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Barcelona 2-2 Celta Vigo: Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez bag

  • Iago Aspas scored the opener from close range after latching onto a rebound
  • But mere minutes later, Lionel Messi equalised for the league leaders at home 
  • Luis Suarez then put his poor form aside to send Barcelona ahead after the break
  • Celta Vigo were not done yet - Maxi Gomez fired home an Aspas cross to level  

By Pete Jenson for MailOnline

Published: 08:56 EST, 2 December 2017 | Updated: 10:32 EST, 2 December 2017

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Barcelona dropped their first points at home despite both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scoring when they were held 2-2 by a Iago Aspas inspired Celta Vigo.

They also lost Samuel Umititi to a hamstring injury in the second half. He could now miss the Christmas clasico in three weeks' time. 

It was another blow on an afternoon when Barca were reminded they are a long way from the finish line despite their early lead at the top. 

Iago Aspas celebrates breaking the deadlock at the Nou Camp as he fired Celta Vigo ahead
Iago Aspas celebrates breaking the deadlock at the Nou Camp as he fired Celta Vigo ahead

Iago Aspas celebrates breaking the deadlock at the Nou Camp as he fired Celta Vigo ahead

But Lionel Messi equalised for the hosts shortly after they went behind on Saturday
But Lionel Messi equalised for the hosts shortly after they went behind on Saturday

But Lionel Messi equalised for the hosts shortly after they went behind on Saturday

Luis Suarez then put his bad form aside to send Barcelona into the lead after half-time
Luis Suarez then put his bad form aside to send Barcelona into the lead after half-time

Luis Suarez then put his bad form aside to send Barcelona into the lead after half-time

Maxi Gomez levelled for the visitors after a low cross from the excellent Aspas
Maxi Gomez levelled for the visitors after a low cross from the excellent Aspas

Maxi Gomez levelled for the visitors after a low cross from the excellent Aspas

Celta had to make a change inside the first two minutes when Gustavo Cabral was forced off with a shoulder problem after clashing with Suarez, who was penalized. He argued the decision and earned himself a very early booking.

Celta took the lead on 20 minutes when former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas beat the offside trap, running on to a Daniel Wass pass. 

He crossed for Maxi Gomez and when Marc Andre ter Stegen spread himself well to save the shot, Aspas was able to follow it in to score.

The advantage was short lived as Andre Iniesta, Suarez and Paulinho cut straight through the soft centre of Celta’s defence. When the ball was played out to Messi he finished cleanly past Ruben Blanco.

Ex-Liverpool forward Aspas turns home from close range after a Marc-Andre ter Stegen save
Ex-Liverpool forward Aspas turns home from close range after a Marc-Andre ter Stegen save

Ex-Liverpool forward Aspas turns home from close range after a Marc-Andre ter Stegen save

Ter Stegen brilliantly denied Maxi Gomez but could not repeat the trick on the rebound
Ter Stegen brilliantly denied Maxi Gomez but could not repeat the trick on the rebound

Ter Stegen brilliantly denied Maxi Gomez but could not repeat the trick on the rebound

Barcelona's players look dejected after their early concession in the La Liga encounter
Barcelona's players look dejected after their early concession in the La Liga encounter

Barcelona's players look dejected after their early concession in the La Liga encounter

Barcelona had woken up and Suarez scored only to see the linesman’s flag raised in error to scrub the goal off. He then unselfishly teed-up Paulinho who was closed down before he could shoot. 

Messi was the next to go close, hitting the post. It was noticeable that Celta were now taking their time over goal-kicks – they wanted to get to half-times on level terms.

Messi was toying with, Celta twisting and turning them inside out inside the penalty area, but this Barcelona can be direct too. Ivan Rakitic picked out Paulinho with a cross, only for Blanco to save the Brazilian’s header.

Suarez put Barcelona ahead on 63 minutes with a goal straight from last season’s catalogue. He tapped in from four yards out after Jordi Alba had pulled the ball back from the byline.

Even so, they responded shortly after courtesy of their talisman Argentinian forward Messi
Even so, they responded shortly after courtesy of their talisman Argentinian forward Messi

Even so, they responded shortly after courtesy of their talisman Argentinian forward Messi

Suarez then converted a cross to put Barcelona into the lead during Saturday's game
Suarez then converted a cross to put Barcelona into the lead during Saturday's game

Suarez then converted a cross to put Barcelona into the lead during Saturday's game

His new role this season has seen him occupy poaching territory less than last year but that’s where he found himself after Messi played in Alba and the full-back delivered his fifth assist of the season – no Barca player has provided more passes to goal.

Barcelona seemed home and dry but everything changed in the time it took Celta Vigo to launch an attack down the Barcelona left. Umititi pulled up clutching his hamstring while chasing Aspas.

The Celta forward crossed to Maxi Gomez and he scored through a crowd of defenders. It was bad enough conceding but Umtiti was to play no further part in the game and must now be a major doubt ahead of the Clasico in three weeks.

Gomez fires past the stranded ter Stegen during the second-half at the Nou Camp
Gomez fires past the stranded ter Stegen during the second-half at the Nou Camp

Gomez fires past the stranded ter Stegen during the second-half at the Nou Camp

Thomas Vermaelen came on in his place and Pique tried to make amends for the defensive lapses as one end by scoring at the other. He made space for himself well but his shot bounced off the edge of a post and went out for a goal-kick.

Barcelona pushed for the winner but when Suarez played the ball back to Denis Suarez his shot rebounded up for Messi to head. The net bulged but the ball had gone the wrong side of the post and Celta had survived.

They almost took the lead with their next attack. Again Aspas’ pace caused the problem. Pione Sisto should have scored but for the second time in the game Ter Stegen made himself big and blocked the shot.

Paco Alcacer almost had the last word but three minutes into injury time he sent his head over Blanco’s bar. Messi had the last kick but sent his free-kick wide and Celta had their point.

Andres Iniesta was withdrawn after 54 minutes and was not happy with the decision
Andres Iniesta was withdrawn after 54 minutes and was not happy with the decision

Andres Iniesta was withdrawn after 54 minutes and was not happy with the decision

Sergi Gomez was forced off early on after dislocating his shoulder in a collision with Suarez
Sergi Gomez was forced off early on after dislocating his shoulder in a collision with Suarez

Sergi Gomez was forced off early on after dislocating his shoulder in a collision with Suarez

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