Barca held at Celta, Real Madrid ease to victory

06 Enero, 2018, 01:21 | Author: Thomas Hicks
  • Barcelona's Jose Arnaiz center is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during a Copa del Rey round of 16 first leg soccer match between Celta and Barcelona at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo Spain Thursday Jan. 4 2018. (AP

Barcelona's record signing Ousmane Dembele made his long-awaited return from injury as the Catalan giants drew the first leg of their Copa del Rey round-of-16 tie with Celta Vigo 1-1.

The 20-year-old Frenchman was unable to find a victor on the night, but Barca - looking to win the cup for a fourth successive year - will nevertheless be optimistic of progressing to the quarterfinals in next Thursday's second leg at the Camp Nou. We know the quality they have from La Liga.

"They hit the crossbar but overall we were strong in defence and didn't suffer too much". I'm happy with the squad I have. Celta Vigo is in 11th place.

Barca B striker Arnaiz, leading the attack in the absence of star names Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, scored in his third successive cup appearance when he finished off a low cross from Andre Gomes.

Denmark global Pione Sisto leveled for Celta in the 31st, smashing the ball into the roof of the net after Iago Aspas had hit the underside of the crossbar.

Barca's record-signing Ousmane Dembele came on in the second half to make his first appearance since rupturing his hamstring in September and almost scored the victor, but his low shot was saved by Celta goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez.

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Barca hit the woodwork twice, Sergio Busquets crashing a shot against the bar and Sergio Roberto striking the post in stoppage time while Turkish global Emre Mor went close to grabbing a victor for Celta.

"Celta pressed high and took risks, they were unsafe on the counter-attack, but so were we".

"When a coach makes changes you always run a risk and if you lose people will say it's because you made too many but I'm happy with the squad I have", Valverde said.

"We must take into account that the pace of a whole match against a first division team". "The team is in very positive form".

Leganes beat Villarreal 1-0 at home and Levante won 2-1 at Espanyol.

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