The 5-0 victory from 2017-18 en route to the Copa Del Rey title or the win by the same scoreline just a year prior in La Liga may be fresher in the minds of the Culers ahead of this crucial league tie. Nevertheless, the men in claret and blue obtained a far more memorable result as they edged ever closer to their 24th league title.
Luis Enrique’s Barcelona hosted Eduardo Berizzo’s Celta in the Camp Nou in February of 2016 in an unforgettable clash not only for the sheer number of goals scored but also for the sheer level of dominance displayed by the hosts. Barcelona were out for blood following their own humbling at Balaidos just four months prior and a picture perfect second half display ensured that all three points would remain in the Camp Nou.
Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Jordi Alba
Sergi Roberto, Busquets, Iniesta
Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Coach: Luis Enriqué
Mallo, Cabral, Castro, Planas
Daniel Wass, Radoja, Pablo Hernandez
Beauvue, Guidetti, Josep Sene
Coach: Eduardo Berizzo
Bereft of star forwards Iago Aspas, Nolito and Fabian Orellana, the Celestes were in for an uphill battle against the Spanish league leaders. Despite this, it is them who took the first shot on goal. A quick exchange of passes between Claudio Beauvue and John Guidetti got the latter in space but his half volley was palmed away by his countryman Claudio Bravo. On the other end of the pitch, Lionel Messi had a chance of his own through a freekick but his curling effort went just wide off the mark.
Luis Suarez celebrating his team’s fourth goal from the penalty spot with Lionel Messi | Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
This didn’t matter much, however, as just some moments later, a similar effort put Barcelona in the lead. Having been fouled about ten yards off the edge of the box, the Argentine took a tremendous free kick, curling the ball over the wall and dipping into the keeper’s top left hand corner. Barcelona would continue to create chances but on a fast break, Celta earned themselves a penalty after a clumsy Jordi Alba challenge in the penalty area. Guidetti stepped up for his side and subsequently scored the penalty, drawing his side level just five minutes before halftime and silencing the home crowd.
Half-time: Barcelona 1-1 Celta
Barcelona upped the tempo almost immediately after the whistle was blown. From out wide, Neymar Jr showcased his skills on the ball going past two opposition defenders then playing in a low cross from the by-line. To his dismay, Luis Suárez’ first time effort struck the frame of the goal and Sergi Roberto fumbled the rebound and the ball went out for a goal kick.
The Uruguayan redeemed himself not too long after. Having played a quick one-two with his South American counterpart Lionel Messi, the Argentine chipped the ball over the Celta backline and found his striking partner who volleyed home the rebound to get Barcelona back in the ascendancy. The hosts then widened the gap even further as the front three meticulously combined to score the third. Messi went past his marker and played a through ball into Neymar’s path. The Brazilian then went past Alvarez but his shot was tapped in from just over the line by Suárez.
Messi would then add further gloss to the scoreline. From a 1v1 situation on the edge of the box, Messi fooled Joni Mollo into making a rash challenge and what ensued got the home side in party mode. The Argentine passed up his chance to get his 300th La Liga goal and instead laid the ball on the plate for Suarez to score an easy tap in. The sheer audacity to even fathom attempting such a move and the confidence to go on with it summed up Luis Enrique’s Barça up quite well; they would not only rip their opponents to shreds but they also made sure that they’d enjoy every second of it.
Neymar celebrating his 90+1′ goal at the Camp Nou against Celta Vigo | Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images
With revenge exacted over their rivals, Barcelona went on to rub salt in the fresh wounds of the travelling supporters. The two goals that Barça scored were just a show of how complete Suárez was that campaign. He first replicated Messi’s assist and lobbed the ball over the Celta backline for Rakitić to volley it over the advancing keeper. In the 91st minute, with the game done and dusted, he then played a cross-field pass into Neymar who first controlled the ball to take Cabral out of the equation then finished off the move with a delicate dink over the helpless keeper.
This was a night that neither side would be forgetting any time soon. It had everything one could ever ask for in a football match and more. It was a true spectacle of football with a scoreline that does justice to the performance of the victor.
