Celta Vigo handed Barcelona their first loss of the La Liga campaign and temporarily rose to the top of the table with an emphatic 4-1 defeat of the defending champs at the Estadio Balaidos on Wednesday.
The game was Barcelona’s worst La Liga defeat in 273 games, since May 7, 2008 at Real Madrid. It also snapped Barcelona’s 18-game La Liga unbeaten streak.
Barcelona, using a makeshift back-line that featured Jeremy Mathieu at left-back, had the better of chances early but it was Celta’s Nolito who sensationally opened the scoring in the 26th minute.
A Hugo Mallo cross from the right found the Celta No. 10 on the left edge of the box, where the former Barca man curled his shot over Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s head and into the top corner of the net.
Iago Aspas then doubled the hosts’ lead just four minutes later, taking advantage of a deflected Gerard Pique pass at midfield before dribbling free and calmly chipping over Ter Stegen.
Barcelona threw men forward after the break, with Lionel Messi hitting the bar and forcing a fine save from Sergio Alvarez within the first 10 minutes.
However Aspas made it 3-0 a minute later. Following a corner, the former Liverpool forward raced on to a cleared Nolito pass near midfield, lobbed a first-time touch over Daniel Alves to put himself in the clear before slotting past Ter Stegen with a pinpoint left-footed finish.
Neymar gave Barca a consolation goal in the 80th minute, when he smashed home low after settling a Messi chipped through ball inside the box. But Celta weren’t done, and answered three minutes later through a John Guidetti strike from just inside the six-yard box to complete the satisfying rout for the home side.
Celta Vigo last scored four goals against Barcelona in a league game in 1957.
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