Celta de Vigo – FC Barcelona: Lewandowski saves a dull Barça in extra time (1-2)

A last-minute penalty keeps Barça in third place in LaLiga after a poor and boring game from Xavi Hernández's team. As throughout the league, Rafa Benítez's Celta deserved more, but again made serious errors in the closing stages of the game.

Tactical analysis and match report by Xavi Sánchez.

As Atlético Madrid threaten third place in LaLiga and Napoli await around the corner in the Champions League round of 16, it was essential for Xavi's Barça to win in Vigo. Even more so after drawing at home against Granada, second-bottom of the league. To get back to winning ways, Xavi Hernández fielded his most reliable starting eleven, with the only notable absentee being Gündoğan, who was resting on the bench for the game in Naples, with young striker Vitor Roque taking his place. The Brazilian was the left winger, while Lamine Yamal was the right winger. Two young wingers, both under 19 years of age, to accompany the 35-year-old veteran striker Lewandowski.

Rafa Benítez, after losing at Montjuïc in the first leg after leading 0-2 and being pegged back in just ten minutes by a stellar Cancelo, wanted revenge. The veteran coach, despite not being at his best, had a clear plan to counter Barça's square midfield, fielding a 4-4-2 formation with Aspas and Larsen as the main threats up front.

The monotony of Barça's attack

Benítez's plan worked, just as it did in the first leg at Montjuïc. Barça were suffocating in midfield, unable to find ways forward and unable to . . .

Get access to this article and all other quality content of Between the Posts!

Start your two-week free trial now!

Completely ad-free exclusive articles from our expert tactics writers, plus a complete match plots page to explore.

Membership Plans

Already a member? Log in

Football is about context. [ View all posts ]


Go to TOP