Celta de Vigo 2 FC Barcelona 2

celta 2-2 barcelona tello celebrates goal 2013A goal from Borja Oubiña three minutes from time robbed Barça of victory over Celta at Balaidos tonight. Natxo Insa had put the hosts in front seven minutes before the break but Cristian Tello equalized soon after to make it 1-1 at the break. Barça took the lead with just over fifteen minutes to play as Leo Messi extended his consecutive-league-games-scoring record to 19, meaning he has now scored against every other team in La Liga in his incredible run. However, Barça were denied the victory as Oubiña stole in at the far post to head home Celta’s late equalizer.

celta 2-2 barcelona barça bench eric abidal 2013While Tito Vilanova remained in Barcelona, Jordi Roura continued in charge of leading the team from the touchline. With Tuesday’s Champions League game at Paris Saint Germain in mind, Mascherano, Busquets, Iniesta and Villa were rested and started on the bench along with 19-year-old Gerard Deulofeu and Eric Abidal. The team lined up with Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Bartra, Montoya, Thiago, Song, Fabregas, Alexis, Messi and Tello.

Celta coach Abel Resino set his team in a 4-4-1-1 formation with a high defence that Barça would look to exploit through Tello’s speed on the left. However, early on there was little from either side though the hosts won a couple of corners, and from the second Augusto Fernandez had the ball in Barça’s net but the effort was disallowed for a clear offside.

Barça were struggling to make much headway with Thiago and Fabregas finding it difficult to connect with the forwards. Meanwhile, there was little from Celta at the other end with just a timid shout for a penalty from Park though the Korean was guilty of pulling Bartrá’s shoulder before he went down.

The game began to come to life after 25 minutes. First, Messi sent a dangerous free kick towards Alexis and the ball was only just intercepted by Demidov who put the ball out for a corner. A couple of minutes later, Fernandez sent in a low cross from Celta’s right, there appeared to be no danger but Piqué sliced the ball horribly towards his own goal and Pinto had to make a magnificent diving save to his left before springing to his feet to save Park’s rebound for good measure.

Barça responded with Messi getting more involved. A run into the area ended with the four-time Ballon d’Or winner going down under Demidov’s challenge though the referee Mateu Lahoz considered that Messi had looked for the contact. Then the Argentinian made a brilliant turn to send Tello into the area but the winger blazed the chance wide.

The game was fairly equal at this point though Celta took the lead after an excellent quick exchange of passes ended with Pranjic finding Orellana inside the area on the right, the Chilean forward cut inside before slipping a pass through to Insa who made a late run into the area to stab the ball past Pinto.

A goal down and Barça still hadn’t tested Celta’s keeper Javi Varas. Messi gave his old foe his first work with a curling free kick but Varas dived to his left to save. Then two minutes before half time, Messi collected the ball near the centre spot and sent a chipped pass over the top of Celta’s back line which Tello controlled in his stride before the typical Tello finish, curling a low shot in off the far post.

Barça’s first half had been pretty disappointing but with the equalizer there was hope for a better second half. However, as in the first half there was little action near the goals in the first few minutes. There wasn’t a shot until the 57th minute when Fernandez got away from Montoya and pulled back a cross that Piqué couldn’t intercept and Park whipped his effort wide.

Barça were not finding shooting opportunities but Celta were beginning to tire and the visitors began to look more dangerous. Messi chased down Jony in the area, forcing the right-back to pass straight to Tello but he couldn’t get past Cabral and had to settle for a corner. Tello then sent a fine pass into Alexis though the Chilean only won a yellow card for using his arm as he attempted to control the ball.

celta 2-2 barcelona tello messi 2013Barça began to raise the pace, bringing on Iniesta and Villa for Thiago and Alexis. Messi had a right foot attempt go over. Then, Tello nearly found Villa after an excellent run down the left but Lago got across well to intercept the dangerous low cross. Barça’s pressure finally paid off in the 73rd minute. Messi received the ball 35 yards out and sent a long ball to the left where Tello arrived to cut back a first time cross towards the penalty spot which was met by Messi, sweeping the ball home to continue his goal-scoring streak with his 43rd league goal of the season.

The game seemed over at this point and Barça didn’t seem to have too many problems to maintain possession. In the 84th minute, Busquets came on for Fabregas as Barça’s third substitute, meaning both Abidal and Deulofeu will have to wait for another day for a first team playing opportunity. Busquets was unfortunately not his usual reliable self. Just four minutes after coming on he kept the ball in play by the corner flag only to send a poor ball up the line that was intercepted, the ball coming inside to Orellana who lofted a cross to the far post where Oubiña stole in behind Alves to head past Pinto for the equalizer.

