Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Important victory against Celta in the opener

FC Barcelona started their defence of the Spanish league title with a dramatic 3-2 vicotry Monday at hapless Celta Vigo. Their first game of the season was faced without Ronaldinho.

Indeed, the reigning Spanish champions needed a spectacular late volley from debutant Eidur Gudjohnsen to break the resistance of Celta de Vigo.

"It was a heart-stopping game," Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard admitted. "I think we just about deserved to win, but Celta made things really hard for us."

It's important to mention that the late win leaves Barca second in La Liga behind Getafe, who surprisingly won 2-0 Sunday at Osasuna.

A tight first half in Vigo saw few chances for either side. Five minutes before the break, Fernando Baiano opened the scoring for Celta after Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes had spilled a previous shot.

Then, Barca came out for the second half breathing fire and quickly turned the score around.

In a very good move, Samuel Etoo made it 1-1 with a shot from the left. It was the minute 55, and four minutes later Lionel Messi put Barca ahead from a similar position.

In the 65th minute, Gustavo Lopez made it 2-2 for Celta after the shaky Catalan defence failed to clear a free-kick.

However, Barca refused to settle for the draw and laid siege to the Celta goal, encouraged by the sending-off of local midfielder Jose Iriney.

The pressure paid off in the 86th minute, when Gudjohnsen - who had come on as a late sub - made it 3-2 with a powerful shot. It was a really good result in order to gain confidence.

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