Avoid goals and score them. The ancestral formula of football, since its invention, is the ABC of the game 160 years after its invention. But the long elapsed time already prevents the advance in a straight, simple and direct line, so sometimes the trainers look for convoluted paths to reach the areas. In the crucial zone, only in the small, magical and definitive rectangle, Barça found success.

The forward with face and eyes that Barça now has gave them the victory over a Celta team that was much less accurate, but no less dangerous. Xavi lacked midfielders and abused the forwards: if there was no game, let there be goals. Barça played nothing in the initial phase, which ended with a two-goal advantage, but the bad body had it for 90 minutes.

Ambulance looking for Araujo

Aside, of course, from Ronald Araujo’s scare, which faded seconds after Gavi was hit in the head. The small midfielder recovered, but the Uruguayan giant remained motionless, setting off the alarms. The ambulance came to enter the lawn to evacuate him, how serious the matter was.

The break lasted eight minutes and immediately Celta wasted 2-3 on a triple occasion, that had directed the duel towards 3-3 in Balaídos, where Barça (by Sergi Barjuan that day) managed to win by three goals, like yesterday. This Celta, saved and relaxed, was split by Dembélé with his runs and Aubameyang with his effectiveness.

system change

Xavi innovated from the outset, invited by the relaxed qualifying situation, freed from the pressure of being among the top four, and forced by the shortage of midfielders. Although he was missing three (Busquets, Pedri and Nico), he still had three left to use. He used two and the third (Riqui Puig) kept him sitting on the bench until the break so that he, precisely, with his entrance, would rebalance the team from being so disordered.

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Xavi innovated by altering the tactical drawing and altering his men. Too much loss, too many changes to assume them all at once. For example, that of Jordi Alba, who began accompanying Frenkie in a hybrid double pivot without abandoning his tendency to be a left-back. Or the one from Memphis, at the height of Gavi, acting as an all-terrain midfielder.

Disconnected but effective

Barça disoriented before, during and after, Celta went their own way, with their particular plan, without letting themselves be dragged by the local lures and without hunger. The azulgranas did not find the usual passing lines: where there used to be a teammate, there was nobody. At least, the most important did not move from place: Ter Stegen stopped and Aubameyang caught two balls in the site of the ‘nine’.

The strikers, poor, were the main victims. They died of disgust. Only finished off Memphis, and thanks to his hyperactivity. As soon as he was in the dividing line pressing or lending himself to receive a pass (badly oriented, due to lack of habit and his strange location) as he ran into space asking Alba for the ball or followed a Dembélé run with biblical faith.

Anything is expected from the end. Lately they are usually good. The fans generate more “oh” of surprise that “buh” of anger when Dembélé contacts the leather. Javier Galanhis marker and aspiring to be a replacement for Alba next season, began to get to know him.


Barcelona: Ter Stegen (6); Alves (5), Araujo (4), Eric (5); F. de Jong (6), Alba (5), Gavi (6), Memphis (7); Dembele (9), Aubameyang (9), Ferran (4).

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Technical: Xavi Hernandez (6).

Changes: Riqui Puig (5) by Ferran (m. 46); Ansu Fati (5) for Memphis (m. 63); Lenglet (6) by Araujo (m. 68); L. de Jong (sc) by Aubameyang (d. 84); Mingueza (sc) by Alves (m. 88).

Celtic: Diturus (4); Kevin (5), Aidoo (5), Nestor (5), Galan (5); Brais (6), Beltrán (6), Denis Suárez (6), Cervi (7); Blades (7), Galhardo (6).

Technical: Eduardo Coudet (7).

Changes: Murillo (3) by Kevin (m. 46); Tapia () by Galhardo (d. 60); Veiga (sc) by Beltrán (d. 89); Fontán (sc) by Denis Suárez (d. 89); Solari (sc) by Cervi (d. 97).

goals: 1-0 (m. 30), Memphis takes advantage of a Dembélé center; 2-0 (m. 41), Aubameyang finishes off in semi-miss; 3-0 (m. 48), Aubameyang connects a Dembélé center on the run; 3-1 (m. 50), Aspas takes advantage of an assist from Galhardo.

Referee: Ortiz Arias (7), Madrid.

cards: Eric (d. 79), F. de Jong (d. 100), Alba (d. 101).

red cards: Murillo (d. 57).

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Stadium: CampNou.

spectators: 55,899.

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