Celta and Barça faced off on the 32nd LaLiga week on a crucial game for both of them, but specially for Barça, as they can´t afford to drop any point if they want to pass Real Madrid on the table. The team from Vigo, now out of relegation, could even increase their distance to hell if they got any point, while Setién´s squad were forced to pick up the victory. The sky-blue team switched their usual system to a 3-5-2 in order to protect themselves backwards and look for the counterattacks since they couldn´t count on their main central defender Murillo for today´s meet as he had physical issues. The news on Barça´s side were the today´s starters and youngest of the team Riui Puig and Ansu Fati, well deserved after their outstanding performance against Athletic de Bilbao.
Barça took control of the ball since the first moment, and defender Piqué had the first clear chance to score the first one through a header from a corner kick that hit the crossbar. The Blaugranas opened the scoreboard on the 20th minute thanks to a very cleaver set piece taken by Messi: he had a free kick right outside the box, and a couple of Celta players decided to stay on the goal line close to each post so Messi would not have any space to put the ball in. This way, the Argentinian sent an accurate cross to Suárez, who was with no mark, and the Uruguayan headed it into the net. However, Barça´s goal woke up Celta, which had a couple of good opportunities to get the equalizer: they took a shot to the post and Ter Stegen also made a great save. 0-1 at halftime.
Celta came back from the break more focused, just as the opposite as Barça´s defense. The equalizer came early, right after a counterattack driven by Aspas, who assisted Smolov to make it 1-1. This was the first goal Barça had conceded so far on LaLiga return. Messi protested on a possible penalty on him at the next play, but the VAR did not make the call after reviewing it.
Celta were doing wy better in the second half, but just as they were taking over the game, Suárez put themselves back ahead after a great turn inside the box that he finished right next to the post. The final equalizer took place in the 88th minute on another controversial action, as the referee called a fault by Piqué on Rafinha despite the defender did not even touch him. This way, Aspas made the most out of the free kick right outside the box he got, and he brilliantly avoided the wall in order to put Celta back in track.
The sky-blues got motivated on the last minutes and Nolito missed a golden opportunity in the last minute to score the winning goal. Barça drop another two vital points at Balaídos and they can even give thanks for just getting one. Barçaa do not shine if Messi does not. Both teams left themselves frustrated with the final result: Celta missed the win and Madrid can now be top of the table tomorrow if they get the win against Espanyol.