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 ....
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.