Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets were the only positives as Barcelona squandered a slender lead before being beaten 2-1 by Celta Vigo at Camp Nou on Sunday.
Barcelona dominated the proceedings pretty much from the get-go, but could do little to trouble Ivan Villar in the Celta Vigo goal in the opening quarter of the game. But, it did not really come as a surprise when Lionel Messi headed the hosts in front by meeting a long pass by Sergio Busquets. The equaliser, though, came out of nowhere when Santi Mina made it 1-1 in the 38th minute from just outside the box.
Thereafter, it was pretty much all Barcelona, but the chances came at a premium for the Catalan giants, who just could not manage to do anything to trouble Villar. Once again, Celta Vigo scored against the run of play, as Santi Mina completed a brace after a wicked cross by Augusto Solari caught the hosts by surprise.
In the end, the Blaugrana had only themselves to blame for being beaten 2-1 by Celta Vigo after having failed to make good on their dominance. The result means Barcelona are now officially out of the La Liga title race following the wins for Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ronald Koeman’s men.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 6/10
There really was not much that ter Stegen could have done to prevent Santi Mina from scoring either of his goals. While the Barcelona no. 1 was unsighted by Gerard Pique for the first goal, he was caught out by a wicked cross by Augusto Solari before the winner was eventually scored.
Ronald Araujo: 5/10
A blow-hot-blow-cold display by Araujo, who was caught out position in the build-up to Mina’s first while also being caught napping when the Celta Vigo striker made it 2-1. Otherwise, the youngster was largely solid, winning 6 duels while completing 95 percent of his attempted passes. The poor moments in the defence, though, ended up being crucial in Barcelona’s defence, or the lack thereof in the crucial moments.
Gerard Pique: 5/10
Not the best of displays from Pique, who inexplicably chose not to close down the gap to Mina for the first Celta Vigo goal. Looked to be under the pump at times and managed to win just three of the nine duels he engaged in. Not the kind of performance one comes to expect from a leader, who was taken off for Serino Dest.
Clement Lenglet: 5/10
A game to forget for Lenglet, who was sent off for two clumsy challenges. The Frenchman was solid otherwise and did not really let Iago Aspas overpower him and completed 94 percent of the passes he attempted as well. However, at a time when Barcelona were pushing for their second, Lenglet’s poor decision making cost them dearly.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 16, 2021
Ousmane Dembele: 6/10
Installed in a makeshift right wing-back slot again, Dembele was a bundle of energy and seemed to be the best prospect for Barcelona to make a difference, alongside Lionel Messi. The Frenchman, though, faded in the second half and struggled to get into the game before being taken off for Francisco Trincao.
Ilaix Moriba: 6/10
Handed a rare start in the absence of the suspended Frenkie de Jong, Moriba put in the hard yards and tried to make things happen. However, inexperience showed at times for the youngster, who was wasteful at times. Having said that, he won 11 duels and made a couple of clearances as well. A part of his learning curve in the end.
Sergio Busquets: 7/10
Busquets endured a frustrating evening considering he did everything in his powers to ensure Barcelona were dominant in the proceedings. The veteran midfielder also provided the assist to Lionel Messi for the goal that Barcelona scored while winning 6 duels and completing 5 tackles. In the end, though, with others faltering, it was not enough to get Barcelona even a single point.
It has been clear for quite some time now, but for an umpteenth time in the past month, Pedri was well off his best levels, with fatigue clearly playing its part. Failed to do anything of note in the first half and managed to complete just 75 percent of his attempted passes before being taken off at the break. Now that the season is done and dusted, it is high time the Spaniard is rested next week.
Jordi Alba: 6/10
As ever, Alba was a constant outlet down the left flank for Barcelona, spending nearly the entire game in the Celta Vigo half. However, the Spanish international left a lot to be desired with his end product, although he should have had an assist when Martin Braithwaite inexplicably missed from close range.
Lionel Messi: 7/10
Barcelona have gone three La Liga home games without a win for the first time since Messi's debut in 2004.
They couldn’t have timed it any worse 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/TWKEb4Y8Ip
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 16, 2021
Messi was one of only two outfield players to make any sort of impression, although the Barcelona captain, too, was well off his best. While he did score the goal with a peach of a finish, he, like many of his teammates, failed to create the clear-cut chances to make the difference in the final third. Did not shy away from taking on a Celta Vigo defender, though, completing 14 dribbles.
Antoine Griezmann: 6/10
A hit and miss performance by Griezmann. While the Frenchman cannot be faulted for a lack of effort and even played a joint-game high 3 key passes, he just could not do enough to get the better of a resolute Celta Vigo defence. Managed just a couple of shots and never really looked like scoring. Has gone off the boil in the last couple of weeks.
Riqui Puig: 5/10
On for Pedri at half-time, Puig had the chance to make an impression, which is exactly what he did not do. In fact, the youngster pretty much continued from where his compatriot had left off, failing to create anything meaningful, although he only misplaced one pass. An opportunity missed.
Sergino Dest: 5/10
On for Pique, as Barcelona shifted to a 4-3-3 setup, Dest completed each of his attempted passes but could not create anything from the right flank despite being camped almost exclusively in the Celta Vigo half. Not doing himself any favours with such inconsistent performances.
Martin Braithwaite: 4/10
Sent on in place of Griezmann, was hardly involved in the final 20 minutes but did get a glorious opportunity to seal the points for Barcelona before Celta Vigo scored the winner. Disappointing finishing.
Francisco Trincao: 5/10
Making a rare appearance for Barcelona, Trincao replaced Dembele but could not do anything to turn the tide in favour of Barcelona. While he hardly misplaced a pass, the Portuguese failed to be incisive on the ball.
Miralem Pjanic: N/A
A late introduction, Pjanic hardly saw the ball before full-time whistle blew.