Neymar's composed finish cancelled out Diego's wondergoal as Barcelona rescued a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
It appeared as though the visitors would take a slender lead from the quarter-final encounter at Camp Nou on Tuesday after Atletico's Brazilian midfielder struck.
Diego had started on the bench, but was called upon in the first half when Diego Costa – who overcame a knee injury to start the match – had to exit play.
And he duly lit up a match that proved every bit as tight as their respective positions in La Liga suggested with a rasping drive from 25 yards.
However, Brazil international Neymar ensured Gerardo Martino's side would not head into the return leg at Vicente Calderon with a deficit when he curled past the otherwise excellent Thibaut Courtois with just under 20 minutes remaining.
Diego Simeone's men will still have the advantage of an away goal in that fixture, but the tie remains nicely poised after the first encounter.
The visitors showed no signs of being fazed by a boisterous home crowd in the opening exchanges, home goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto showing the biggest display of nerves, but former Barca man David Villa failed to punish his weak clearance, inexplicably missing the target from eight yards after being found by Arda Turan.
Centre-back Gerard Pique was forced off in the 10th minute after falling heavily in an aerial challenge, Marc Bartra replacing him.
Despite the setback, Barcelona started showing glimpses of their free-flowing best and Lionel Messi showed superb footwork to escape Miranda before his throughball was collected by Andres Iniesta who was denied by a great block from Diego Godin.
Atleti were hit with an injury blow of their own as Costa limped off and a subsequent lack of physical presence in their attack helped Barcelona dictate the tempo, but Messi’s tame five-yard header was the closest they went before the break.
Indeed, Martino's men were almost caught on the counter, Villa's curling effort from the edge of the box forcing Pinto into a smart low save on the stroke of half-time.
Barcelona were met with a dogged Atleti display in the second half, and their tenacity paid dividends in the 56th minute.
Diego skipped cleverly past Iniesta before drilling an unstoppable drive which swerved past Pinto and into the top right-hand corner.
Barcelona sought a quick response, and Sergio Busquets' well-controlled volley from 20 yards almost provided one shortly after the hour mark, but Courtois was equal to the task.
However, there was nothing the Belgian could to stop Neymar levelling matters in the 71st minute.
Iniesta's exquisite outside-foot throughball found the 22-year-old on the left-hand side of the area and he curled a fine strike past a despairing Courtois.
The equaliser buoyed Barcelona, and the visitors had Courtois to thank for ensuring a fourth draw of the season between the two sides, the Chelsea loanee making impressive saves from Iniesta and Messi, the latter of which was a fine diving stop to prevent the Argentina international's superb free-kick finding the net.
|Coach: G. Martino|
for Piqué 12'
for Fàbregas 68'
|Bolton Wanderers 1 Brentford 1: Smith watches on as strugglers snatch point|
|Napoli 2 Inter 1: Higuain at the double as hosts go top|
|Lewandowski: Less pressure on me than Aubameyang|
|Defoe, Larsson to miss Arsenal match|
|Sassuolo 1 Fiorentina 1: Di Francesco´s side extend unbeaten home run|
|Barcelona took ´a step forward´ without Messi - Busquets|
|Unfair to blame Garcia for Roma form - Zanetti|
|Southampton v Liverpool: Returning stars have Ibe in buoyant mood|
|Lewandowski´s five-goal haul recognised for four records|
|Barcelona v Villanovense: Holders get second crack at minnows|
|Verona sack Mandorlini|
|Valencia confirm Nuno departure|
|Premier League clubs reveal agent fees|
|Stoke will not underestimate Sheffield Wednesday – Hughes|
|Robben wants Guardiola to stay at Bayern|
|Aguero allays foot injury concerns|
|Cadiz v Real Madrid: Pepe calls for hard work in Andalusia|
|Bolton confirm players have not been paid for November|
|Neville takes Valencia training following Nuno resignation|
|Mihajlovic targets Coppa Italia triumph|
|Garde confident Villa will survive|
|Everton to make late call on Barry and McCarthy|
|Davids: Messi is an anomaly but Ronaldo just an athlete|
|Simeone open to January signings following Tiago injury|
|Messi leads nominees for Puskas Award|
|Hummels defends himself after media criticism|
|Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar nominated for Ballon d´Or|
|Luis Enrique, Guardiola and Sampaoli up for World Coach of the Year|
