FC Barcelona played their second consecutive draw in the La Liga as Celta Vigo managed to grab a point from this 4 goal thriller. Valverde’s side, after a brilliant start to the season, seem to be going off track. However, this draw won’t affect their position in the league standings. They continue to lead the title race, but the two consecutive draws would have made the Real, Atletico and Valencia fans really happy. Celta showed great spirit giving such fight to a team like FC Barcelona. Barca were sloppy in the defense,while Celta impressed a lot with their counter attacks. Fans at the Camp Nou wouldn’t be very happy with their side’s performance.
Team News and Formations
Valverde made two changes from the side that played Barcelona’s last league game against Valencia. Vermaelen and Samedo were on the bench while Roberto and Pique, who made a comeback to the La Liga after his suspension, were included in the Starting XI against Celta Vigo. The table toppers went into this one without Mascherano, Dembele, Rafinha and Arda Turan. Barca started with their usual 4-4-2 formation.
Juan Carlos Unzue also made two changes from the side that played Celta’s last league game, which was a 1-0 win for them over Leganes. Cabral and Jonny sat out, while Gomez Sola and Mendez started. Celta started with a crowded and packed midfield as they played with a 3-5-2 formation.
The home side Barca kicked off the first half of this Matchday 14 clash. Valverde’s side exchanged few short passes before we saw a very early break in the game. Mendez went down in a lot of pain clutching his shoulder after a clash with Suarez, who had no intentions of harming him. However, Suarez was booked inside the first minute. This was indeed a harsh one.
Mendez looked in severe pain and had to be substituted in the 4th minute. Cabral replaced him.
Celta had a chance to take the lead in the 6th minute as they were awarded with a free kick from around 30 yards out. Celta couldn’t make good use of the free kick and the ball was cleared.
Messi, on the break, ran the ball from inside his own half, creating a havoc in the defence for Celta.
With Messi on the ball, a goal was possible, but his shot was blocked by one of the Celta defenders. The resulting corner was cleared away.
Barca were awarded a free kick in the 16th minute after Mallo’s foul. The Messi Magic didnt work as the cross was cleared.
Barca were in complete control of the game till the 20th minute, when a brilliant through ball by Daniel Wass completely beat Pique and resulted in Iago Aspas taking the lead for the visitors. The through ball found Aspas completely free and he passed the ball to Maxi Gomez whose tap in was brilliantly stopped by Ter Stegen. But the German goalkeeper could only deflect it up in the air for Aspas to power in the rebound. That was indeed a wake up call for the Catalans.
The lead didnt last long for Celta as Barca struck right back and Messi equalised just 2 minutes later breaking his five game goul drought. Paulinho’s ball, aimed at Luis Suarez rolled all the way to Messi who finished beautifully from 10 yards out on the left.
Barca looked good and more positive after that goal. 3 minutes later, Suarez put the ball into the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside. That was a very close call though and Barca yet again became victims of poor refereeing.
Barcelona looked a completely different team after conceding that goal. Their passing play was rewarding them with scoring chances. The best chance for Barca to take the lead in the first half came in the 34th minute, when a brilliant cross by Rakitic found Paulinho who somehow headed it straight at Ruben Blanco.
Pique proved his worth when he, anyhow managed to get a touch to Mendez’s cross in the 40th minute. Had he failed to intercept that one, Aspas, who was flying in, would have found the back of the net surely. Celta were looking extremely dangerous everytime they attacked. The ball fell nicely for Wass, 3 minutes before the 45 minute mark, just for him to blast it horribly high off the target.
The referee blew the half time whistle after adding just a single minute of extra time.
The contest lived up to its hype in the opening 45 minutes. Barca were not at their best, while Celta looked promising. However, the way Valverde’s men played after conceding the goal, it seemed that they’d be good enough take the lead in the second half.
After an evenly matched first half, the visitors kicked off to get the second half underway. None of the managers made any half time changes. The crowd at the Camp Nou saw a slow start to the second half.
Celta had another chance on the break in the 50th minute and Wass had a nice chance to take his side ahead. However, he once again mishit the ball and wasted yet another opportunity. Valverde’s men did not seem to learn their lessons and it wouldn’t have been surprising if they would have conceded a second.
Just 2 minutes later, Paulinho had a promising chance to take the lead for Barca, but what did he do ? Side netting! Playing for a world class side like Barcelona, Paulinho should probably have found the net that time. Messi and Suarez couldn’t believe their eyes.
Valverde made his first substitution in the 56th minute, bringing Denis Suarez on for Iniesta. Barcelona were playing bad at that time and Valverde would have expected the substitution to change the flow of the game.
Barcelona continued to dominate ball possession and were not looking to create chances.
Barcelona, certainly knowing how to carve out wins when not at their best, managed to take the lead in the 63rd minute Alba squared it for Suarez to fire past Ruben Blanco. Barcelona did not really deserve this goal the way they had played.
2 minutes later, Messi with a headed attempt tried to increase Barca’s lead, but Ruben Blanco brilliantly kept it out. In the 68th minute, Roncaglia came on on for Mendez to provide some fresh legs.
30 minutes before the end of the regular 90 minutes, Aspas took a shot from range, which barely troubled Ter Stegen down the middle. Celta didn’t lose hope and equalized just a minute later. Aspas left Umtiti helpless at the right and found Maxi Gomez who had enough quality to do the rest. Umtiti got injured during the process as well and was substituted or Thomas Vermalen in the 72nd minute. He might be out till New Year. The goal turned out to be the last goal of the game as Celta managed to grab 1 point from this match.
Paulinho unleashed a rocket shot from the edge of the box in the 73rd minute. However, it flew over the crossbar. Barca were surely on the move as just 2 minutes later, Pique had another chance to take Barca ahead. Messi,with a splendid pass managed to find Pique, whose shot hit the outside of the post. Roncaglia was shown a yellow for his strong challenge in the 74th minute.
Alcacer Paco was brought on for Rakitic in the 79th minute. Both teams were trying their level best to take the lead. Aspas did well yet again down the right, sending Pique to the ground but saw his cross being blocked by Alba. Jozabed Sanchez was booked for a challenge in the 81st minute to prevent the counter-attack. Thomas Vermalen was booked in the 83rd minute for a harsh challenge. The goalscorer Jozabed Sanchez was substituted for Pablo Pedro Hernandez the next minute.
In the 84th minute, Barca came so so close to a late winner. Luis Suarez did well to pick out his namesake Denis on the edge of the box. The shot was heading wide, but Messi nearly helped it back on target via his head.
Celta were a bit harsh in the last few minutes of the game as they were booked 5 times in the last 10 minutes or so. 5 minutes of extra time were added. There were few chances, but none was promising enough. The game ended 2-2 as the Catalans played their second consecutive league draw and Celta fought greatly.
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