Football Football

Aspas inspires Celta’s Barca demolition

 Celta Vigo's defender Jonny Castro (L) vies with Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi during the Spanish league football match at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on September 23, 2015. PHOTO/AFP
Celta Vigo’s defender Jonny Castro (L) vies with Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi during the Spanish league football match at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on September 23, 2015. PHOTO/AFP

MADRID, September 24- Barcelona’s 100 percent start to La Liga season was brought to a stunning end as Celta Vigo moved top of the table with a stunning 4-1 victory on Wednesday.

The side formerly managed by Barca boss Luis Enrique were deservedly given a 2-0 half-time lead by excellent finishes from Nolito and former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas.

Barca’s first league defeat since February was sealed when Aspas struck again on the counter-attack early in the second period.

Neymar pulled a goal back for the visitors, but Celta rightly had the final word as John Guidetti rounded off a famous win with the Galicians’ fourth nine minutes from time.

It is the third time Barca have conceded four goals in just nine games this season having been thrashed 4-0 by Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup and beaten Sevilla 5-4 in the UEFA Super Cup.

“We can only congratulate Celta,” said Enrique.

“They played a very complete game, created chances and won all the one-on-one situations. The level of their football and effectiveness in front of goal was very good.”

Despite Celta’s bright start it was the visitors who had the first two chances, but both Lionel Messi and Neymar placed efforts too close to Sergio Alvarez who repelled the ball to safety.

Celta took the lead on 25 minutes when Nolito found space inside the area and curled the ball perfectly high into the far corner to join Cristiano Ronaldo as the league’s top scorer with five goals.

Things got worse for the European champions just four minutes later when an error from Pique allowed Nolito to play in Aspas, who remained calm before expertly clipping the ball over the helpless Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Aspas had a great chance to put the game to bed five minutes into the second-half, but this time he pulled his shot just wide of the target.

The hosts then had to withstand a brief Barca onslaught as Messi struck the post from Andres Iniesta’s cut-back.

Pique then headed just over and Messi saw another powerful effort turned behind by Alvarez.

Yet, from the resulting corner, Celta’s lightning speed and accuracy shone through as Aspas hooked the ball over Dani Alves and sprinted half the length of the field before slotting home his second of the night.

Nolito should have made it 4-0 when he side-footed just wide as Celta broke dangerously again from another Barca corner.

However, Celta were also grateful to Alvarez for keeping Barca at bay as he made a brilliant stop to prevent Neymar pulling a goal back.

The Brazilian did finally get Barca on the scoresheet as he controlled a fantastic pass from Messi before smashing the ball home.

Yet, Celta needed just two minutes to restore their three-goal lead when former Celtic and Manchester City striker Guidetti took advantage of more slack Barca marking to fire home his first goal in Spanish football.