Barcelona 2-2 Deportivo: Visitors survive after coming from behind to draw
Last Updated: 24/05/15 1:23am
Xavi's Nou Camp farewell was spoiled slightly as Deportivo La Coruna fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Barcelona and guarantee their La Liga survival in the process.
Long-serving midfielder Xavi will bring an end to an 18-year Barca career when he leaves for Qatari side Al-Sadd in the summer and Lionel Messi looked to have given him the perfect send-off when he scored in both halves to put the newly-crowned champions into a 2-0 lead.
But Deportivo were fighting for their top-flight lives and Lucas Perez gave them hope with an exquisite long-range strike in the 67th minute before Diogo Salomao also struck from distance nine minutes later to earn a priceless point which preserved their top-flight status, thanks to their better head-to-head record over Eibar.
Barcelona won their fifth La Liga title in seven years when they beat deposed champions Atletico Madrid last weekend and, with Copa del Rey and Champions League finals to come in the next fortnight, there was a party atmosphere at the Nou Camp prior to kick-off as the fans prepared to say goodbye to their all-time leading appearance maker.
The home fans were celebrating as early as the fifth minute when Messi headed Rafinha's pin-point cross beyond Deportivo goalkeeper Fabricio and into the back of the net.
Messi thought he had doubled Barca's advantage in the 14th minute but he was ruled offside and the Argentina international was denied again moments later as Fabricio saved smartly before he stood firm to deny Pedro.
Xavi had the chance to sign off with a goal but his shot late in the first half was deflected behind for a corner, but Messi did double Barca's advantage in the 59th minute when Neymar beat the offside trap and set up his team-mate for a simple close-range finish.
Deportivo looked doomed at that point as Eibar, 18th prior to kick-off, were winning 3-0 at home to Cordoba, but Perez gave them hope in the 67th minute when he spun on the edge of the penalty area before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top left-hand corner.
Substitute Haris Medunjanin rattled the crossbar for Deportivo a few minutes later before their top-flight status was confirmed for at least another season when Salomao's long-range strike flew past Barca keeper Jordi Massip and into the back of the net after Medunjanin's free-kick had been blocked.
Xavi left the field to a standing ovation when he made way for long-standing central midfield partner Andres Iniesta in the 85th minute, but his final home game would end in a stalemate as none of his team-mates could not find a winner before the full-time whistle.