With Xavi watching on, Barcelona hit three in a scintillating first-half display at Estadio Abanca-Balaídos. Just minutes after Iago Aspas missed a glorious chance for Celta Vigo, Ansu Fati opened the scoring for Barcelona. The talented attacker cut inside and saw his deflected effort find the net. Sergio Busquets then curled an effort in from the edge of the box for his first club goal in nearly two years and Barcelona’s second of the afternoon. It looked destined to be a rout when Memphis Depay scored the visitors’ third goal shortly after the 30-minute mark. The Dutchman headed in from close range to finish a flowing passing move that cut the defence of ‘Los Celestes’ wide open. In fact, it would have been a perfect first-half for the visitors had Fati not left the field shortly before the break clutching his hamstring.
Whilst Barcelona were devastating in attack, their defensive vulnerabilities were exposed in the second half in which the hosts hit three. Celta Vigo, who had lost six of their last seven home league games, saw Aspas pull one back for the hosts 52 minutes in as he poked home the rebound following a fumbled save. Despite Nolito’s first effort being ruled out for handball, the forward scored the hosts’ second in the 74th minute as he once more finished well from a difficult angle. A lively second half and remarkable comeback from Celta Vigo was completed in the 96th minute, when Aspas hit an equaliser to leave Barcelona stunned and remarkably, still searching for their first league win away from Camp Nou this term.
Celta Vigo remain close to the relegation zone, but this will be a massive boost for ‘Los Celestes’. Meanwhile, the visitors’ capitulation outlines how much work Xavi needs to do ahead of his maiden game, against Espanyol, after Barcelona’s worst start to a LL season since 2002-03.