Barcelona’s title hopes suffered a hammer blow on Saturday as they had been held to a 2-2 draw by Celta Vigo, handing Real Madrid the possibility to maneuver two factors clear on the high of La Liga. Luis Suarez twice put Barca in entrance at Balaidos together with his first targets since January however Iago Aspas bent in a late free-kick to earn Celta a draw, in what might show a pivotal second within the title race. Barcelona edge a degree forward of Madrid however Zinedine Zidane‘s facet will hope to take a giant step in the direction of changing into champions by successful away at backside membership Espanyol on Sunday.
Madrid personal the superior head-to-head towards Barca and have gained 4 out of 4 since La Liga restarted earlier this month. With a kinder run-in than the Catalans, who play Atletico Madrid subsequent on Tuesday, the trophy seems to be Madrid’s to lose.
“The sensation is a unfavourable one,” mentioned Suarez afterwards. “If we wish to keep within the title race and have it in our fingers we have now to win all our video games. However we now should depend on Madrid to drop factors.”
Suarez performed his finest sport since present process knee surgical procedure in January, his first aim coming from a shock free-kick from Lionel Messi, who crossed when everybody anticipated him to shoot.
But Barcelona’s defensive frailties harm them once more and Celta ought to even have gained it in injury-time, just for Nolito to overlook a golden likelihood on the again put up.
Celta climb to 16th, eight factors away from the underside three.
Quique Setien answered calls to begin 20-year-old Riqui Puig and 17-year-old Ansu Fati, and the duo impressed, injecting power and pace into Barca’s assault.
Anne Griezmann was left on the bench and when he got here on, he was on the facet of the wall that Aspas breached together with his free-kick to search out the underside nook.
Messi was on the coronary heart of every thing going ahead and it was his early nook that Gerard Pique headed towards the crossbar.
With a free-kick on the sting of the realm within the 20th minue and a 700th profession aim in sight, Messi sized up the sprawl of Celta defenders in entrance of him.
However with everone anticipating a shot, Messi clipped a cross in the direction of the put up, the place Suarez headed in.
Messi even tried to attain from a nook however Celta had possibilities too on the break. A poor clearance from Marc-Andre ter Stegen went unpunished by Fedor Smolov, who then overhit his cross when Aspas was clear. Brais Mendez slid by and hit the put up.
The warnings went unheeded and when Arturo Vidal performed a careless cross early within the second half, Celta capitalised.
Aspas despatched Okay Yokuslu sprinting in behind and he squared for Smolov to faucet in.
Celta look invigorated however Barca landed a sucker-punch. Denis Suarez misplaced possession underneath stress from Fati, Messi performed into Luis Suarez, who backed in, turned and drove into the far nook.
It appeared like they’d weathered the storm however Celta hit again once more, Aspas curling across the facet of the wall and into the nook with two minutes left.
They need to even have gained it in injury-time as Denis Suarez teed up Nolito on the again put up however a scuffed end let Ter Stegen save on the road.
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