New Barcelona coach Xavi got a glimpse of the job he has at Barcelona as the Catalan giants surrendered a three-goal first half lead to draw at Celta Vigo.
In the sixth minute of injury time, Iago Aspas notched his second of the game, this one an unstoppable 20-yard curling, first-time effort which agonisingly beat Marc-Andre Ter Stegen's outstretched arm and nestled inside the far post.
Earlier, Ansu Fati scored what will surely become a trademark goal, racing down the left flank before cutting inside a defender and slotting inside the far post. Sadly, he appeared to injure his hamstring before half-time and did not return after the break.
Barcelona in talks for £35m Wolves winger Traore
A rare goal from Sergio Busquets doubled the lead when he curled home from the edge of the area, and then 10 minutes before the interval, Memphis Depay headed home Jordi Alba's cross to seemingly put the result beyond doubt.
Celta, who had their chances in the first half, came out strongly at the start of the second and Aspas bundled home after 52 minutes and a fine Noliti diving header provided hope 16 minutes from time, but a point still seemed beyond them before the superb late, late equaliser.
The result leaves Barcelona down in ninth spot, after just one win in their last five domestic league games.
TALKING POINT - CRAZY RISK OF PRIZED ASSET
As annoying at the the two dropped points will be, they are not likely to be the most costly moment for Barcelona in Galicia. Fati's fine goal will have delighted his new coach back in Barcelona, but late in the half he went down stretching for a ball in the box which Frenkie de Jong cut back for him. After treatment it was decided he could stay on though he was still limping. Moments later he went into a full sprint as Barcelona attacked on the break he went down clutching his left leg.
Soft tissue issues have stifled the careers of many electric forwards and Barcelona, and most football fans, will hope this decision does not see Fati on the sidelines for a lengthy period of time and, longer term, better care is taken of the precocious left winger.
MAN OF THE MATCH - FRENKIE DE JONG (BARCELONA)
There is a lot to give Xavi stress in his first six months in charge of his boyhood club from the gargantuan injury list to a leaky defence and erratic strikeforce. The one spot he can take some confidence in though is the area of the field he once graced. His former team-mate Sergio Busquets remains a strong presence and alongside him it feels like Frenkie de Jong is realising the promise he showed at Ajax during their Champions League run two-and-a-half years ago.
Playing with full confidence he ran with grace through the middle of the park leaving opponents in his wake on numerous occasions, the last of which five minutes from time should have resulted in a fantastic goal only for his effort to clip the crossbar. The few inches he missed by proved so costly ten minutes later.
Celta Vigo: Dituro 6; Hugo Mallo 6, Aidoo 6, Murillo 6, Galan 7; Tapia 6; Denis Suarez 5, Solari 5, Nolito 7; Iago Aspas 8, Galhardo 6.
Subs: Vazquez 7, N Araujo 6, Cervi 7, Belrean 7
Barcelona: Ter Stegen 6; Mingueza 6, Eric Garcia 6, Lenglet 6, Jordi Alba 7; Nico 7, Busquets 8, de Jong 8*; Gavi 6, Depay 6, Ansu Fati 7.
Subs: R Araujo 6, Balde 5, Puig 5, Ezzalzouli 6.
5' GOAL FOR BARCELONA! And a fantastic one from Fati. He got the ball on the left flank just outside the penalty area, then drove into the box before cutting inside Mallo and firing inside the far post.
18' GOAL FOR BARCELONA! Gavi pulls a ball back from the by-line which reachs Busquets on the edge of the box and he curls a low effort home inside the right goal post.
35' GOAL FOR BARCELONA! Depay heads home Alba's perfect cross from the left flank to give the Catalan giants a big lead.
52' GOAL FOR CELTA! It's been coming. Aspas scores his fourth of the season bundling home from close range after Galan's shot was fumbled by the Barcelona keeper and Araujo could only push the ball into the path of the Celta striker.
74' GOAL FOR CELTA! A fantastic diving header from Nolito diverting home Cervi's superb cross. We have a game now.
90+6' GOAL FOR CELTA! Aspas scores a fantastic equaliser in added time of injury time. He received a pass back to him from Galan on the left flank and curled an effort beyond ter Stegen and into the net.
23 - It is 23 years since Barcelona have failed to win a la Liga game after taking a three-goal lead, going all the way back to a 4-3 defeat at home to Valencia in 1998 (Opta).
Barca’s Araujo linked to Real Madrid free transfer in 2023
Spanish Super Cup
‘Xavi effect’ starting to be seen at Barcelona, despite El Clasico defeat - Inside Europe