Barca overcome early red card to earn big win at Celta
GB NEWS 24 DESK//
Barca’s lead looked to be under threat when Lenglet received a second booking at the end of the first half for striking former Barca player Denis Suarez in the face, sparking furious protests from Messi and Gerard Pique.
But Barca quickly doubled their advantage soon after the interval, as Messi tore through Celta’s defence and fired a low shot which took a heavy deflection off Lucas Olaza and squirmed past keeper Ivan Villar for an own goal.
The Catalans, who had failed to win their last five league games at Celta’s Balaidos, maintained control even with 10 men, only once looking in danger of conceding.
Nolito skipped into the area but his shot was saved by Barca stand-in keeper Neto, Celta’s Miguel Baeza pounced on the rebound but Sergi Roberto threw his body in the way and deflected the goal-bound shot on to the crossbar.
Messi almost got a goal himself with another bursting run into the area but his shot was saved by Villar, leaving Sergi Roberto to lash high into the net deep in added time for the third goal.
Sergi Roberto praised Barca’s fighting spirit and said they had learned to battle after their humiliating 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League.
“It was very important we continued to play with positivity when we had one player less,” he said.
“We defended as a team, everyone did their job and we played with a lot of desire, and showed we really want to achieve great things this season.