Laliga: Barcelona Drop Points Again

Barcelona threw away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 at Celta Vigo in LaLiga on Saturday in a chaotic game which underlined the scale of the task facing incoming coach Xavi Hernandez.

Celta captain Iago Aspas completed a remarkable second-half comeback from the hosts by scoring in the fifth minute of added time after he had pulled their first goal back in the 52nd and Nolito had struck in the 74th to set up a tense finish.

Teenage forward Ansu Fati had given Barca the lead in the fifth minute and captain Sergio Busquets extended their advantage with a low strike from outside the area in the 18th before Memphis Depay added a third in the 34th.

But Barca lost Fati and defender Eric Garcia to injury while lively midfielder Nico was later forced off and they experienced a huge drop off in performance in the second half, Celta’s stirring comeback deepening the Catalans’ woes and extending their winless streak to four league games.

Barca are ninth in the standings with 17 points after 12 games while Celta are 14th on 12.

Caretaker coach Sergi Barjuan was left disappointed with a second consecutive league draw in the final game of his short spell in charge before Xavi takes over on Monday and blamed the capitulation on the triple injury blow.

“When you have to make three changes due to injuries it messes up your tactical system. It’s not an excuse but it definitely influenced our performance in the end,” he said.

“In the second half we weren’t able to move forward and the players didn’t know where to position themselves. It’s a real shame we couldn’t celebrate what would have been a very important victory for me.”

The Catalans began the day by finally confirming that midfield great Xavi would succeed the sacked Ronald Koeman as coach next week, announcing the appointment at 1:45AM local time. (AFP)

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Taiwo Ibrahim

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