Celta Vigo edge Barcelona 4-3 in La Liga
Vigo (Spain), Oct 3 (IANS) A spectacular Celta Vigo put in a clinical performance to beat Barcelona 4-3 as the Catalan football giants lost the chance to move to the top of the La Liga at the Balaidos stadium here.
Celta on Sunday racked up three of their winning goals within just 11 minutes early on and the fourth in the final stretch — to the delight of the 21,000 fans at the stadium, reports Efe.
With this loss, Barcelona have fallen down on two of their first seven La Liga matches so far this season and are now in fourth place, two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
Atletico, who defeated Valencia 2-0 due to the goals from Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro, topped the league with 15 points — same as Real but ahead on goal difference.
Real Madrid were held at home to a surprise 1-1 draw by Eibar — the smallest club in the league as the visitors came away with a well-deserved point against a Madrid side that was well below par.
Real Madrid’s rival, Barcelona too struggled on the day. They had problems during the first 15 minutes of play, experiencing suffocating pressure exerted by the home squad, which was putting forth tremendous effort and establishing a superb tactical situation for itself.
Celta’s defensive play was also tremendously solid and resulted in Barcelona apparently becoming slightly rattled and beginning to mishandle the ball.
And it was Pione Sisto in the 22nd minute who got the team on the board first on a mistake by visiting goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. It was followed by another strike, this one by the omnipresent Iago Aspas nine minutes later.
Barcelona’s problems mounted when — just a minute-and-a-half later — defender Jeremy Mathieu scored an own goal while trying to divert a centering pass by Daniel Wass, making it 3-0 and the first half ended with that demoralising result on the board.
After the break, Luis Enrique’s boys were able to manufacture a rally, with Gerard Pique heading in a nice shot in the 57th minute and Neymar’s penalty goal making it 2-3.
But Ter Stegen fumbled at his all-important task again and Pablo Hernandez popped in a header to make it 4-2 in the 76th minute.
Pique did knock in another header just a few minutes before the final whistle, but there wasn’t time to set up for another tally try and Celta had solid home victory in its pocket after a thrilling match.