Frenkie de Jong: “We have to offer ourselves more when there’s pressure from the opponent”

Barcelona travelled to Galicia this afternoon to take on Celta Vigo in La Liga. Buoyant following the appointment of Xavi as coach, they went into the game in search of a win but were shocked. Having gone 3-0 up by half-time, they ended up drawing 3-3.

Barcelona got off to a quick start, taking the lead inside five minutes. Unsurprisingly, it was Ansu Fati who drew first blood. The talented teenager came in off the left flank, beat his man and unleashed an accurate effort into the top corner of the net.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 18th minute. This time Nico played a quick ball just outside the box – Sergio Busquets controlled it before coolly placing his shot into the bottom corner of the net to score his first goal in two years.

Memphis Depay scored Barcelona’s third in the 34th minute. The Dutchman scored a well-placed header after some sterling buildup play involving Nico and Jordi Alba – a cohesive, cogent move.

Despite being utterly dominated in the first half, Celta came out fighting at the beginning of the second. They pulled a goal back seven minutes after the restart, Iago Aspas seizing upon a loose ball to score after poor goalkeeping by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Celta made it 2-3 in the 74th minute. This time Nolito was on hand to steer an accurate header past Ter Stegen after being teed up perfectly in the penalty area. Then, quite remarkably, Aspas scored his second and Celta’s third in the 96th minute. He curled a perfectly-struck effort past the outstretched Ter Stegen to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat.

“I think that in the second half we forgot to play, we were stuck,” Frenkie de Jong said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “It was a lack of personality. We have to change as players because we have to offer ourselves more when there’s pressure from the opponent. That’s it.

“This game was very important to climb higher in the table and [to fail to win it] is a very strong blow for us. We can still fight [for La Liga] because we have a lot of quality. There’s been a lot of lost points and it will very difficult, but we have to continue.”

Tags Barcelona Celta Vigo Frenkie de Jong La Liga