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Barcelona snatch late victory against Celta

Barcelona Lewandowski

A 97th minute Lewandowski penalty took all three points for the Blaugrana.

It always feels premature to rule a team out of the title race whilst the calendar still reads ‘February’, yet in the case of Barcelona‘s LaLiga EA Sports hopes this term, it would have been safe to consider them out of the running if it hadn’t been for Robert Lewandowski.

With Real Madrid and Girona matching each other step-for-step, Xavi‘s team are stuttering, lurching from a good result to a disappointing one.

This lack of consistency almost continued on Saturday evening as the Blaugrana looked like only managing a 1-1 draw away to Celta Vigo, but a late penalty saved their blushes.

Lewandowski’s goals just enough for Barcelona at present

Robert Lewandowski, who remains one of the more prolific members of Xavi‘s squad, made the difference on Saturday, although it wasn’t a vintage display from the start.

Robert Lewandowski Barcelona first goal

Lamine Yamal stung the palms of the opposing goalkeeper in the 10th minute of the match, but that was as close as Barcelona realistically came in the opening exchanges.

Some of the visitors’ interplay was pretty and intricate, but effective it proved not to be. Yamal sent corners into the box which eluded everyone, whilst Vitor Roque couldn’t find adequate support in-and-around the box.

The opening goal finally came in the 45th minute, just seconds before the half-time whistle was blown.

As has been the case with most good things for Barcelona this term, Yamal was at the heart of it. The youngster played an audacious pass into Lewandowski inside the penalty box, and the former Borussia Dortmund goalscorer was on-hand to slide the ball into the back of the net.

Concentration waned almost immediately from Los Cules. It took Celta Vigo just two second-half minutes to equalize and look like sending Barcelona on their way to a seventh LaLiga EA Sports draw of the campaign.

Iago Aspas Celta

Iago Aspas, who had been struggling with a knock in the first-half, made space on the edge of the area and fired a hopeful shot in the direction of Marc-Andre ter Stegen‘s goal. It took a wild deflection and bounced clear of the German and into the back of the net.

The drama, though, was to come deep in second-half injury-time when Barcelona were awarded a penalty.

Fran Beltran made a clumsy challenge and the referee pointed to the spot immediately. Lewandowski had to wait a long time before he could take the resultant kick, yet he spurned the opportunity.

The Polish international powered an effort to the right side of the goal, but Vicente Guaita was able to parry it wide.

However, VAR determined that the former Crystal Palace keeper was off his line, and Lewandowski was given a reprieve.

With the re-take, he was successful and tucked the ball into the net to steal a 2-1 victory.