Celta Vigo breathed life into LaLiga’s title race becoming the first team this season to take points off Barcelona at the Nou Camp in a thrilling 2-2 draw on Saturday.
Iago Aspas gave Celta an early lead, but an inspired display from Lionel Messi appeared to have earned Barca another three points as he immediately equalised and then helped tee up Luis Suarez to put the hosts 2-1 in front.
However, the excellent Aspas set up Maxi Gomez 20 minutes from time as Barca centre-back Samuel Umtiti suffered what could be a costly injury.
“We are Barcelona and we want to win every game, but it isn’t always possible,” Barca boss Ernesto Valverde told BeIN Sports Spain.
“Today we’ve drawn when we had more chances to win, but the league depends on a long season, not just one game.”
Celta have been a bogey side for Barca in recent years, beating the Catalans once in each of the past three seasons.
And a positive start from the Galicians on Celta boss Juan Carlos Unzue’s return to the Camp Nou, where he spent three years as Luis Enrique’s assistant, was rewarded 20 minutes in.
Aspas sprung Barca’s offside trap and crossed for the unmarked Gomez who was denied by an incredible save by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
However, the rebound fell for Aspas to slot home his ninth goal of the season.
“Barca had more chances but I think with the ones we had we put Ter Stegen to the test,” said Unzue.
“It is a good result for us and I think it is a deserved one.”
Celta’s lead lasted two minutes, though, as Messi latched onto Paulinho’s pass to fire low under Ruben Blanco for his first goal since late October.
Messi then took control of the game as Barca pressed to go ahead before halftime.
A sensational pass from the Argentine was smashed home by Suarez, only for the Uruguayan to be wrongly flagged offside.
Paulinho then had a huge chance at the start of the second period when he rounded Blanco only to fire into the side-netting.
It seemed a matter of time before Celta’s resistence was broken and Barca’s second duly arrived just after the hour when great work by Messi and Jordi Alba teed up Suarez for his first goal at the Camp Nou in nearly three months.
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