Sunday, November 2, 2014

Barcelona 0-1 Celta Vigo: Luis Enrique's side left to rue missed chances as Joaquin Larrivey upsets the odds at the Nou Camp

This was not how it was meant to be. The Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi attacking trident has started twice and Barcelona have been beaten on both occasions. Although this defeat in the Nou Camp by Celta Vigo could never be as painful as their collapse against Real Madrid last weekend, it was more humiliating.
Barcelona supporters have been waiting patiently to see Suarez unleashed at the Camp Nou, because of his biting suspension, and his availability was heralded as the start of a new era. But an almost supernatural performance by goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez, the woodwork and simply profligacy, meant that Luis Enrique was humbled by the side he managed last season.
Messi is one goal away from equaling all-time top scorer in La Liga Telmo Zarra's record but it seems to be weighing heavy on his shoulders. He could not strike at the Santiago Bernabeu last week, missing a sitter, and nothing could beat Sergio here.
The Celta Vigo players celebrate after Joaquin Larrivey scored at the Nou Camp to upset the odds against Barcelona
The Celta Vigo players celebrate after Joaquin Larrivey scored at the Nou Camp to upset the odds against Barcelona
Luis Suarez reacts after missing a gilt-edged chance on his home debut
Suarez looks to the skies as he endures a disappointing night at the Nou Camp
Luis Suarez endured a frustrating night on his Barcelona home debut - missing a number of gilt-edged chances
Larrivey celebrates his goal for Celta Vigo, which turned out to be the winner on a frustrating night for Barcelona
Larrivey celebrates his goal for Celta Vigo, which turned out to be the winner on a frustrating night for Barcelona

