Barcelona have struggled to impress so far this season but scored a brilliant team goal against Celta Vigo on Saturday at the Camp Nou just hours after Xavi had been announced as the team’s new manager.
The visitors were already 2-0 up, thanks to goals from Ansu Fati and Sergio Busquets, when Memphis Depay headed in after a flowing move involving left-back Jordi Alba and teenage midfielder Nico Gonzalez, as shown by ESPN.
The goal and the team’s clinical first-half performance had fans wondering if Xavi was already having an influence on the team before even starting his new job at the Camp Nou.
Interim coach Sergi Barjuan took charge of Barcelona for the last time against Celta Vigo and kept faith with the same starting XI that beat Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday in the Champions League.
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Fati & Busquets Also On Target
Fati took just five minutes to open the scoring with a brilliant effort from out wide on the left to net his fourth goal of the season, as shown by ESPN.
The striker’s goal was his third from just 11 shots on target in Spain’s top flight this season, as highlighted by Opta.
Barcelona’s second goal came from a far more unlikely source. Captain Sergio Busquets doubled the visitors’ lead with a very rare strike on 34 minutes.
Concern For Barcelona as Fati Forced Off
Yet it was not all good news for Barcelona as Fati was forced off with a hamstring injury before half-time. The striker has returned from 10 months out with a serious knee injury this season but appeared to suffer a muscle problem as he sprinted after the ball, as shown by ESPN.
Barjuan brought on Alejandro Balde to replace Fati and was also forced to replace Eric Garcia with Ronald Araujo at the break. The center-back had also picked up a knock, as reported by ESPN’s Samuel Marsden.
Teenage midfield Nico Gonzalez became the third Barca player to go off in the second half. The 19-year-old asked to be substituted and was replaced by Riqui Puig on the hour mark.
The three players add to Barcelona’s continuing injury problems. The Catalans were already without Gerard Pique, Ousmane Dembele, Pedri, Sergi Roberto, and Martin Braithwaite for Saturday’s fixture.
Garcia and Fati are also likely to have to drop out of the Spain squad after being called up by coach Luis Enrique for November’s World Cup qualifiers against Greece and Sweden.
Barcelona Throw Away Three Points
The injuries also had a big impact on the game as Barcelona threw away their 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 in an action-packed encounter at Balaidos. Iago Aspas offered the hosts hope of a comeback when he pulled one back six minutes after half-time.
Nolito made it 3-2 on 72 minutes to set up a nervy finish. Barca’s Frenkie de Jong almost put the game out of reach with a strong run and shot but saw his effort hit the crossbar and fly to safety.
Aspas then broke Barca hearts by netting an equalizer deep into stoppage time. The striker’s goal means the Catalans drop points once again and head into the international break on a run of four games without a win in La Liga.