MX23RW : Tuesday, October 23 03:53:33
Oct 2, 2016 at 7.45pm UK at ​Balaídos
Celta Vigo
Sisto (22'), Aspas (31'), Mathieu (33' og.), Hernandez (77')
Mallo (63')
FT(HT: 3-0)
Pique (58', 87'), Neymar (64' pen.)
Busquets (45'), Pique (74'), Suarez (88')

Live Commentary: Celta Vigo 4-3 Barcelona - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Celta Vigo and Barcelona at the Balaidos, which ended in a 4-3 home win.

Barcelona travelled to Celta Vigo on Sunday night knowing that a win would see them enter the international break top of La Liga ahead of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

An incredible first 45 minutes saw Celta score three unanswered goals, with Pione Sisto opening the scoring, before Iago Aspas and a Jeremy Mathieu own goal made it 3-0 to the home side with 33 minutes on the clock.

Barcelona hit back in the second half, however, as a header from Gerard Pique and Neymar penalty cut the score to 3-2 with still more than 25 minutes of football remaining at the Balaidos.

Celta scored a fourth in the 77th minute through Pablo Hernandez and that proved enough to secure all the points despite Pique netting his second for the visitors late on.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

6.46pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from Vigo as Celta Vigo welcome the champions Barcelona. Celta made a poor start to the new campaign, but are now unbeaten in their last three matches and will welcome a Barcelona side that have already lost in the league this season. It should be an open and entertaining match-up at the Balaidos, where the atmosphere is already building!

6.49pmCelta have actually only won one of their last seven home league games against Barcelona – losing four times in the process. However, that success (4-1) arrived in the corresponding league match last season. It is a fixture that has belonged to Barcelona, who put six goals past Celta at Camp Nou last season. The Catalan side's last success in this stadium came in April 2015, when Jeremy Mathieu scored the only goal of the match in a 1-0 win. Victory tonight would see them return to the summit.

6.52pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news. Both of these teams were in European action during the week – Celta facing Panathinaikos in the Europa League and Barcelona visiting Borussia Monchengladbach. So, how many changes? Let's see...


CELTA: Sergio; Mallo, Cabral, Gomez, Roncaglia; Radoja, Wass, Pablo; Sisto, Aspas, Bongonda

BARCA: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Mathieu, Alba; Gomes, Busquets, Rafinha; Neymar, Suarez, Turan

6.58pmCelta boss Eduardo Berizzo has rung the changes from the Europa League clash with Panathinaikos on Thursday night, with Iago Aspas, Pione Sisto, Daniel Wass and Theo Bongonda among those returning to the XI. There is also a start for summer signing Facundo Rancaglia in defence.

7.02pmBarcelona head coach Luis Enrique, meanwhile, has made four changes to the XI that started in Germany on Wednesday night. Jeremy Mathieu has replaced Javier Mascherano at centre-back, while Andre Gomes and Rafinha have replaced Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta in midfield. There is also an alteration in the final third as Arda Turan is given the nod over Paco Alcacer in Lionel Messi's absence.

Barcelona's new player Turkish Arda Turan waves as he poses outside the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, prior to signing his new contract with the Catalan club, on July 9, 2015© Getty Images

7.05pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this warm evening in Vigo. I shall speak about the home side a little bit later, but let's start with Barcelona, who are already playing catch-up in La Liga this season. However, a win tonight would take them above Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Sevilla to the top of the table on 16 points.

7.08pmBarcelona opened their La Liga title defence with a 6-2 win over Real Betis on the opening weekend of the season, before recording a 1-0 victory at Athletic Bilbao before the international break. Then came the shock of the campaign so far as newly-promoted Alaves managed to secure a 2-1 victory at Camp Nou, which left Barcelona playing catch-up to the early leaders Real Madrid in the table.

7.12pmThe Catalan giants responded with a 7-0 win over Celtic in the Champions League, however, before hitting five goals past Leganes in the league to put another three points in the board. They were held to a 1-1 draw by Atletico Madrid on September 21, however, and that result came with a price as they lost Lionel Messi to a groin problem, which continues to keep the Argentine on the sidelines.

