Celta de Vigo vs. Barcelona  2 - 2

Article

Messi not fussed by goal streak

31 March 2013 03:31

Lionel Messi has dismissed the importance of his goal streak and lamented Barcelona dropping points against Celta Vigo on Saturday.

The Argentine has scored in 19 successive La Liga matches and his strike in the 2-2 draw with the relegation candidates ensured he has scored against every opposition team - a feat Cristiano Ronaldo achieved last season, albeit not in a row.

"The least important thing is the streak," Messi told reporters after the match. "I was fortunate to score in all those games and help the team to keep on track.

"But that's not important. We wanted to win after the effort of the squad that were selected but we could not."

Although Tito Vilanova is not back to coaching the squad just yet, he is back with the team and Messi insisted it is fundamental to have the boss back at the club.

"Tito seems very lively and it is very important that he is back with us," he said.

Barcelona resume Champions League duties on Tuesday night at Paris Saint-Germain, and Messi is keen to recuperate ahead of what he perceives to be a potentially tricky quarter-final tie.

"Now we have to rest to get fit and get a good result will be a meeting against a team we know are our equals," he added.

Article

Roura lauds Messi 19-game milestone

31 March 2013 00:34

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura has heaped praise on superstar Lionel Messi for his exploits in front of goal.

The prolific striker surged to yet another record by scoring during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Celta - his 42nd for Barca in all competitions this season.

The 25-year-old broke new ground by being the first player in the history of Spanish football to register a goal in 19 consecutive league games - ensuring he has also scored against every other La Liga side in successive games this season.

And Roura revealed his delight for the Argentine, and believes he has much more to offer.

"Messi's record of scoring against all opponents in a row? That no-one has done it till now shows how difficult it is," Roura said.

Messi's milestone was not enough to hand the league leaders victory however, with Borja Oubina's late strike ensuring the hosts shared the spoils on the night Eric Abidal made a long-awaited return onto the substitutes' bench.

"We had worked hard to turn the score around in the first period, and maybe at the end we lacked the intensity to prevent them from scoring their equaliser," Roura continued.

"Cristian Tello is someone who can offer something different to the team. He works hard, and still has a lot more margin to grow.

"Abidal is part of the match squad now, meaning he's ready to play."

Though the Frenchman was included in the Barcelona squad for the first time since undergoing a liver transplant last year, he is not anticipated to be fit for his team's upcoming Champions League quarter-final date with Paris Saint-Germain.

Roura quashed any suggestions that his team were looking ahead to that match rather than focus on Celta.

"We knew this match would be difficult. At this time of the season, any team is very difficult to beat, but particularly Celta de Vigo who are going through a difficult time and every game is a final for them," Roura said.

"As usual we tried to win the three points. I think we have done the most difficult thing - equalising. I believe in the second half we dominated the game, but with one of the few chances they had they were able to draw. This is football and these kind of things can happen."

Article

La Liga wrap: Magnificent Messi strikes again in Barca draw

30 March 2013 22:26

Barcelona and Real Madrid were both held to draws in La Liga on Saturday, while Malaga reclaimed fourth spot provisionally.

Lionel Messi's goal against Celta Vigo in their 2-2 draw means that the Barcelona star has now found the net against each opponent in the league this season.

The Argentina international beat Celta goalkeeper Javi Varas from close range in the 73rd minute after being set up by Cristian Tello to make it 2-1, and take his season's league tally to 43.

Messi's goal was not enough for the full three points, though, as Borja Oubina restored parity in the closing stages of the encounter.

Messi's goal also saw him extend his scoring streak to an incredible 19 consecutive matches in the Spanish top flight.

Despite the draw, Barcelona's still hold a 14-point lead at the top of the table following Madrid's lacklustre 1-1 stalemate at Real Zaragoza.

On-loan Barcelona B player Rodri gave the hosts the perfect start on six minutes as Jose Mourinho's men struggled to get a foothold in the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo managed to net an equaliser before the break with his 28th league strike of the season, but they could not find the winner in a disappointing second half.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Malaga ended a four-game winless run with a 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano.

Malaga had failed to pick up points against Real Betis, Atletico Madrid, Real Valladolid and Espanyol in recent weeks but goals from Weligton, Julio Baptista and Pedro Morales saw this season's surprise-packets return to winning ways.

Levante snapped a seven-game winless

streak with a narrow 1-0 victory at home to mid-table rivals Sevilla.

Article

Tello not looking too far ahead

28 March 2013 14:50

Cristian Tello insists Barcelona are focused solely on Celta Vigo and not their upcoming Champions League quarter-final with Paris Saint-Germain.

The first leg of Barca's quarter-final tie against PSG takes place on Tuesday, but Tello has made it clear they are taking things one game at a time.

"We are very focused on the league. Each match is a final for us, and we want to win as many points as possible," Tello said at a press conference.

"Celta are fighting for their lives and they will be a difficult rival to defeat."

The 21-year-old has netted four goals in 14 Liga appearances so far this term, and he is happy with his performances this campaign.

"In general I’m very pleased with my season. I want to thank the managers and players for their confidence in me, I want to continue learning from them," he said.

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +75 100
2 38 +61 85
3 38 +34 76
4 38 +21 66
5 38 +13 65
6 38 +3 57
7 38 +1 56
8 38 -16 53
9 38 +4 50
10 38 -14 47
11 38 -17 46
12 38 -21 45
13 38 -9 44
14 38 -9 43
15 38 -17 42
16 38 -17 39
17 38 -15 37
18 38 -29 36
19 38 -23 35
20 38 -25 34