From tie to tie until the final defeat of a chaotic Barça that left the Camp Nou dejected. Fateful afternoon for a team that signed its epitaph in this League with the fall against Granada, then prolonged by draws against Atletico and Levante until it reached Santos Mina to sign the collapse of Koeman’s team, which leaves the championship adding five points from the last 15 possible. Not even mathematics supported a dying team anymore.
And that the afternoon was sunny. Messi comes out. Who knows if it is his last game in the garden that he has cultivated with care for decades in the Camp Nou. Look up. There is no soul. Look at nothing. Like this disconcerting Barça, capable of dominating the game and even playing well in the first half and dirtying it, as always, in the second. He plays, has the ball, generates danger, scores a single goal, protected by the old connection – Busquets focused with extreme delicacy and Leo headed with extreme delicacy – to be naked from behind, where even Ter Stegen seems like an earthly goalkeeper. A shot on goal from Celta, a goal, with the German petrified without even throwing himself on the grass. Neither did Marc-André stain his gloves, astonished by that Santi Mina shot.
Sunny afternoon. Koeman leaves the bench leaving his Barça with the traditional 3-5-2, sending, again, Dembélé to the role of right lane, thus leaving Ilaix to fill the void of the sanctioned De Jong. Koeman leaves without knowing if it is his last game at a Camp Nou where he has not seen a single culé in nine convulsive months where he has had three presidents while he had to manage the decline of a team that destroys itself in each game.
After counting the first half, both Leo and Ronald would not want to raise their gaze to the gigantic markers of a temple uninhabited by the pandemic for a year and a half to avoid certifying, in one more meeting, that the team has no solution. It emits signs of recovery, but then the traditional return to poverty.
He pressed well at the start, he moved the ball fast, who managed to recover it immediately, while Busquets continues to have extreme agility in his head to find Leo even though he is surrounded by celestial defenses. And the ’10’ disguised himself as an old ‘nine’ with that header in which he cunningly modified the direction of the ball.
What cannot be modified, given what has been seen (Granada, Atlético, Levante, Celta …), is the depressive tendency of a Barça that defends itself chaotically. Nor did the Galician team need to step on the Barça area to strip Koeman’s team. He’s been out on the lawn for a long time without any clothes on. It does not matter if it is cold or sunny. He goes with his shame in the air.
The Dutch coach activated the change button at half-time, removing Pedri, whose gasoline ran out weeks ago, exhausted from so much effort, and placed Riqui Puig on the field, who had barely played five minutes in the last seven games. . In other words, Busquets, escorted by a teenager (Ilaix) and a teenager (Riqui), also having Ter Stegen drowned in a self-esteem crisis. He doesn’t stop with his hands and he looks clumsy with his feet. Come on, he’s not who he’s always been, despite stopping Denis’s shot in the second half. Seeing that the dynamism of the young man from Matadepera was not enough, the technician shook the shaker and changed the slate. Pulled out Dest, sent Piqué to the shower and recovered the 4-3-3, something that used to be in disuse, later altering the landscape of the attack. Koeman returned to remove Dembélé and Griezmann, two of the three most expensive signings in the club’s history (the first is Coutinho and he has been injured since December), to play the minimum options to aspire to the League with Braithwaite and Trincao.
With Barça finishing with 10 players for the expulsion of Lenglet, one more. In just 10 minutes the French center-back saw two yellows, a symbol of the bewilderment of a team that dragged itself without any soul, nor encouraged by the fall of Atlético.
Portrayed on the occasion, an incredible occasion that Braithwaite failed. Only in front of the goal was the Dane when he threw the ball almost to the corner flag. The nine for Barça is Martin. The nine that missed a goal that cannot be missed. And Celta ended up winning the game that Barça neither wanted nor knew how to win thanks to Santi Mina’s goal, saying goodbye in a bad way. Maybe Koeman will no longer return to that bench. Y Messi? If you look around you, you know what there is. Burnt earth, as in Lisbon.
Barça: Ter Stegen (4), Araujo (5), Piqué (4), Lenglet (4), Dembélé (4), Jordi Alba (5), Ilaix (5), Busquets (6), Pedri (5), Messi (6) and Griezmann (4)
Coach: Ronald Koeman (4)
Changes: Riqui Puig (5) for Pedri (m. 46); Dest (4) by Piqué (c. 69); Braithwaite (4) from Griezmann (c. 70); Trincao (4) from Dembélé (d. 70); Pjanic (sc) of Ilaix (c. 85)
Celta: Iván Villar (6), Kevin Vázquez (6), C. Domínguez (5), Nestor (6), Aaron (6), Fran Beltrán (7), Brais Méndez (7), Denis Suárez (6), Nolito (5), Santi Mina (9) and Iago Aspas (6).
Coach: Cacho Coudet (8)
Changes: Solari (6) for Nolito (d. 68); Baeza (5) by Iago Aspas (m. 78); Sotelo (sc) by Fran Beltrán (m. 93)
Goals: 1-0, Messi (m. 28); 1-1, Santi Mina (d. 38); 1-2, Santi Mina (d. 89)
Referee: De Burgos Bengoetxea (), Basque
Yellow cards: C. Domínguez (m. 50); Riqui Puig (m. 55), Lenglet (m. 73 and m. 83)
Red card: Lenglet (m. 82)
Stadium: Camp Nou
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.