Goals by Ansu Fati, Sergio Busquets, and Memphis Depay gave Barcelona a 3–0 lead at the break, but Celta Vigo responded in the second half via Iago Aspas and Nolito, before Aspas’ tie 3–3 in extra time. After sacking manager Ronald Koeman last month, Spanish football club Barcelona announced on Friday that Xavi, who played 767 times for the club between 1998 and 2015, will take over as head coach. And after 12 matches with Barcelona in ninth place in La Liga, the former midfielder will have the task of trying to save the season.
Fati opened the scoring at Balaidos on Saturday, before Busquets doubled Barcelona’s lead with a shot from the edge of the box. Depay’s header in the 34th minute left in the match gave the home team a chance to add to the score, but an overconfident Fati tried to push the ball away into the top corner.
But the game opened for Barcelona in the second half. Aspas started Celta’s comeback with a shot from a short distance and Nolito’s targeted header made it 3-2 from the end in 17 minutes. Frankie de Jong ran on a brilliant Barcelona ball that beat the offside trap, the keeper came running out and a lob was attempted, but the lob was unsuccessful.
“I think we forgot to play in the second half, we were static and we lacked personality,” de Jong told La Liga TV. After Koeman’s dismissal, Barcelona’s interim coach Sergi Barjuan said on social media after the match: “Thank you to all the players and staff for all their efforts. It was an intense day. Now I continue to work for the club.”
Meanwhile, goals from Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema propelled Real Madrid to the top of the league in a 2-1 win over Rio Vallecano on Saturday. Radamel Falcao’s header gave Reyo a chance to come back in the second half, but Real resisted when Kroos deflected the ball off the line during the stop.