Celta Vigo 2-1 Barcelona: Veiga double stuns champions
Gabri Veiga scored twice as Celta Vigo clinched survival with a surprise 2-1 win over champions Barcelona on a dramatic final day of the season in LaLiga.
Starting the game in 17th, Celta knew a victory would preserve their top-flight status and Carlos Carvalhal's men took charge as Veiga struck either side of the break.
The 21-year-old drilled into the bottom-left corner to spark wild scenes at the Balaidos shortly before half-time, then saw a fortuitous 65th-minute cross sail in off the far post.
Celta clung on after Barca substitute Ansu Fati nodded home, clinching a 13th-placed finish as Real Valladolid went down, while Barca ended the campaign 10 points clear of runners-up Real Madrid.
Barca thought they had an 11th-minute lead when Franck Kessie latched onto a rebound to beat Ivan Villar, only for a VAR review to show the midfielder was offside.
Oscar Rodriguez skewed a first-time shot just wide as Celta went close, while Robert Lewandowski saw a curling effort clip the outside of Villar's left post.
The offside flag thwarted Rodriguez as he capitalised on Marc-Andre ter Stegen's error to flick home, but Celta did go ahead on the stroke of half-time when Veiga raced onto Haris Seferovic's pass to finish across goal.
With Barca struggling for momentum, Veiga put Celta 2-0 up when his mishit cross from the right swerved over substitute goalkeeper Inaki Pena, clipping the woodwork before nestling in the back of the net.
Fati ensured a nervous finish by heading in Ousmane Dembele's cross 11 minutes from time, but Celta clung on to ensure another season of top-flight football.
What does it mean? Celta survive six-way survival tussle
Six teams — Celta, Cadiz, Getafe, Valencia, Almeria and Valladolid — entered the final matchday looking to avoid finishing in LaLiga's final relegation spot and a memorable performance saw Celta belie their recent form to top that mini-league.
Celta entered Sunday's fixtures having taken one point from their previous five league games — the worst tally among the relegation-threatened sides — but a battling display saw Carvalhal's men deservedly down the champions.
Veiga caps breakout season with dream finale
Young midfielder Veiga has been a bright light throughout a largely dire campaign for Celta, with his performances reportedly attracting admiring glances from Newcastle United.
If this game was Veiga's last for Celta, he went out on a high. At 21 years and eight days old, he became the youngest player to score a league brace against Barcelona since Sergio Aguero in March 2009.
With 11 goals this term, Veiga is also the first player born in 2002 or later to hit double figures in a single season in LaLiga.
Seferovic makes his mark
Maligned by many for his lack of goals, Seferovic assumed the role of creator as he shone in the Celta attack.
The Benfica loanee created two chances including his assist for Veiga's opener — a tally only matched by Javi Galan for Celta — while he also managed seven passes in the final third.
Key Opta facts:
- Barcelona have conceded nine goals in their last five games in LaLiga, two more than in their previous 24 in the competition (seven).
- Barcelona have lost three of their last four away matches in LaLiga (W1), having only suffered two defeats in their previous 30 on the road in the competition.
- The Blaugrana have lost on four of their eight visits to the Balaidos in LaLiga since the 2015-16 season (W1 D3), the most defeats they have suffered at any away ground in the competition in that span.
- Celta have lost just one of their last eight home league games against Barca (W4 D3, losing 3-0 in October 2020) after losing four of their previous five home games against the Blaugrana in the competition (D1).
Barcelona will look to successfully defend the league title for the first time since doing so in 2018-19 next term, while Celta can look forward to spending their centenary season in the Spanish top flight.