Celta Hold Barcelona To Draw
Copa Del Rey Report: Celta Vigo v FC Barcelona 04 January 2018
Spanish Copa del Rey
Result: Celta Vigo 1-1 Barcelona
Date: 4 January 2018
Venue: Estadio de Balaídos
Defending Copa del Rey champions Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw by Celta Vigo at the Estadio de Balaídos in the first leg of their Last 16 tie.
Celta got the game off to a promising start and were presented with a glorious chance in the eighth minute, when Iago Aspas was played in behind the Barcelona defence. However, Nélson Semedo recovered well to pinch the ball off him at the vital moment.
When the Blaugrana finally breached the home defence in the 15th minute, they made the most of their opportunity. André Gomes found José Arnáiz with a low cross from the left after a well-worked team move. The 22-year old struck the ball sweetly with his first touch, firing into the bottom corner.
However, in the 31st minute, Celta stunned Ernesto Valverde’s side. Aspas hit the crossbar from close range and the ball bounced out to Pione Sisto off Jasper Cillessen. The Dane controlled the ball before firing past the keeper from a tight angle.
Both sides continued to create chances ahead of half-time, with Daniel Wass and Paulinho each going relatively close with long-range shots. However, neither team could gain the upper hand before the break.
Barcelona started the second half on the front foot, with Arnáiz forcing a save from Sergio Álvarez in the 51st minute with a shot from a tight angle and just heading off target from a Lucas Digne cross five minutes later.
Denis Suárez should have put the Catalans in front in the 59th minute, but he somehow missed from close range after meeting a Semedo cross.
The pressure continued to mount and Sergio Busquets rattled the bar with a fierce long-range strike just two minutes later.
Ousmane Dembélé made his long-awaited return from injury 71 minutes in, replacing Arnáiz.
However, just a minute later, Celta substitute Emre Mor went inches away from writing the headlines, firing across the face of goal and just wide of the target after being set up by a lovely Aspas pass.
In the 87th minute, Aspas tried Cillessen with a long-range effort. The Dutchman was unable to hold on, but blocked the shot without having to move much.
In the 91st minute, Semedo put in a low cross and Sergi Roberto so nearly stole the game after meeting it, but he could only turn the ball onto the post.
Nevertheless, Barcelona will be the more confident of the two sides going into the second leg on 11 January at Camp Nou after grabbing a vital away goal and a credible draw despite the absence of Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez.