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Late Aspas free-kick deals Barca huge title blow


Iago Aspas of RC Celta Vigo celebrates scoring the second goal during the Liga match between RC Celta de Vigo and FC Barcelona at Abanca-Balaídos on June 27, 2020 in Vigo, Spain. Image credit: Getty Images
Iago Aspas of RC Celta Vigo celebrates scoring the second goal during the Liga match between RC Celta de Vigo and FC Barcelona at Abanca-Balaídos on June 27, 2020 in Vigo, Spain.

Image credit: Getty Images

Iago Aspas netted a late equaliser to snatch a point for Celta Vigo as Barcelona suffered a potentially season-defining blow in the title race at the top of La Liga.

With the Spanish title race going down to the wire, the Catalans couldn’t afford to drop points at Balaidos, a historically difficult venue for them, and they were on course for a win until Aspas’ late intervention.

Barcelona took the lead and the initiative after 20 minutes, with Luis Suarez heading home at the back post after some ingenuity from Lionel Messi. With two Celta Vigo players on the goal line to prevent the freekick from finding the net, the Argentine instead clipped a disguised delivery to Suarez who finished.

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Celta Vigo created some opportunities of their own and struck the post through Brais Mendez before they equalised in the second half, with Fedor Smolov finishing from close range after some good work by Okay Yokuslu down the right.

Suarez added a second on 67 minutes, spinning his marker inside the box to finish instinctively into the far corner of the net after being set up by Messi, but it was Aspas who had the final say, curling a low free-kick around the Barca wall to catch Marc-Andre Ter Stegen off guard.

The point sends Barca back to the top of La Liga for now, but Real Madrid can now go two points clear of their Catalan rivals with a victory over bottom side Espanyol on Sunday evening.



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