Full-time: Barcelona 6-1 Celta
The Rewind: Dynamo Kyiv 1-2 Barcelona, 2009/10
As Barcelona prepare themselves to face Dynamo Kyiv in the fourth Matchday of the UEFA Champions League, join us as we reminisce the Catalans’ last away victory over the Ukrainians back in the 2009-10 season in this episode of The Rewind.
While the 0-4 loss in the Camp Nou from the late 20th century had a more profound impact in the hearts and minds of both camps of supporters, the Blaugranas’ 1-2 away victory over the Ukrainians was a slightly less memorable result, but memorable nonetheless as the defending European champions came from behind to secure a late victory.
The possibility of Barcelona not making it to the knockout stages was very much a reality, the odds of it happening were rather slim. The Catalans would not only need to lose to their Ukrainian – Dynamo Kyiv – counterparts by two or more goals, but they would also require a win from either one of Rubin Kazan or Inter Milan to crash out of the competition.
Eremenko · Yussuf · Betão · Magrão
Leandro Almeida · Mikhalik · Vukojević
Shevchenko · Yarmolenko · Milevskiy
Dani Alves · Piqué · Puyol · Abidal
Xavi · Busquets · Keita
Messi · Ibrahimović · Iniesta
The odds were indeed in their favour, however, it did not exactly translate to a guarantee and this much the men in Garnet and Blue learnt just 120 seconds into the encounter.
Following a sumptuous cross from Andriy Shevchenko via a free-kick, Artem Milevskiy connected with the ball, squeezing the ball past Victor Valdes’ gloves and into the back of the net to open the scoring. In and of itself the goal was far from what one would call picture-esque. This mattered little to the hounds of eccentric Dynamo supporters, though. They wanted the lead, they wanted a round of 16 spot, and they were halfway there right from the get-go.
Barcelona’s patience and persistence paid off eventually as in the 33rd minute, the visitors did draw level. Following some of the intricate passing synonymous with the Pep era, Xavi Hernández’ capped off what was a truly remarkable move as he tapped the ball home from Eric Abidal’s cutback.
Xavi got the scores to level pegging. (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP)
One might argue that Barça should have already been through with the game given the sheer dominance they had asserted over their hosts, but fine margins such as those were the determining factor in that match.
Such was the unpredictability of the game as a whole as despite being on the back-foot for most of the opening 45 minutes, the hosts almost went into the break back in the lead. They played primarily on the counter-attack and if not for a Gerard Piqué last gasp block, Barça would have — undeservedly — ended the half a goal down.
Half Time: Dynamo Kyiv 1-1 Barcelona
The second period began just as the first ended, with Kyiv on the break. Shevchenko was once again the catalyst of the action, however, his delicately whipped cross was poorly met by Leandro, whose headed effort went over the bar and out for a goal kick.
Given the context of the match, Barcelona were more than content with hogging the ball for as long as they would like as either one of a draw or a loss by one goal would be enough to see them through to the next round of the Champions League. A crude mix of the impending stress of falling at the hands of Barça and worse, in front of their own fans, clouded the hosts’ judgment. The referee brandished back to back cautionary cards to both Leandro and Ognjen Vukojević for their rough challenges.
The Spanish league leaders thought that they had grabbed the lead as Gerard Piqué’s effort rattled the back of the net, though to his dismay it was ruled out following a push by teammate Zlatan Ibrahimović during the move.
While he had been rather quiet for his standards for most of the match, Lionel Messi produced the breakthrough his side longed for, and he did so with a free-kick oozing of class just four minutes from time. The Argentine worked up his angles and struck the ball off the underside of the crossbar, past a helpless Shovskovskiy and into the back of the net to seal a well-deserved victory for his side.
You could never keep Barcelona and Lionel Messi down for too long, especially when we rewind to 2009, as Dynamo Kyiv found out the hard way.
Why do we fall, sir? (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP)
The Catalan kings rejoiced with the full-time whistle while they left their opposite numbers were full to the brim with reprieve. At the end of the day, the better team won as the Champions deservedly advanced to the knockout stages, where they found themselves rather unfortunate to lose to Jose Mourinho’s Inter in the semifinals. All said and done, Culés wish they can rewind their clocks to 2009 to watch Barcelona run riot over Dynamo Kyiv again.
Full Time: Dynamo Kyiv 1-2 Barcelona