Jan 4, 2018 at 6pm UK at ​Balaídos
Attendance: 21,338
Celta Vigo
Sisto (31')
Fontas (26')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Arnaiz (15')
Gomes (64')

Result: Barcelona leave Balaidos with a hard-fought draw

Result: Barcelona leave Balaidos with a draw
© SilverHub
Pione Sisto cancels out Jose Arnaiz's goal as Celta Vigo and Barcelona play out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 clash at Balaidos.

Barcelona have work to do in the second leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 clash, having played out a 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo at Balaidos this evening.

The Catalan giants, fielding a mixture of first-team regulars and fringe players, were pegged back through a Pione Sisto goal after young attacker Jose Arnaiz opened the scoring.

Despite failing to pick up victory on their first outing of 2018, Barca - who welcomed club record signing Ousmane Dembele back to action in the second half - remain strong favourites to progress through in next week's return fixture.

Winners of this competition three seasons running, the visitors had to stand firm at the back in the early stages as Iago Aspas had a shooting chance blocked by Nelson Semedo.

Maxi Gomez was the next Celta player to come close, seeing his attempt blocked wide by Gerard Pique, while up the other end Andre Gomes could not keep his header on target.

Barca took the lead soon after, though, as Arnaiz got on the end of Gomes's low cross at the back post to fire across goal and into the net.

Celta looked the better team either side of the goal and continued to probe away, and they were deservedly level 31 minutes in when Sisto gathered the ball from a tight angle and hammered it home after Jasper Cillessen had initially helped it onto the bar.

Daniel Wass and Paulinho both came close to adding to the scoring before the interval, with Barca arguably the happier to see it remain all square at the midway point.

A good save prevented Arnaiz from putting the La Liga pacesetters in front early in the second half, before then diverting Lucas Digne's low cross wide of the post.

Barcelona were beginning to create the better of the openings as Denis Suarez missed a glorious chance via a first-time shot and, two minutes later, Sergio Busquets curled one against the frame of the goal.

Some nice interplay in the final third allowed Emre Mor to get a shot away, ending right in the hands of Cillessen, and the same player then slotted wide from an even better position.

Ernesto Valverde brought on Dembele, out since the early stages of the campaign, for the final 18 minutes, with the Frenchman forcing a smart save from Sergio Alvarez almost instantly.

Shots from Ivan Rakitic and Jozabed Sanchez also missed the mark, but there was so nearly time for a winner as Sergi Roberto guided the ball against the post after being picked out by Semedo from the final chance of the match.

Celta Vigo (4-3-3): Alvarez; Mallo, Gomez, Fontas, Jonny (Roncaglia 82'); Wass (Mendez 68'), Lobotka, Sanchez; Aspas, Maxi Gonzalez, Sisto (Mor 67')

Barcelona (4-3-3): Cillessen; Semedo, Pique, Vermaelen, Digne; Paulinho (Rakitic 71'), Busquets, Gomes; Vidal (Roberto 72'), Arnaiz (Dembele 72'), D.Suarez

Ernesto Valverde pictured in 2016
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