave here with three points. In the first half we felt we were always creating danger and their players kept on picking up yellow cards. We went ahead in the first half but it was not a big enough margin.”
The result, which extends Barca’s club-record unbeaten league run to 33 games, takes them five points above their next opponents Atletico Madrid.