VIGO, Spain – Celta is close to a staying another season in La Liga after downing an unrecognizable Barcelona 2-0, which took the field at Balaidos Municipal Stadium with none of its usual first-string players, an insipid game with little rhythm that was just a process the Catalan squad had to get through before playing next Tuesday at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool.
Valverde revolutionized his team. Looking forward to the second part of the Champions League semifinal, he did not place on the field any of the players that had defeated Liverpool. All was unprecedented for the La Liga champion, from defense to attack. This never-before-seen squad was damaged even more when a muscle injury struck Dembele just a few seconds into the match. He was immediately substituted by Collado.
After an uninspiring first half, Celta began improving its image in the second.
The team apparently scored a goal practically as soon as it got back on the field after the break, but it was not allowed since Araujo was deemed out of play.
Celta got better as Barcelona got less inspiring.
Soon afterwards, the decisive figure of Maxi Gomez changed everything. First he alerted Barça goalkeeper Cillesen with a not very powerful header, then three minutes later he scored the winning goal with a fabulous finishing shot of a center by Boudebouz to make it 1-0 at minute 67.
Then at minute 88 Iago Aspas scored with a penalty kick to seal the Celta win 2-0.