Lionel Messi reacts to Nando's goal during the Champions League quarter-final between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid on April 5, 2016© AFP

7.15pmEnrique's side have won both of their matches in Messi's absence, however, recording a 5-0 win at Sporting Gijon in the league last weekend before beating Gladbach 2-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The Alaves result was obviously a low point, but overall, it has been a solid start to the new campaign for the Spanish champions and they have the chance to go top tonight.

7.18pmIn terms of what is to come over the next few weeks, Barcelona will host Deportivo La Coruna after the international break on October 15, before welcoming Manchester City to Camp Nou in their third Champions League group match on October 19. There is just no downplaying the importance of that match and it will certainly be an emotional return for a certain Pep Guardiola.

7.22pmBarcelona will then return to La Liga action away to Valencia on October 10, before the month ends with a home game against Granada. The first league Clasico of the season will take place at Camp Nou on December 4, but Barcelona also have a tough November as they travel to Man City in the Champions League, in addition to visiting Sevilla and Real Sociedad in Spain's top flight.

Luis Suarez celebrates scoring during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Espanyol on May 8, 2016© AFP

7.25pmAs for Celta, it has been a difficult start to the season for a club that finished sixth during an impressive 2015-16 campaign. They opened with a 1-0 home defeat to newly-promoted Leganes, before suffering back-to-back defeats against Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid to leave them pointless at the bottom. Indeed, the pressure was already starting to build on head coach Berizzo.

7.28pmCelta then opened their Europa League group campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Standard Liege, before securing their first point of the new La Liga season away to Osasuna on September 18. Since that match, things have started to turn for Celta, who have beaten Sporting Gijon and Espanyol in their last two league matches to rise away from the bottom three and into mid-table.

7.32pmLike Barcelona, Celta will also enter this match off the back of a European fixture during the week. Indeed, Berizzo's side made it three straight wins in all competitions with a 2-0 success over Greek side Panathinaikos, which has left them well placed in their group. Unlike Barcelona though, Celta do not quite have the squad to be able to replace internationals with internationals!


7.38pmIt was a tough summer window for Celta, who only lost five players, but the departure of Nolito would have been very difficult to take. The Spaniard had been so integral to their success over the last couple of seasons, but it was not too much of a surprise when he moved on to Man City. A cool £5m was spent, however, to bring in the very talented Danish attacker Pione Sisto from Midtjylland.


CELTA: Sergio; Mallo, Cabral, Gomez, Roncaglia; Radoja, Wass, Pablo; Siso, Aspas, Bongonda

BARCA: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Mathieu, Alba; Gomes, Busquets, Rafinha; Neymar, Suarez, Turan

0 minKICKOFF! Celta kick things off on home soil...

1 min... very early free kick for Barcelona just outside the box as Cabral pulls Neymar to the ground.

2 minNeymar's free kick hits the top of the wall and bounces behind for a corner kick.

4 minIt must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium tonight. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be vital. As expected, Barcelona are the team doing most of the pressing in the early exchanges. The pitch looks absolutely beautiful.

6 minSuarez scored a hat-trick against Celta at Camp Nou last season, but the Uruguay international has never scored in this particular stadium. It has been a pretty standard opening six minutes, with Barcelona enjoying the ball but Celta threatening on the counter. This should be a really good game.

7 minMathieu has a go from distance, but his effort was always flying into the stands.

9 minThe pressure continues from Barcelona as Neymar delivers a dangerous corner from the left, but Cabral is on hand to make the clearance. No clear chances inside the opening nine minutes, but the visitors are looking to stamp their authority on the match. Celta are yet to really settle on home soil.

11 minNeymar looks to slide a pass into Suarez after super work from Rafinha in a wide position, but Gomez just about does enough to make the clearance. The pressure continues down the right as Suarez delivers a low cross, only for Gomez to make the clearance once again. Good football there.

12 minSHOT! Suarez stings the palms of Alvarez after linking with Turan.

14 minHalf-chance for Pablo Hernandez as the Celta midfielder meets a deep corner, but his effort was always dropping wide of the post. Still goalless with 14 minutes on the clock at the Balaidos.

16 minMuch better from Celta in the last couple of minutes as Hernandez works the ball into Wass and the midfielder releases, but Mathieu is on hand to make the block. Barcelona break down the other end and Suarez's cross is deflected before Alvarez does his superman impression to punch clear!

