Barcelona’s 23-game, six-month long unbeaten streak in La Liga is over thanks to a 2-0 loss to Celta Vigo at the Balaídos on Saturday. The Barça reserves and youngsters played well at times, but lacked creativity in the final third and weren’t solid enough at the back. The loss and the end of the streak hurts, but it really doesn’t matter with the league won.
Things didn’t start great for Barça, who lost Ousmane Dembélé to a hamstring injury just five minutes into the game, but it turned out to be a golden opportunity for Álex Collado to make his first team debut. Unfortunately for the young man he wasn’t involved in much action as Barça looked really good building from the back and in midfield, but every attacking move died in the final third. Kevin-Prince Boateng was responsible for most of the bad things in the Barça attack, and the Blaugrana couldn’t create any chances mostly because of him.
Celta focused most of their offense on Thomas Vermaelen and Collado on the left side of the Barça backline, and they had some joy with crosses and corners from that side, but nothing was too dangerous and Jasper Cillessen didn’t have to make a truly difficult save.
No one had a real chance to score for either team, and at halftime Barça were looking good but needed more quality in the final third.
The second half started with a corner for Celta and a goal for Néstor Araújo, but the defender was just offside and his goal was disallowed by VAR. The home team had a goal denied but continued to attack, while Barça still had trouble creating in the final third. Celta really deserved to score, and they did thanks to an amazing cross by Boudebouz and a great finish from Maxi Gómez.
Barça didn’t have many options on the bench to change the game, and Ernesto Valverde ran out of options when Jean-Clair Todibo suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Jeison Murillo. None of the attacking players could be changed, and the Blaugrana did not look like finding an equalizer.
Instead they conceded a penalty after a handball by Moussa Wagué was given after a video review, and Iago Aspas buried the spot kick to confirm Celta’s victory. The final whistle came, and Barça’s six-month long unbeaten streak in the league is over. It doesn’t matter, though.
Barcelona: Cillessen; Wagué, Todibo (Murillo), Umtiti, Vermaelen; Puig, Arthur (Vidal), Aleñá; Dembélé (Collado), Boateng, Malcom
Celta: Blanco; Mallo, Araújo, Cabral, Olaza; Boudebouz (Jozabed), Lobotka, Yokuslu, Boufal (Méndez); Maxi, Aspas
Goals: Maxi (67’), Aspas (88’)