Celta Vigo 4-3 Barcelona: Catalan giants undone in seven-goal thriller
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 02/10/16 10:13pm
Barcelona missed the chance to go top of La Liga as they fell to a 4-3 defeat in a classic encounter at Celta Vigo.
Celta beat Barcelona 4-1 at home last season, and it looked like a shock was going to be on the cards again as they charged into a three-goal first-half lead with strikes from Pione Sisto and Iago Aspas before a Jeremy Mathieu own goal.
Barcelona clawed their way back into the game in the second half via Gerard Pique and a Neymar penalty, but goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen's late error allowed Pablo Hernandez to score Celta's fourth.
Pique then netted another three minutes from time but it was too little too late for Barcelona, who stay fourth in La Liga, two points off the Madrid pair at the top of the table.
Luis Enrique made four changes from the side that beat Borussia Monchengladbach in midweek, and Barcelona lacked fluidity in the early stages without the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta and Javier Mascherano.
Celta started slowly themselves, but eventually took a deserved lead after 22 minutes thanks to an error by Ter Stegen, whose loose pass to Sergio Busquets was pounced upon by the home side before Aspas released Sisto into the box to tuck it away.
Barcelona looked rattled and in the 31st minute it was two thanks to Aspas, who slotted the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the area after Pique had backed off and allowed him to shoot following a quick Celta counter-attack.
And just two minutes later it was 3-0. Again Barcelona lost the ball inside their own half and Daniel Wass delivered a fine ball into the box, which Mathieu managed to put past his own goalkeeper on the slide.
Luis Enrique made a change at the break in an attempt to get back into the game as he threw on Iniesta, making his 600th Barcelona appearance, and the substitution paid dividends as the Spaniard crossed for Pique to head home after 58 minutes.
And six minutes later the away side were right back in the game as Andre Gomes was fouled in the box and Neymar stepped up to slot home from the penalty spot and make it 3-2.
Barcelona were in the ascendancy but another nightmare error from Ter Stegen in the 77th minute allowed Celta to move into an unassailable position.
Attempting to ping a short pass out to a team-mate, the German stopper instead planted the ball straight onto the head of Hernandez, who was closing him down at speed, and it ricocheted off his forehead and straight into the back of the net.
Barcelona came forward again and pulled a goal back again through the head of Pique after 87 minutes, but late spurned chances from the Spanish defender and Neymar meant that Celta claimed all three points.