19 minEvery week, Neymar seems to receive rough treatment and tonight is no different. The Brazilian has already been taken out on two or three occasions, but in fairness, he always bounces back up. The former Santos forward delivers Barcelona's latest free kick into the Celta box, but Suarez is penalised.

21 minHalf-chance for the home side as Bongonda delivers a dangerous cross into the Barcelona box and Ter Stegen does not look too comfortable when he punches clear! Good period for Celta here.

22 minGOAL! Celta 1-0 Barcelona (Sisto)

23 minCelta make the breakthrough in the 22nd minute and it is a wonderful finish from Sisto, who settles himself inside the Barcelona box before sliding the ball into the far corner. It is wonderful from the Danish attacker, who has become a real crowd favourite since arriving in the summer window!

25 minSAVE! Ter Stegen has to palm a long-range Aspas strike behind!

27 minWell, Barcelona have a real job on their hands tonight. Just a reminder that a win would take them top of the table, but Celta are seriously up for this game as they continue to put the pressure on.

29 minLittle over 15 minutes of the first period remaining in Vigo and Barcelona are struggling to get going in the final third of the field. Celta are winning the battle all over the pitch at the moment, which is really unsettling the Spanish champions. The next goal here - if there indeed is one - is massive.

31 minGOAL! Celta 2-0 Barcelona (Aspas)

32 minOh my word! Barcelona trail 2-0 in Vigo as Aspas finds the bottom corner with a brilliant effort following a quick counter-attack. Pique simply dropped off Aspas and the forward shifted a couple of times before finding the back of the net. This place has absolutely erupted with that goal!

33 minGOAL! Celta 3-0 Barcelona (Mathieu OG)

34 minOH MY WORD! It is 3-0 Celta! Shell-shocked looks on the Barcelona bench! The hosts have their third as Mathieu turns a low Wass cross into his own net under pressure from Aspas.

36 minGood grief. I cannot believe what has happened in this match. Is it over? Well, you can never write Barcelona off. But they are three goals behind against a team that are absolutely full of it!

39 minIt is almost as if the home supporters cannot believe what they have seen in the last 20 minutes. Barcelona actually started really well and might have taken the lead, but Celta are so full of confidence as we approach the break. Iniesta and Rakitic have already been sent to warm-up here.

41 minHalf-chance for Barcelona this time as Suarez drives into the Celta box before attempting to lift his effort past Sergio, but the narrowing angle was always against the Uruguay international.

43 minRoncaglia is very fortunate to escape a booking for pulling Neymar to the ground in a wide position. The resulting free kick is delivered by Neymar, but it floats over everyone and out for a goal kick.

45 minPossession football from Barcelona, but they are not really going anywhere at the moment.

45 minBOOKING! Busquets (Barcelona) is booked for a late challenge on Aspas.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Celta 3-0 Barcelona

8.32pmJust incredible. The referee brings the first period to a close with Celta leading 3-0 against Barcelona. Sisto opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a tidy finish, before two goals in the space of two minutes from Aspas and a Jeremy Mathieu OG saw Barcelona fall three behind! The champions would have gone top with a win tonight, but surely even they cannot turn this around.

8.37pmSTATISTICS! Barcelona have dominated the possession with 64%, but they only hit the target with one of their five first-half attempts. Celta, meanwhile, hit the target with five of their eight attempts and three of those found the back of the net. Just the one booking to report - Busquets in the 45th minute.

8.42pmBENCH WATCH! Barcelona boss Luis Enrique will more than likely look to his bench at the interval and the Spaniard might be without Messi, but Iniesta, Rakitic, Denis Suarez and Paco Alcacer are all available. As for Celta, they have the likes of Diaz, Guidetti, Rossi and Jonny in reserve.


46 minRESTART! Barcelona resume the action in Vigo...

46 min... BARCELONA SUB! Andres Iniesta replaces Rafinha for the away side.

48 minBongonda shows his incredible speed to race through the Barcelona defence and Busquets has to come across and concede the corner. Another goal for Celta would surely put this game to bed.

49 minBarcelona have a free kick in a dangerous position as Radoja brings Neymar to the deck...

