Barcelona thrashed 4-1 by Celta Vigo, Madrid go top
Barcelona’s 100 percent start to La Liga season was brought to a stunning end as Celta Vigo thrashed the European champions 4-1.
Real Madrid took advantage of Barca’s defeat to move a point clear of the Catalans at the top of the table thanks to Karim Benzema’s double in a 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.
Celta <g data-gr-id="31">sit</g> second, behind Madrid only on goal difference, after comprehensively inflicting Barca’s first league defeat since February.
Barcelona slip to fifth as Villarreal’s 1-0 win at Malaga also gives them a share of the lead in <g data-gr-id="38">third</g>. Former Barca forward Nolito put Celta in front before Liverpool reject Iago Aspas struck twice on the counter-attack.
Neymar pulled a goal back for Barca, but Celta rightly had the final word as John Guidetti rounded off a famous win with the Galicians’ fourth nine minutes from time.
It is the third time Barca have conceded four goals in just nine games this season having been thrashed 4-0 by Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup and beaten Sevilla 5-4 in the UEFA Super Cup.
“We can only congratulate <g data-gr-id="30">Celta</g>,” said coach Luis Enrique, who left Vigo to take over at the Camp Nou last year.
“They played <g data-gr-id="36">a very complete</g> game, created chances and won all the one-on-one situations. The level of their football and effectiveness in front of goal was very good.”
Celta took the lead on 25 minutes when Nolito found space inside the area and curled the ball perfectly high into the far corner.
Things got worse for Barca just four minutes later when an error from Gerard Pique allowed Nolito to play in Aspas, who remained calm before expertly <g data-gr-id="34">clipping</g> the ball over the helpless Marc-Andre <g data-gr-id="33">ter</g> Stegen.
The hosts had to withstand a brief Barca onslaught at the start of the second-half as Lionel Messi struck the post from Andres Iniesta’s cut-back.
Pique then headed just over and Messi saw another powerful effort turned behind by Sergio Alvarez.
Yet, from the resulting corner, Celta’s lightning speed and accuracy shone through as Aspas hooked the ball over Dani Alves and sprinted half the length of the field before slotting home his second of the night.