Match Reviews

FC Barcelona 6-1 Celta de Vigo, 2015/16 La Liga: Match Review

In Luis Enrique’s glittering Barça career, Celta Vigo have become one of his bogey teams. In fact, in two of the last three meetings since Enrique took over he has tasted defeat at the hands of the Sky Blues.

Barcelona Celta Vigo
Possession 64% 36%
Total Shots 19 10
Shots on Target 11 4
Corners 1 1
Fouls 10 16
Offsides 2 0
Yellow Cards 0 4
Red Cards 0 0

So with both Atlético and Real Madrid winning this weekend, it was important for Enrique and his Barça team to set the record straight. The game started on an even footing, both sides were seeing the ball and creating chances but without a final product. John Guidetti dragged a shot wide while Lionel Messi fired a free kick over at the other end.

Neymar too had a chance in the 15th minute. After initially losing the ball, Andrés Iniesta did well to regain possession and a short dribble later he had played Neymar in on goal. The Brazilian attempted the chip over Sergio Álvarez but it was palmed away.

The opening twenty minutes expired with Barcelona coming close but lacking quality with the final ball. Their passing was also less accurate than usual which was allowing Celta to have chances themselves. Bombarding up the pitch, full back Carles Planas found himself in Barça’s box. After a strong challenge he was tumbling towards the floor but his swiped shot did require a good save from Claudio Bravo.

Three minutes later though and it was 1-0 to the home side. Barça won a free kick to the right of the pitch and the left foot of Messi stepped up to take it. In a fashion that we are so used to seeing, the Argentine curled the ball up and over the wall before it dipped just as it reached the goal line. Álvarez dived but he couldn’t get close to the ball that was planted in the top corner.

Celta did not collapse though and almost scored a contender for goal of the season. Guidetti was again involved as he fired a cross field ball into the path of Claudio Beauvue. The Frenchman hit the ball on the volley and Bravo was forced to palm it away.

However, Celta’s pressure did eventually come to fruition as they were awarded a penalty in the 38th minute. It was poor defending from Jordi Alba as he allowed Guidetti to get to the ball before him and then clumsily swiped his standing leg away. The referee rightly pointed towards the spot and Guidetti was the man to take it. He blasted the ball hard and low to the left and while Bravo got a hand to it, he could only palm it into the net.

The half time whistle blew shortly after and the scoreline was a fair one as Barça had not done enough to be ahead.

After the break, Barcelona came racing out of the blocks. Within two minutes, Luis Suárez had hit the post. Collecting the ball from Neymar’s great run, Suárez had little time and could only deflect the ball onto the woodwork.

Ten minutes later though and Suárez had got on the scoresheet. The Uruguayan found Messi before peeling in behind the defence. Messi dinked the ball over the defence and Suárez side footed the ball on the half volley into the net. It was a glorious goal to give Barça the lead.

Celta though were still not keen to call it a day. The next three big chances all fell to them and they were somewhat wasteful with them. Failing to convert when you’re on top is always a danger but even more so when you’re away to Barcelona.

In the 75th minute, Messi was gunning towards the box. He slid the ball into the path of Neymar who had very little time before the keeper was on him but he managed to shimmy the ball around. Neymar was getting close to the byline and tried to slide the ball into the net. He managed to do so but Suárez nipped in to tap the ball in. Replays showed that Neymar’s effort wasn’t going in and Suárez was wise to take the tap in. There was a smile on all three of the players involved as they increased the lead to two goals.

Another five minutes later and this time it was Barça’s turn for a penalty. Messi cut in from the right wing before having his legs clipped by Jonny and the Argentine took the ball to the spot. When you have confidence like this Barça team does, then you can try anything. Messi passed the ball to his right and Suárez latched onto the disguised-pass to seal his hat-trick. It was audacious, absurd but simply brilliant.

Five minutes later again, it was 5-1. Suárez turned provider this time as he fed the ball to substitute Ivan Rakitić. The Croatian floated the ball over the keeper to make it 5-1.

Yet again, five minutes later and another goal. Messi to Suárez to Neymar to the back of the net. 6-1 and it seems bizarre to think it was deservedly level at the break. Polar opposite halves as Barça turned it on in the second to make it 6-1 and put Enrique’s Celta curse firmly behind him.

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