MATCH FACTS 

Barcelona: Bravo, Dani Alves, Mascherano, Mathieu, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets (Xavi 66), Rafinha (Pedro 66), Suárez, Messi, Neymar
Substitutes not used: ter Stegen, Bartra, Sergi, Adriano, El Haddadi
Booked: Pedro 90+3 
Celta Vigo: Álvarez Conde, Mallo Novegil, Cabral, Gómez Sola, Castro Otto, Krohn-Dehli, Radoja, Hernández (Fernández 69), Orellana, Larrivey (Charles 76),Nolito (Madinda 88)
Substitutes not used: Mina Lorenzo, López Sánchez, Blanco, Costas
Goal: Larrivey 55
Booked: Hernández 14, Gómez 73
Referee: Iñaki Vicandi Garrido
Attendance: 71,000 
Barcelona's defence had been ripped to pieces in El Clasico, with Carlo Ancelotti's side inflicting a first league defeat on the Catalans. Having thrashed Granada earlier in the day, Madrid had leapfrogged Barcelona at the top of the Liga table, along with city rivals Atletico, who had seen off Cordoba.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique did an impressive job with Celta Vigo last season and Eduardo Berizzo has continued his work, playing a similar style of pressing, aggressive football. The Barca coach knew this wasn’t going to be an easy game and went for power in midfield, with Ivan Rakitic and Rafinha ahead of Sergio Busquets, with Xavi on the bench.
Jeremy Mathieu was restored to centre-back after his hapless performance on the left against Madrid, while Gerard Pique, seen looking at his phone and clowning around during the Catalan Supercup on Wednesday, was not even included in the squad.
Rakitic powered down the left early on, whipping the ball in for Neymar, who should have done better than head straight into the arms of Sergio. Just a couple of minutes later he made amends, with a dipping long range strike which swirled over the goalkeeper but hit the top of the crossbar.
But Celta weren't planning on rolling over and having their bellies tickled. The Suarez-Messi-Neymar frontline were having teething difficulties. They looked more a collection of expensive parts than a functioning motor. This was exemplified when Suarez, on the right, cut the ball back to the edge of the box, but nobody was waiting there.
Celta began to cause problems of their own, with Nolito, a former Barcelona player, firing over from a free kick. Pedro Hernandez headed at Claudio Bravo from a corner too, when he should have tested the keeper.
Suarez sums up Barcelona's night as he kneels dejected on the Nou Camp turf, covering his face with his hands
Suarez sums up Barcelona's night as he kneels dejected on the Nou Camp turf, covering his face with his hands
Suarez beats Nolito down the right-hand side during Barcelona's La Liga match with Celta Vigo
Suarez beats Nolito down the right-hand side during Barcelona's La Liga match with Celta Vigo
Suarez cuts a figure of frustration as he spreads his arms wide to berate a team-mate
Suarez cuts a figure of frustration as he spreads his arms wide to berate a team-mate
Those two chances acted as smelling salt for Barcelona, who took the game by the scruff of the neck. Neymar's cutback for Messi saw the Argentine's flash shot tipped over by Sergio. Just after half-an-hour Messi nearly struck, with his goal-bound shot hacked off the line, via the post, by Celta defender Jonny.
Messi missed a third good chance with a free header from a Suarez cross, looping it over the bar, while the provider was harshly penalised in a 50-50 wrestling match with Jonny. The Uruguayan had a good chance to open his Barcelona account as half-time approached, but dragged his low strike from the left and Sergio fielded it easily. An almost identical chance for Neymar followed and he hit it low and hard, but his angled drive was tipped away by the Celta stopper.
There may as well not have been a half-time break because Barcelona were back at it from the off. Messi’s through-ball fed Jordi Alba down the left and he cut it back for Neymar, who hit the crossbar for the second time in the match.
Neymar had scored 11 in 11 before the match, but could not get on the scoresheet
Neymar had scored 11 in 11 before the match, but could not get on the scoresheet
Lionel Messi needs just two goals to beat the La Liga goalscoring record, but not even he could beat Alvarez Conde 
Lionel Messi needs just two goals to beat the La Liga goalscoring record, but not even he could beat Alvarez Conde 
Suarez (left) takes on Jonathan Castro Otto of Celta Vigo
Suarez (left) takes on Jonathan Castro Otto of Celta Vigo
But then Celta struck, 10 minutes into the second half. A long goal kick by Sergio saw Hernandez out-jump Javier Mascherano, with Nolito and Joaquin Larrivey running onto it. Nolito outmuscled Dani Alves and backheeled the ball cutely into Larrivey’s path. The forward had shaken off Sergio Busquets and rolled the ball past Claudio Bravo.
It was the first goal Barcelona had conceded at the Nou Camp since the Diego Godin header which saw Atletico Madrid snatch the title out of their hands on the final day of last season.
Enrique acted, throwing on Xavi for Busquets, Pedro for Rafinha and moving to three at the back with Mascherano in midfield. It almost paid dividends immediately, with Pedro receiving the ball on the right and looking to find a team-mate in the box. When faced with Suarez, Messi and Neymar all screaming for it, who do you pick? He opted for Suarez and the striker should have scored, heading into the grateful Sergio’s hands.
Messi beats Celta Vigo's Sergi Gomez during a solo run, but he could not find the back of the net
Messi beats Celta Vigo's Sergi Gomez during a solo run, but he could not find the back of the net
Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique looks dejected as he watches on from the sidelines
Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique looks dejected as he watches on from the sidelines
The Barcelona wall jumps as Nolito's free-kick flies towards Bravo's goal
The Barcelona wall jumps as Nolito's free-kick flies towards Bravo's goal
Suarez took a tumble on the edge of the box and Messi fired the free kick into the gods. Perhaps this was just going to be one of those days. It certainly looked like it when he had another from the same position and pinged it off the crossbar – the third time Barcelona had hit the woodwork.
At the other end Celta continued attacking on the counter and should have put the game beyond Barcelona’s reach. Bravo saved a Nolito volley and substitute Charles headed the rebound over the bar with the goal gaping. Charles was foiled by Bravo too, his flicked effort palmed over the bar.
Celta keeper Sergio, the clear man of the match, produced another brilliant stop to deny Suarez with five minutes left on the clock. The striker teed himself up on the edge of the box, but his sweet strike was palmed behind.
In time, Suarez, Messi and Neymar will work. It has to. But the day after Halloween it turned out all the shocks hadn’t been used up. Barcelona's strikers will be having nightmares about Sergio for weeks.
Messi fights for the ball with Celta Vigo's goalscorer Larrivey
Messi fights for the ball with Celta Vigo's goalscorer Larrivey
Barcelona defender Jordi Alba presses forward with the ball during the La Liga match at the Nou Camp
Barcelona defender Jordi Alba presses forward with the ball during the La Liga match at the Nou Camp
Suarez concentrates as makes his home debut for Barcelona after his summer move from Liverpool
Suarez concentrates as makes his home debut for Barcelona after his summer move from Liverpool
Dani Alves grimaces as he battles for the ball with Celta Vigo striker Nolito
Dani Alves grimaces as he battles for the ball with Celta Vigo striker Nolito
Messi competes with Larrivey during the first half of the match
Messi competes with Larrivey during the first half of the match
The Barcelona starting 11 line up for a pre-match squad photo, but they failed to regain their place at the top of La Liga
The Barcelona starting 11 line up for a pre-match squad photo, but they failed to regain their place at the top of La Liga
A stunning view of Barcelona's Nou Camp during the build-up to the match
A stunning view of Barcelona's Nou Camp during the build-up to the match


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2817198/Barcelona-0-1-Celta-Vigo-Single-Joaquin-Larrivey-goal-leaves-Barca-ruing-missed-chances.html#ixzz3HrYKO9hA
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Source: Dailymail