A first-half goal from Pedri gave Fútbol Club Barcelona a 1-0 victory over Celta de Vigo at the Camp Nou on Sunday, regaining the lead in LaLiga, although the team suffered for the victory against a difficult rival.
Barca are level on 22 points with Real Madrid after eight matches but have a better goal difference before the two meet next Sunday in the Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It was the seventh consecutive win in the league for Barcelona, who started well with Gavi and Raphinha opening spaces and creating several goalscoring opportunities.
Celta’s Argentinian goalkeeper, Agustín Marchesín, made an incredible save in the 10th minute with the tip of his left hand to prevent a brilliant long shot from Raphinha.
However, seven minutes later he was overwhelmed by a point-blank shot from Pedri after taking advantage of a mistake by defender Unai Núñez, who tried to clear a Gavi cross.
The 19-year-old, who found his way back into the net, has already scored eight goals from 16 shots on target in LaLiga, conceding in his last four.
Celta looked much better after the break, gaining control of the ball and creating several chances, but goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen prevented them.
The German international extended his unbeaten streak in LaLiga to six games, while he has not conceded a goal in seven of Barca’s eight league games this season.
Celta made an effort in the final minutes, but Ter Stegen made three brilliant saves to prevent the Vigo team from equalizing, two of them in the final minutes.
He first stopped a one-on-one with Iago Aspas with his right foot and then, in added time, deflected a header from Carles Pérez from close range moments before Gonzalo Paciencia hit the right post with a powerful shot.
“We have to improve, we have to be very self-critical,” Barça coach Xavi Hernández told DAZN.
“The first half is good and it’s where we have to sentence. If you score 2-0 it changes. In the second half we haven’t been good”.
“When you lower the intensity and concentration a little in the duels, teams like that can dominate you.”
After Celta’s strong start to the first part of the season, the team has lost three of its last four league games and is 11th with 10 points, four above the relegation zone.
“The tie would have fallen short for the merits we have done,” Aspas, Celta’s captain, told DAZN. “We’ve had a great second half with four or five or six very clear chances, but if you don’t score at the Camp Nou, it’s normal to lose.”