CELTA 2-2 BARCELONA
Celta Vigo vs Barcelona: goals, match report
An enthralling contest in Vigo ended all square as FC Barcelona maintain their unbeaten LaLiga 2017/18 record despite ending the game with ten men. USA vs Mexico: FIFA Friendly live online
So the FC Barcelona unbeaten run is intact but full credit to hosts Celta Vigo who pushed the league leaders all the way in a tremendous contest at Balaidos.
Ernesto Valverde elected to opt for a major overhaul with many key players rested with the 2017/18 Copa del Rey final coming up next Saturday with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi on the bench.
The contest started brightly and saw both sides enjoy spells of pressure with chances at both ends. The visitors struck first with Dembele rocketing a finely executed half volley to give the Catalan side the lead. Celta maintained their level of pressure and were rewarded on the cusp of half-time as Maxi Lopez cut back from the byline where Jonny tapped home.
More of the same end to end action in the second half as Lionel Messi was introduced to the fray and immediately saw his team retake the lead as Paulinho with the aid of the faintest touches from Alcacer saw the Catalan outfit back in control.
Iago Aspas who unquestionably was the man of the match broke free in the 71st minute and was wrestled back from Sergi Roberto who was awarded a straight red for his actions. It was the local Aspas who brought the game level as the Celta No. 10 pounced onto a Emre Mor delivery and with the assistance of a Ter Stegen ricochet and his hand saw the ball nestles in the back of the Barça net.
Five games left for Barcelona with the Catalan side aiming for the history books in being unbeaten all season. El Clasico on May 6th looms ....
Celta Vigo - FC Barcelona: live online coverage
FT: Celta Vigo 2-2 FC Barcelona
90'+3' Last chance....no time ... that's the lot... great game as honours shared...
Corner in the last min of added time for Celta
90' 3 minutes of time to be added
Boye clean through after a stunning delivery from Aspas and fails to outsmart Ter Stegen who does well to stand his ground
Jonny into the book for a rash tackle on Vidal
87' Barça on the ropes a little with time running down.... A draw I'd suggest would be a fair result
Iago Aspas has been outstanding tonight !
Boye on for Celta / Mendez making way
84' Electric stuff from both teams ....a mazy Messi run and both sides going for broke .... excellent game of football
Celta 2-2 Barcelona
Great delivery from Mor and the ball ricochets off Ter Stegen into the path of Aspas who, with the assistance of a hand puts the ball in the net
Goooooooooooool Aspas makes it 2-2
82' Finally ... Celta fans making noise as the clock ticks down...
81' Radoja this time but his drive is staright at Ter Stegen.
80' Emre Mor fires into the side netting for Celta, his first action ....
79' Into the last ten we go ....Can Celta grab an equaliser that their play deserves?
Change coming for Celta ...Mor on with Sisto making way
Wass carded for studs up
Vidal on with Dembele leaving the action as the final change is made by Valverde.
76' Changes imminent on the Barça bench as Celta probe and look for an equaliser
74' Celta maintain their assault on the Barça goal.... Sisto this time trying a long range effort.
Jozabed off and Radoja on for Celta
72' Aspas tries his luck but the ball grazes the top of the net
70' Dangerous free for Celta against 10 men Barça
70' Red for Sergi Roberto as he pulls back goal bound Aspas
"Express yerself son" ....
Celta undeterred by the goal and maintain their push. Have to say Balaidos is somewhat quiet tonight (in terms of noise from the home support.)
66' Aspas almost drives Celta level agian but his left footed effort drifts wide
Paulinho credited with the goal according to Laliga
Celta 1-2 Barça
Yep...goal is Paulinho's and makes the back of the net with the help of the keeper and possibly Alcacer...
Og or Paulinho ....
63' Gooooooooooooool Barça go ahead again 1-2
Another change in the Barcelona ranks: Gomes off / Sergi Roberto on
FCB: Coutinho off / Messi on
59' Spell of possession form the visitors as Coutinho and Paulinho combine well. Messi set to come on ...
57' Watching Celta tonight, one has to wonder why this team are mid table in LaLiga....
55' Call for a penalty for Celta after Digne appeared to push Maxi in the box....as Aspas is carded
Celta looking the better side now
53' Jozabed should do better... clean through, one on one with Ter Stegen and the former Rayo player tries to curl it past the Barça keeper.
50' Celta break and Sisto slips just as he is fed by Iago Aspas. Celta looking composed with the game an open affair again. Suarez tries his luck for Barça.
The French player seems to be okay and is back in action.
46' Game held up as Digne seems to have fallen akwardly after a collision with Celta's Mendez.
Off we go .... Dembele on the ball early doors... nice tricks and jinks but an overhit cross from the French international.
The teams make their way back onto the slick Balaidos surface with a rather sombre looking Valverde.
Celta celebrate ...
HT Celta 1-1 Barça
45' Poor play from Barça in the centre of the park giving the ball away cheaply. Maxi takes the ball to the by-line and pulls back where Jonny is on hand to tap home. The goal comes on the cusp of the half time interval.