|Chelsea about the team, not just Costa - Ivanovic|
|Kuyt open to Feyenoord extension|
|Barcelona lodge complaint over ex-Madrid duo´s Neymar comments|
|Davies wants Manchester City quarter-final to get crazy|
|Ribery ordeal is over – Rummenigge|
|Smalling: Vardy run opens door to non-League hopefuls|
|Bender relieved to end Dortmund losing streak|
|Mata: Manchester United have six finals in December|
|Vardy reveals painful road to Premier League record|
|Pardew urges Newcastle to back McClaren|
|Russian clubs banned from signing Turkish players|
|Klopp expects Coutinho to face Southampton|
|Valverde: Let´s hope Barcelona don´t sign Aduriz|
|De Bruyne relishing link-up with Silva|
|´Crazy´ Munich could convince Guardiola to stay|
|Defiant Garcia refuses to resign despite Roma slump|
|Monk confident Swansea can turn the corner|
|Bellerin: Arsenal can cope without Sanchez|
|McClaren: Newcastle not panicking|
|Klopp delighted with Sturridge, Henderson returns|
|I wouldn´t swap Lukaku for Vardy - Martinez|
|MLS Review: Timbers, Crew to meet in final|
|Nuno saddened by Valencia departure|
|Morata will become a key player - Allegri|
|Serie A Review: Juve revival continues as Roma stutter|
|Ligue 1 Review: Marseille and Monaco share thriller as Caen go second|
|Nuno resigns from Valencia post|
|Palermo 0 Juventus 3: Four Serie A wins in a row for improving champions|
|Neymar: ´MSN´ should be Ballon d´Or final three|
|Madrid must ´give everything in each match´ - Navas|
|´I take full responsibility´ - Monk|
|Neil hails Grabban display after Arsenal draw|
|Arsenal will survive ´bad spell´ - Wenger|
|Klopp proud of ´perfect´ Liverpool win|
|Bundesliga Review: Aubameyang at the double for Dortmund, Leverkusen draw with Schalke|
|Wenger: I nearly rested Sanchez|
|Ronaldo did well, insists Benitez|
|Liverpool 1 Swansea City 0: Milner spot on again as Henderson and Sturridge return|
|Norwich City 1 Arsenal 1: Sanchez, Koscielny limp off as Gunners are held|
|Bilic worried about Sakho muscle injury|
|Angers v PSG: Kurzawa wants unbeaten season|
|Tuchel relieved to see Borussia Dortmund return to winning ways|
|Pulis ´disappointed´ with free-kick decision|
|Manchester City v Hull City: Wounded Tigers must avoid ´a pasting´, warns Davies|
|Reus Deportiu v Atletico Madrid: Simeone´s side face in-form underdogs|
|West Ham needed a second goal - Bilic|
|Deila slams Stokes following Twitter outburst|
|Eibar 0 Real Madrid 2: Bale and Ronaldo on target|
|Borussia Dortmund 4 Stuttgart 1: Aubameyang double hands Kramny a losing start|
|Chelsea performance enthuses Mourinho|
|Mourinho: Costa wouldn´t use a bib to hurt me!|
|Chelsea felt like ´a small team´ to Tottenham - Pochettino|
|West Ham 1 West Brom 1: Reid own goal steals point for Pulis´ men|
|´Impossible´ to compare Icardi and Higuain - Mancini|
|Stoke City v Sheffield Wednesday: Visitors are clear underdogs, claims Carvalhal|
|´It was pretty embarrassing´ - Colback slams Newcastle|
|Pochettino lauds his Tottenham players as ´heroes´|
|Mourinho denies Diego Costa rift|
|Hazard rues ´beautiful´ Lloris save|
|Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 Celtic 3: Champions triumph despite Stokes storm|
|Inter playing to their strengths - Sarri|
|Tottenham 0 Chelsea 0: Pochettino´s side set record unbeaten run|
|Middlesbrough v Everton: Barry aiming to bounce back|
|AC Milan v Crotone: Mihajlovic targets four wins from four before mid-season break|
|Galliani: Milan refused to sell Niang|
|Premier League loan move unlikely for Drogba|
|Fekir dreams of Barcelona move and Ballon d´Or|
|Inter will not be criticised if they win the Scudetto - Prandelli|
|Newcastle fans right to be angry - McClaren|
|Ghoulam: Napoli-Inter not decisive in Scudetto race|
|Tiago out for at least three months|
|Monk: Klopp must make Liverpool title contenders|
|Lahm praises Bayern for adapting to injuries|
|Central Coast Mariners 0 Western Sydney Wanderers 2: Visitors win fifth straight|
|Arsenal building to title challenge - Mertesacker|
|Henry: Premier League title a five-horse race|
|Olsson urges Ibrahimovic to make Premier League move|
|Niang delighted with first Serie A goals|
|Wenger backs Campbell to earn spot|
|Much more to come from Firmino - Klopp|
|Kane dreaming of Premier League title win|
|Neymar´s evolution has been startling - Dani Alves|
|Van Gaal explains Lingard, Rojo absences|
|Messi number one regardless of goals - Iniesta|
|Klopp: I´m free to sign Dortmund players|
|Mourinho: Hazard not Chelsea´s number 10|
|Mihajlovic not surprised by Niang form|
|La Liga Review: Barcelona march on; victory for Atletico Madrid|