Suarez back in the goals
There’s no doubt Saturday’s result was a huge disappointment for Barcelona, but one bright spot was Luis Suarez finding the back of the net for the first time since returning from injury.
His first goal was put on a plate for him after a brilliant free-kick from Lionel Messi. While everyone was expecting the captain to shoot he simply plonked it on Suarez’s head instead.
The second goal was a lethal finish from the Uruguayan. Again Messi was the creator, finding Suarez in the box to instinctively turn and find the far corner.
Riqui stakes his claim
Riqui Puig’s name being on the starting XI was a welcome sight after his impressive performance in midweek and the youngster did not disappoint again.
Simply put, Barcelona look a far better team with Puig on the pitch at the moment. His passing was excellent and he always looked to go forward. Celta seemed to sense it too, given the couple of hefty challenges that came his way in the second half.
Riqui Puig with just two misplaced passes in that half. pic.twitter.com/RpiWCVtjuA— Robbie Dunne (@robbiejdunne) June 27, 2020
Indeed the youngster did enough to show he should keep his place in the team next time out against Atletico Madrid.
Quique Setien will have Sergio Busquets back for Wednesday’s clash but will he be brave enough to start Puig against Diego Simeone’s side?
La Liga title is slipping away
Barcelona’s draw means the team will fall two points behind Real Madrid if Los Blancos beat Espanyol on Sunday. That’s an Espanyol team that have lost 17 times already, conceding 50 goals in the process. They’ve also just fired Aberlardo and have appointed Francisco Rufete as their fourth head coach of 2019-20.
Setien admitted after the match Barcelona have “little room for error” if they are to retain their title but they still have some tough games to come, starting with the visit of an in-form Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
They also still have three away fixtures left to play, which is bad news considering they’ve only won two of their last eight games on the road and still have to go to Villarreal, Real Valladolid and Alaves.
What’s happened to Umtiti?
Barcelona’s defence continues to be part of the problem. Samuel Umtiti came into the backline on Saturday but put in a performance that impressed no-one.
The Frenchman got caught out for the opener and then showed no great desire to get back and try to salvage the situation either, ambling back as Celta equalised through Fyodor Smolov.
It wasn’t the only time Umtiti was caught out of position in a poor performance from the center-back who is looking a shadow of the player that used to be so dominant at the back for Barca.
Barca continue to struggle at Balaidos
Barcelona’s draw at Celta means they have now failed to win at Celta since all the way back in March 2015 when, believe it or not, Jeremy Mathieu was the match-winner.
Since then Barcelona have drawn twice and been beaten three times. They’ve also conceded 14 goals in those five games.
Of course it’s not just at Balaidos where Barca have been poor. The team have now taken just 23 points from 48 away from home which is simply not title-winning form.