Throwing away a victory like this is always frustrating though given Real Madrid’s draw at Zaragoza we shouldn’t be too worried about it affecting our chances for La Liga. Today’s was a pretty disjointed performance with the midfield of Song, Thiago and Fabregas failing to impose our normal rhythm. Practically, all the danger we created came through the Messi-Tello connection which worked pretty well though there was another below-par performance from Alexis, and there was also a lack of forward runs from our full backs, with Montoya as expected, playing a more defensive game. Meanwhile, the defensive pairing of Bartrá and Piqué (with Piqué on the left side) lacked a bit of understanding in the first half although they improved after the break.

celta 2-2 barcelona eric abidal 2013Now it’s on to Paris on Tuesday where we should field a much stronger team. Valdés, Mascherano, Busquets, Iniesta and Villa should all return to the starting eleven while there is optimism that Jordi Alba and Xavi will also make it in time. Hopefully, Tito Vilanova will also be well enough to make the trip which will be another big boost to the team. Today’s big news was that Eric Abidal made the match squad for the first time since his liver operation. He didn’t play, and we may not have won three points tonight, but Abidal’s recovery is reason for rejoicing. Just having him on the bench was Barça’s victory today.

Celta: (4-4-1-1) Javi Varas; Jony, Cabral, Demidov, Lago; Augusto Fernandez, Natxo Insa (Madinda m80), Oubiña, Pranjic (De Lucas m69); Orellana; Park Chu Young (Bermejo m60).

Barça: (4-3-3) Pinto 7.5; Alves 6, Bartrá 6, Piqué 6, Montoya 7; Thiago 5.5 (Iniesta m65, 6), Song 6.5, Fabregas 6 (Busquets m84, 5.5); Alexis 5.5 (Villa m68, 6), Messi 8, Tello 7.5.

Goals: m38 Insa 1-0, m43 Tello 1-1, m73 Messi 1-2, m88 Oubiña 2-2.

Yellow cards: m25 Fabregas, m32 Cabral, m41 Oubiña, m62 Lago, m64 Alexis, m87 Fernandez, m88 Busquets.

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11 Responses to Celta de Vigo 2 FC Barcelona 2

  1. Happy Easter !! Love for Messi !!

  2. Pingback: Celta de Vigo 2 FC Barcelona 2 | amidiabetic

  3. bc9jaCule says:

    Seriously Nic, I’ll even take Messi’s goal, a 2-3 loss and a Madrid win than a 5-0 win without a Messi goal and a Madrid loss. I mean, he was so close to achieving such a magnificent feat and not achieving it would have been so, so morale-dampening & hurting.

    Our victory last night was Tito’s(although he couldn’t travel with the team) and Abi’s return, coupled with Messi’s feat. I’m just so happy for Leo.

    Bring it on, PSG!

    Visca Barca!!!!!
    Forca Barca!!!!!

    • ay dot says:

      he was so
      close to achieving such a
      magnificent feat and not
      achieving it would have been
      so, so morale-dampening &
      hurting.

      Yes. Very very happy for him and Barca. It seems every records C. Ron and Madrid thinks he breaks or set, Messi and Barca always useless them.
      Forca Messi
      Forca Barca

  4. ewe_gb says:

    First, I didn’t see the whole game. But what is your opinion on Cesc and his performance in the second half of the season? I have always been a fan of him and like him but I get more and more the impression that Barca and Cesc just don’t fit. Should Barca sell him and cash in and look for an alternative in midfield? Actually, he just doesn’t seem to step up his game in times when he would be needed like yesterday.

    The same applies to Alexis: To sell or not to sell?

    I think Barca seriously needs to overhaul its team especially in the defensive.

    Center-backs are an absolute priority and Neymar could turn out to be Barca’s next Alexis, imho.

    If they sell Cesc whom would you consider to be good substitutes: From Barca B and from other teams. I think of Götze for example, or Isco, or Muniain or…..?

    • ay dot says:

      well said bro.
      I think to sell Cesc should never turn to be a bad decision at all. In fact, it will be better to cash on him and go for a better midfielder like wilshere, pastore or isco.
      Sorry, i may be too hard but the truth is that Barca really need someone to rely on when Xavi retires (soon i think)

    • FCBarcelonaRocks says:

      Trading Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez for Schweinsteiger and Muller would be absolutely Fantastic.

  5. layibiyi says:

    Welcome back Abidal

  6. barcacentralomer says:

    I agree that the highlight was Abi’s return and I look forward to seeing a fully fit and recovered Abi in the Barca starting XI soon.

    @Nic: I agree this was a makeshift Barca midfield but like some1 commented above, I am also beginning to have doubts about whether Cesc is going to fit in with this team. He looks nothing like the Gunners Cesc we all came to know and which perhaps resulted in all of us expecting him to gradually take over from Xavi and Iniesta. Thiago’s growth as a player seems to have stunted because he’s still very careless when it comes to giving the ball away in midfield and this puts the shaky Barca defence under even more pressure.

    Interesting to see both Barta and Montoya handed starts in the same match. Its difficult to judge Montoya based on his few appearances but I don’t think at present he’s good enough to push the regulars in their respective positions. Tbh I don’t think we need too much backup for our fullbacks anyway with Adriano able to deputise for both Alba and Alves. Montoya isn’t bad as a third choice. Bartra has made even fewer appearances but unfortunately he doesn’t look like he’s going to be our answer to Real’s Varane. Maybe with time he can learn from Pique and Puyol and prove people like me wrong. We all thought Coloccini was finished when in his 30s he left Depor for a much faster and more physical EPL and yet he’s had a good if not excellent time with Newcastle.

    • barcacentralomer says:

      Oops, got Coloccini’s age messed up. But its not the norm for South American defenders to head to the EPL and then actually succeed over there.

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