45' Goooolllll. Celta strike level ...Jonny firing home
39' Shots: Celta 6-9 Barça
39' Paulinho nearly makes it two latching onto a splendid Coutinho ball but Jonny intervenes to clear the danger.
Just as it seemed that Celta were stamping their imprint on the game and troubling the Catalan side, up steps Dembele who catches a bouncing ball on the half volley beautifully to rifle home.
Celta 0-1 FCB
36' Goooooool. Dembele fires the visitors ahead ....
34' What a save from Ter Stegen... one handed palm away from a great placed effor from Maxi. What a stop...what a keeper...
The always elegant Ernesto Valverde at Balaidos tonight
32' Still plenty to play for for the Galician side with seventh place in this seasons league potentially enough for access to the 2018/19 Europa League.
Barcelona's Spanish forward Paco Alcacer (L) vies with Celta Vigo's Spanish defender Jonny Otto during the Spanish league football match between RC Celta de Vigo and FC Barcelona at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo
30' Maxi goes close for Celta, delightful ball from Aspas and the Celta No. 7 sees his shot deflected for a corner.
29' Nearly at the half hour mark.... the minutes have flown by which is generally the sign of a decent game. Tough one to call with both sides impressing.
It was Paulinho who headed against the Celta post ... the game could easily be 2-2 at this stage with some sharper finishing.
24' Paulinho rifles a shot goalbound but is deflected for a Barça corner....off the post from the header from the dead ball.... Celta launch a lightning counter and the ball falls to Mendez who fires wide. What a passage of play !
22' The tempo has dropped a little here in Balaidos after a frantic first 10'.
22' Celta's Galician rivals and neighbours Deportivo la Coruña in action at the same time tonight. Their home game to Sevilla has just ended 0-0, a point which does little to keep Depor from the drop to Segunda.
The Barça bench tonight
Wass just inches away of latching on to a cross ball...
17' Plenty of close up shots of the Barcelona bench showing both Suarez and Messi watching on. Unlikey we'll see the South American duo this evening with the Copa del Rey final imminent on Saturday.
Celta looking very open at the back (on their left hand side especially) with Alcacer and Dembele being allowed to slip in to decent attacking positions with little trouble.
15' Possession in the first 15': Celta 40% v Barça 60%
....and after Maxi Lopez nearly puts the home side ahead, Alcacer goes straight down the other end and rifles a wicked shot straight at Sergio in the Celta goal.... fine start to the game
So close for Celta .... Ter Stegen saves with the goal gaping....
10' Barça playing with great tempo with Semedo and Dembele at the heart of all creative play so far for the Catalan side.
8' Great build-up play from the visitors as Denis Suarez fires the ball across the face of the Celta goal. Celta yet to get into the groove with the pitch at Balaidos somewhat over-watered.
6' Dembele looking bright tonight...
4' Despite earlier claims from Celta that "a handful" of match tickets were available there seems to be swathes of empty seats at Balaidos.
2' Wass finds himself free at the far post (offside) and heads across goal into the arms of Ter Stegen.
Off we go .... Fernandez Borbalan is our man in the middle tonight ....
Barça sporting their home kit....azulgrana, navy shorts and socks
Celta in their classic sky shirt, white shorts and sky blue socks.
17C in Vigo tonight, a perfect evening for a game of football as the old cliche goes ...
Last LaLiga meetings between both sides:
15 minutes to kick off and the sense among the AzulGrana fraternity is that the rotation policy by Ernesto Valverde is too late and this should have been employed earlier in the season. A tad strong I would say for a coach who is still in his first season at the club and is set to win the league title and potentially the double.
Also worth remembering that in the last two league visits to Balaidos Celta have put 8 goals past the Catalan side with a 4-3 win least seaaon and a solid 4-1 during the previous campaign.
Basically what's being called on social media now as a Barcelona 'B' team to face Celta tonight with Valverde clearly resting players ahead of Saturday's Copa del Rey final against Sevilla.
Good evening and welcome to our live coverage from Balaidos as Celta Vigo welcome table topping Barcelona.
Celta Vigo - FC Barcelona: preview
Barça coach Ernesto Valverde has left regular starters Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic out of his squad to face Celta.
The Catalans are 11 points clear at the top of the table with six matches remaining, but face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.
Barcelona are unbeaten in a league record 39 games but will risk that streak ending as they head to Vigo with a weakened squad, which the club named Monday.
Last season Barcelona were beaten 4-3 at Celta in the league and suffered a 4-1 humiliation the year before that.
Lucas Digne returns to the squad after injury, while Aleix Vidal and Yerry Mina have been recalled after being omitted for the 2-1 win over Valencia in La Liga on Saturday.
The Galician outfit are still battling for a Europa League spot with the Galician side currently ninth in the league table. Juan Carlos Unzue is expected to field the following team against Barça: Sergio Álvarez; Roncaglia, Cabral, Sergi Gómez, Jonny; Wass, Lobotka, Radoja, Sisto; Aspas and Maxi Gómez.
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