Suarez scores twice, late Aspas goal rocks Barcelona title challenge

Barcelona dropped two crucial points in the Spanish title race by drawing 2-2 away to Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Barcelona, 28 June 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Barcelona dropped two crucial points in the Spanish title race by drawing 2-2 away to Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Luis Suarez put them ahead on 20 minutes heading in Lionel Messi’s clever free-kick.

But on 50 minutes Fedor Smolov equalised from Okay’s pass.

Suarez struck again on 67 minutes but with two minutes of normal time remaining Iago Aspas bent a free-kick around the Barcelona wall and the home side were level again.

Celta might even have won it but substitute Nolito missed a great late chance at the back post.

Barcelona move one point clear of Real Madrid but will be two points behind them if Madrid beat Espanyol on Sunday.

“Because of one of our players jumping the ball has gone in,” lamented Barcelona coach Quique Setien, appearing to blame substitute Antoine Griezmann who was at the end of the wall.

“Barcelona did a lot of things well in the game. It should have been more comfortable for us but we made mistakes. We have to correct certain things.”

Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas said: “I have to thank our goalkeeping coaches because they showed us videos in which you see the wall jumping [when Barcelona defend free-kicks].

“I saw the gap around Griezmann and inside the post and that is where I put the ball.”

Barcelona came into the game having already lost five games on the road this season.

Asked about this away draw and the poor away form Suarez said: “That’s what the coaches are there for, to analyse these situations. We are dropping important points away from home that in other seasons we were not.”

The Barcelona forward added: “These were important points. We have to win our remaining games and hope that Madrid drop points. But we are left with a sense of frustration.”

Earlier Athletic Bilbao moved up to ninth in La Liga with a 3-1 home win over Mallorca which nudged their guests closer to relegation.

Raul Garcia put Athletic ahead on 16 minutes by scoring his seventh penalty of the season.

Oihan Sancet doubled the lead on 24 minutes. And although Ante Budimir narrowed the margin with 20 minutes left, Athletic completed the job in the last minute when Asier Villalibre scored the third.

Athletic, having played a game more, are now two points behind Real Sociedad who occupy the last Europa League place in seventh.

Third-bottom Mallorca are six points from safety having played a game more than fourth last Eibar.

Later Saturday, second-bottom Leganes were beaten 2-1 by Osasuna, and third-placed Atletico Madrid beat Alaves 2-1.

Struggling Leganes looked to have salvaged a draw until Enric Gallego scored the winner for Osasuna in the 96th minute.

Atletico Madrid were last to play and making heavy work of beating Alaves, until Marcos Llorente came on at the 58 minute mark.

With his first touch he burst down the right winning a free-kick. Kieran Trippier put it on Saul Niguez’ head and the home side were 1-0 up.

Llorente then won a dubious penalty and Diego Costa rolled in the spot-kick. Joselu Mato scored a penalty on 90 minutes but Atletico held on.

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