50 min... Suarez strikes straight into the wall. Sums up Barcelona's night.

52 minSAVE! He does not know too much about it, but Ter Stegen makes a save for Barcelona as a strike from Aspas hits the German international. Barcelona are just not in this match.

54 minIf Barcelona are to have any hope of taking something from this match, they surely need to score in the next five or so minutes. At 3-1, suddenly things might become uncomfortable for Celta.

56 minJust a few signs that Barcelona are getting to grips with the ball in the second period as they continue to pass and probe in the final third. However, the visitors are three goals behind and unless they start putting together moves inside the Celta box, the scoreline is not going to change.

58 minGOAL! Celta 3-1 Barcelona (Pique)

59 minNow then! Barcelona are on the scoresheet here as Pique heads a super Iniesta cross into the back of the net for 3-1. They couldn't. Could they? Still more than 30 minutes to play in this match.

61 minCelta need to be very, very careful here as they continue to drop deeper and deeper. It would not be a surprise to see Berizzo look to make a change in the next five minutes or so here.

62 minCELTA SUB! Diaz replaces Bongonda for the home side.


63 minBOOKING! Mallo (Celta) is booked for bringing Gomes down inside the box!

64 minGOAL! Celta 3-2 Barcelona (Neymar)

65 minNeymar goes bottom corner from the spot for 3-2!

67 minLittle over 20 minutes of football remaining in Vigo and things are now very, very nervy for Celta, who have seen their lead almost fall away in this second period. Big credit has to go to Barcelona.

69 minPass, pass, pass from Barcelona as they continue to move the ball in the final third of the field. Celta were so full of confidence at the start of the second period, but the intensity is just not there at the moment. Might well be time for head coach Berizzo to look to his bench once again!

72 minNot too much to report in terms of clear chances in the last few minutes, but Barcelona are still utterly dominating this match as they continue to pass and probe in forward positions here.

74 minBerizzo is urging his team to push forward, which has been very difficult in the last 15 minutes or so. Celta would have had the game won at 4-0 and pushed for a fourth early in the half, but things have turned and Barcelona still have a solid 15 minutes or so to turn this game around here.

74 minBOOKING! Pique (Barcelona) is booked for a late challenge on Aspas.

76 minBARCELONA SUB! Denis Suarez replaces Busquets for the away side.

77 minGOAL! Celta 4-2 Barcelona (Hernandez)

78 minOh my word! Nightmare for Ter Stegen as the Barcelona goalkeeper takes too long on the ball and can only smash it straight at Pablo Hernandez and it bounces into the back of the net!

81 minCHANCE! Aspas uses his pace to drive away from Mathieu before going through one-on-one with Ter Stegen, but the striker's shot does not have enough power to beat the stopper!

82 minBARCELONA SUB! Alcacer replaces Alba for the away side.

84 minCELTA SUB! Jonny replaces Wass for the home side.

86 minSurely it is now too late for Barcelona, who are set to remain in fourth position in the table. They are starting at a record of four wins, one draw and two defeats from their seven games this season.

87 minGOAL! Celta 4-3 Barcelona (Pique)

88 minBarcelona score a third as Pique heads a brilliant Denis Suarez cross into the back of the net!

88 minBOOKING! Suarez (Barcelona) is booked for dissent.

89 minCELTA SUB! Guidetti replaces Aspas for the home side.

90 minCHANCE! Neymar heads a Turan cross just wide of the far post!


90 min+2That is a minimum of five minutes as well. Still plenty of time for Barcelona to level here!

90 min+3CHANCE! Pique heads just wide! Oh my word!

90 min+4Ter Stegen drops down to keep out a strike from Pablo Hernandez.

90 min+5Turan fells Mallo and Celta will take their time with their latest free kick.

90 min+6Barcelona continue to look long, but time is running out for the champions.

90 min+6FULL-TIME: Celta 4-3 Barcelona

9.38pmAnd breathe! What a match! Celta hold on to record a 4-3 win over Barcelona, who have missed the chance to rise to the top of the table! The Catalan giants remain fourth, while Celta have jumped into 10th position ahead of the international break. That is just about it from me. Until next time!

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A general view of the stadium prior to kickoff during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City at Camp Nou on March 12, 2014
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