Report: Celta Vigo 1 Barcelona 1

first_imgCelta Vigo 1 Barcelona 1: Dembele returns as Copa del Rey holders draw in 2018 bow Jamie Smith 03:59 1/5/18 Celta Vigo Getty Images Ousmane Dembele made his first appearance for Barcelona since September, but the LaLiga leaders were held 1-1 at Celta Vigo. Ousmane Dembele returned but Barcelona’s Balaidos woes continued as the LaLiga leaders were held 1-1 at Celta Vigo in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie on Thursday.Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were among the big names rested by Ernesto Valverde, who named Dembele, fit again after sustaining a hamstring injury in September, among his substitutes.The Catalan giants lost on their last two visits to Celta and the hosts, coached by former Barca goalkeeper Juan Carlos Unzue – who was Luis Enrique’s Camp Nou assistant – ensured the visitors’ difficulties in Galicia did not let up. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Barca’s lack of cohesion was clear throughout, although they took an early lead thanks to Jose Arnaiz, who tucked away an Andre Gomes cross to open the club’s account for 2018.But Celta equalised before half-time, Pione Sisto taking advantage of slack defending to slam home a powerful drive from the rebound after Iago Aspas hit the crossbar and the ball ricocheted off goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.Arnaiz spurned chances to put Barca back in front and Valverde turned to Dembele with 20 minutes remaining, but the club-record signing could not inspire his side to victory, although Sergi Roberto turned Nelson Semedo’s cross on to the outside of the post in injury time.Our first goalscorers for the last 10 years 2008 – Ezquerro 2009 – Henry 2010 – Pedro 2011 – Pedro 2012 – Cesc Fàbregas 2013 – Xavi 2014 – Alexis 2015 – Neymar 2016 – Messi 2017 – Messi 2018 – Arnaiz  #ForçaBarça — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 4, 2018 Aspas had the first chance inside seven minutes, finding himself through on goal, but Semedo’s pace allowed the right-back to make a fine recovery block.Arnaiz had scored in two consecutive Copa del Rey appearances and he took his chance again in the absence of Luis Suarez and Messi, putting Barca in front in the 15th minute.3 – Jose Arnaiz has scored with his first three shots on target for Barcelona in all competitions (three goals in Copa del Rey). Stellar. — OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 4, 2018 The visitors won the ball on the edge of their own area and broke rapidly down the left channel through Denis Suarez, before Gomes pulled the ball back for Arnaiz to drill home a first-time finish.Celta drew level in the 31st minute, however, Sisto reacting quickest to lash in from a tight angle after a close-range Aspas strike crashed against the bar and Cillessen.The hosts went close five minutes prior to the break, Daniel Wass driving narrowly wide, before Paulinho thumped a low shot off-target at the other end.Arnaiz should have scored his second in the 56th minute, sending a diving header from Lucas Digne’s cross wide.Denis Suarez then missed an even better chance at the back post, Semedo’s centre begging to be finished but somehow put wide by the midfielder.Barca were cranking up the pressure and a placed Sergio Busquets shot clipped the bar with Sergio Alvarez well beaten, before Dembele came on for his first appearance in over three months.He’s back @Dembouz — Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) January 4, 2018 Emre Mor drilled inches wide in the 72nd minute, while Alvarez had to save a poked Dembele effort and an ambitious strike from substitute Ivan Rakitic.Dembele looked sharp on his return, but despite heavy pressure from Barca – Roberto hitting the post in stoppage time – they could not force a winner, leaving the tie in the balance ahead of next Thursday’s return leg at Camp Nou, where Celta drew 2-2 last month. read morelast_img