Celta 1-2 FC Barcelona: Late penalty clinches crucial victory

Celta 1-2 FC Barcelona: Late penalty clinches crucial victory

Goals at the end of each half take the Pole's tally for the club up to 50, and seal three points at a venue where the Catalans have struggled in recent years

Balaidos has been anything but a happy hunting ground for FC Barcelona in recent years, with just one win from the last eight visits, and it looked like we were headed for more dropped points in Vigo with the score at 1-1 and the 90 minutes already up.

But then Barça were thrown a lifeline. In attempting to clear a ball, Fran Beltrán ended up kicking Lamine Yamal instead and the referee pointed straight at the spot.

We were seemingly headed for a frustrating end when Robert Lewandowski’s penalty was saved by Vicente Guaita, but VAR showed that the Celta keeper was well off his line before the Pole had made contact with the ball.

The kick was retaken, and this time Lewy made no mistake. That was his 50th goal in a blaugrana jersey, and more importantly, Barça could celebrate three absolutely crucial points.

Lewandowski opener

Lewandowski had also scored Barça’s first goal in the 2-1 victory, although it was 45 minutes in the coming. Following a lovely piece of one-touch control of a Lamine Yamal assist, he rifled a powerful finish past Guaita.

Not that the plan had been to leave the opener so late. Barça had been hustling around the Celta area from the very first minute, and could only blame wastefulness over the final third for the fact they hadn’t scored earlier.

And the single goal from the first 45 minutes was particularly surprising because the home side had been giving everything a go too, but their forward line was proving equally ineffective at finishing off the job.

Aspas does it again

It’s always said that the best time to score a goal is just before half-time, but this was the exception to the rule as Celta promptly drew level mere moments after the action resumed.

Iago Aspas had scored more goals against Barça than any other currently active player, 10. And now he has another. Former Barça man Óscar Mingueza’s heeled assist was sublime, although Aspas’ shot may well have come to nothing had it not taken a deflection off Jules Kounde.

And we were back to square one.

Penalty lifeline

From that moment on, the game never stopped buzzing. There was last-ditch defending from both sides, Barça possibly somewhat more, but despite the constant stream of chances, with moments of both brilliance of sloppiness, neither side could get the scoreline to budge.

But it all worked out right in the end, with Lewandowski’s penalty ensuring three crucial points to heap some pressure on Real Madrid and Girona, who both have yet to play.

But Barça’s attention now shifts away from la Liga. On Wednesday evening, just before 9pm, the Champions League anthem will be playing in Naples. Barça will be there to hear it, and we’ll be there to tell you the story...

Força Barça
Força Barça

Related to this article

Close article

Related to this article