Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas and Athletic Bilbao's Ander Herrera fight for the ball during their Spanish first division soccer match in Bilbao. Picture - Reuters.

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Lionel Messi was Barcelona's savior as he scored in injury time to salvage a draw at Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Primera Division on Sunday.

Barcelona conceded for the first time in 900 minutes when Andrer Herrera curled one in on the 20 minute mark. The Catalans equalized within four minutes, however, as Cesc Fabregas powered in a header from just inside the box off Eric Abidal's cross.

Barca were far from their dominating self though while Bilbao proved stern opposition. The match was always going to be a spectacle, with the Basque club tutored by the attack-minded Marco Beilsa. It seems the former-Chile manager's work is finally taking shape, after the tough initial weeks, as Barca were made to work.

The Catalans' passing game wasn't helped by a rain-sodden pitch and when Fernando Llorente inadvertently scored off a corner in the 80 minute, it seemed as if the champions were heading for their first loss of the season.

Late in injury time however, Messi jumped on the ball, after a slip from Gorka Iraizoz, to score the equalizer.

The draw left Barca on second place in the league, three points behind leaders and arch-rivals Real Madrid.