Barcelona 2-1 Celta Vigo (Feb 17, 2024) Game Analysis

Robert Lewandowski‘s penalty deep into added time earned Barcelona a fortunate 2-1 win at Celta Vigo in LaLiga on Saturday ahead of their Champions League game at Napoli.

It was another uninspired performance by Barcelona until a moment of brilliance from Lewandowski gave the visitors the lead just before half-time.

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Winger Lamine Yamal found the Poland forward on the edge of the box and he made space with the outside of his boot to fire a bullet strike past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

Under pressure in 17th place, fourth bottom and three points above the relegation zone, Rafa Benitez’s side fought back to level in the 47th minute when Iago Aspas netted a deflected strike past keeper Marc-André ter Stegen.

The match grew in tension with the raucous Galician stadium roaring support for their team who had suffered five losses in their last six games in all competitions and managed only four wins in 26 league games this season.

Robert Lewandowksi has 12 goals in LaLiga this season.

Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Celta were pushing for victory with Aspas missing three clear chances before defender Fran Beltrán made a bad mistake, missing the ball completely in a clearance attempt and hitting Yamal’s leg in the 93rd minute to give Lewandowski his chance seven minutes into stoppage time.

Vicente Guaita saved his first effort, but the VAR check showed the keeper was in front of the goalline before the ball left the spot and Lewandowski tucked away his second effort.

“I didn’t know what happened with the first penalty, but after I saw the keeper moved too quickly … With the second penalty I have scored and that’s what matters,” Lewandowski said after the game.

Xavi Hernandez’s side are third in the standings on 54 points, two behind Girona and seven adrift of leaders Real Madrid, both of whom have a game in hand.

“In the second half we didn’t play well. They were lucky in their goal, but we did little offensively. If you want to win a game 2-0 or 3-0, you can’t just play for 45 minutes,” Lewandowski told DAZN.

“I am happy. We won a very important match for us. These are three important points. Now we can look at the Champions League.”

Xavi told reporters after the game the results since he announced he would step away from the role at the end of the season are proof it was a good idea.

“The players gave everything to get the three points which arrived in agonising but welcome manner. The attitude, commitment and implication was good,” he said.

“Since my decision we have won 10 out of 12 points, I think my decision has been for good.”

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