Barcelona are still perfect in the La Liga season thanks to an impressive 3-0 win away to Celta Vigo, despite playing the second half with 10 men after Clément Lenglet’s red card. The Blaugrana were the better team for 90 minutes, never stopped attacking and looked like a dominant team on the road. That is seriously impressive.
Barça made a strong start to the game, pressing high up the pitch and sending plenty of bodies forward to deal with a parked bus from Celta, who looked to defend deep and hit Barça on the counter. The Blaugrana found a goal early thanks to a nice passing sequence around the box and a beautiful finish by Ansu Fati, and they looked set to stamp their authority on the game.
For the most part the visitors did that, dominating possession and looking to invite Celta into pressuring them higher up to try and find spaces in behind. There weren’t any real chances, but Barça were in control and did a good job stopping the home team for creating danger on the counter.
Then a game-changer happened: Clément Lenglet was shown a second yellow card for hitting Denis Suárez with his elbow, and we looked set for a nervous second half as Barça reached halftime up one goal but down to 10 men.
Barça did not decide to just give Celta the ball and defend the lead. The first 25 minutes of the second half were amazing to watch, even better than the first half performance. They scored early with a great run by Lionel Messi and an own goal from Olaza, and Barça continued to attack and look for a third. Messi had a goal disallowed, Coutinho forced a big save out of Villar, and the Blaugrana didn’t allow Celta any chances.
But as time went on Barça started to run out of energy with a man down, and the home team started to control possession and press a lot. Baeza almost scored but hit the bar, and in the final 15 minutes the Blaugrana were finally forced to retreat and try to defend their goal.
They did that pretty well, and even managed to score a third thanks to another genius run by Messi and a goal from Sergi Roberto. The final whiste eventually came to end an impressive performance away from home, especially with 10 men. I’m not getting excited about this team. Yet. But this Ronald Koeman thing might be alright…
Barcelona: Neto; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong; Griezmann (Araujo 45’+1), Coutinho (Pedri 71’), Ansu Fati (Trincão 71’); Messi
Goals: Ansu Fati (11’), Olaza (OG 51’), Roberto (90’+5)
Red Card: Lenglet (42’)
Celta Vigo: Villar; Mallo, Aidoo (Baeza 46’), Murillo, Fontán (Araújo 32’), Olaza; Veiga (Nolito 60’), Tapia (Beltrán 75’), Denis; Emre Mor (Santi Mina 60’), Aspas