The dream is over, and the season, for the youthful celtic. The team with the scoring records, group champion, and Copa del Rey semifinalist, he was once again on the verge of a final, this time in the Champions Cup. The players coached by Claudio Giráldez managed to get Barcelona to end the game by asking for the time, locked in their area, and with their players losing as much time as possible, but there is no doubt that it is no consolation.
Célticos and azulgranas did not disappoint in a game in which seven goals are a good measure of the level of both teams. In the first minutes of the game, control of the ball was alternate. Celta was committed to playing with three central defenders and two more advanced full-backs and, possibly, this way of playing surprised the Barça team a bit, as it was difficult for them to reach it.
Nevertheless, Celta’s biggest problems came yesterday from the defence. It was difficult for the defense to focus on the match, and maintain the average they had accumulated during the championship, conceding a goal almost every two games.
It was difficult for Barcelona to find space, but after seventeen minutes Ilias plays the ball well, putting it through the center of defense to Víctor Barberá. When the striker was about to finish off, Martín came from behind, who cleared the ball, but with the bad luck that touched Meixus, which Cesar dislodged, entering the ball into the Vigo goal.
The goal was a hard blow for Vigo, who two minutes later were not able to close the left wing, where Estanis placed the ball at the far post, Juanda appearing to finish off the place.
The blow was double, but if this team has a virtue, it is that it never collapses. They stretched out a bit, and just over fifteen minutes before the break, a center measured from the left by Hugo Álvarez, Mañas finished it off perfectly. An important goal because it allowed the Celtics to keep their options in the second half.
However, the azulgranas did not take five minutes to pour a new jug of cold water on the vigueses, who were not able to get the ball out, and in the second option Aleix scored.
Celta continued without lowering the pressure, despite the intense heat in Las Rozas, and ten minutes later managed to close the gap again. Martín crossed from the left and left a golden ball for Mañas who, with a header, once again added emotion to the game.
Fatigue began to take its toll on both teams, but once again it was the azulgranas who extended the lead with another goal, this time from Barberá. Claudio Giráldez threw all the meat on the grill with a triple change that made it clear that he was going to look for the comeback. And they had him close again, because with twelve minutes to go Hugo Álvarez scored the third goal. There was still time, and the reality is that Celta managed to lock the Catalans in their area. The loss of time was constant on the Catalan side, and the best chance to achieve the equalizer came with two minutes to go, with a dead ball that Ander caught at the last moment.
Celtic: César Fernández, Javier Rodríguez (Lucas Antañón, m.69), Tincho, Manuel Fernández (Tobías Victorio, m.45), Meixús, Joel Lago, Jesús Ares (Hugo Sotelo, m.45), Damián Rodríguez, Aitor Mañas (Álex Comparada, m.69), David de la Iglesia (Fernando López, m.69) and Hugo Álvarez.
Barcelona: Ander Astralaga, Miki Juanola, Diego Almeida (Arnau Casas, m.45), Chadi Riad (Mamadou, m.67), Álex Valle, Marc Casadó, Estanis Pedrola, Aleix Garrido (Damián Cañedo, m67), Víctor Barberà, Ilias Akhomach and Juanda (Fermín López, m.67).
Goals: 0-1, minute 17: Pablo Meixús own goal. 0-2, minute 19: Juanda. 1-2, minute 28: Aitor Mañas. 1-3, minute 50: Aleix Garrido. 2-3, minute 60: Aitor Mañas. 2-4, minute 68: Víctor Barberà. 3-4, minute 74: Hugo Álvarez.
Referee: Carrero Calvo, assisted by Ramos García and Carrascosa Vázquez. He booked Martín and Damián for Celta and Ilias for Barcelona.
Incidents: Semifinal of the Champions Cup played at the Ciudad Deportiva de Las Rozas, highlighting the presence of a large group of sky-blue fans.