Barcelona blow three-goal lead against Celta

Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets (right) vies with Celta Vigo’s Hugo Mallo (center) during their La Liga match at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on Nov. 6, 2021. The game ended 3-3. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)

The hits keep on coming for Barcelona as the Catalan side went from the highs of the opening 45 minutes to the lowest of lows in the 95th minute against Celta Vigo.

Up 3-0, the Catalans blew the lead in the final second of the match to draw 3-3 and drop another two points.

However, the worst part came before the end of the first half as Ansu Fati pulled up and appeared to suffer a hamstring injury.

Barcelona tumble down La Liga table with no end in sight.

During the first half, when AnsuFati was on the pitch, Barcelona was able to put together perhaps the best half-hour of the season.

Fati opened the scoring early with a curler from the left inside the box. Sergio Busquets followed that up with a rare shot from outside the box that bounced into the net.

Barcelona felt they might have had the game wrapped up when Memphis Depay headed in a cross from Jordi Alba to put his team up by three.

But minutes before the half drew to a close, Fati made a run through the middle only to pull up lame. He fell to the floor and immediately knew something was wrong.

The psychological blow of losing their best player was certainly felt by the club who came out the second half looking a completely different team and letting Celta walk over them. It wasn’t long before the home team got one back thanks in part to an error by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The script remained the same with Celta peppering dangerous crosses and linking up play to create opportunities. They had a goal taken away due to a handball and a penalty shout turned away. Replay suggested it should have been a penalty.

A Busquets giveaway in his area led to Celta’s second as Nolito headed in a cross.

Barcelona tried to control the game by having more possession while trying to catch the hosts on a break. They had a few occasions but the final pass simply wasn’t there. The best chance came on a Frenkie de Jong run but his shot hit the crossbar.

Five minutes of stoppage time was added and in the 96th, Iago Apsas scored his second of the game, much to the delight of the home fans, to complete the comeback. Some of the Barcelona players fell to the floor, knowing they had just blown another golden opportunity to collect all three points.

In his postgame interview, the Dutch midfielder said the draw was a big blow to the team considering how well they played in the first half.

In addition to losing Fati, Barcelona were also forced to make changes due to injuries to both Eric Garcia and Nico Gonzalez. Still, that’s not an excuse to the way the team played in the second half.

There was no structure, system or anything to try to counter the Celta press. Trying to absorb so much pressure can only work so far and the Barcelona defense is mediocre to begin with.

It was a tale of two halves, going from the sublime to the ridiculous. But blowing leads has become a bit of a Barcelona specialty. First in the Champions League and now in La Liga.

Xavi Hernandez was announced as the new manager earlier in the day. He must have been somewhere watching the game. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy to try to right the ship both on and off the pitch. The task ahead of him is a daunting one.