Soccer-Barca title hopes ended by Celta defeat


Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Celta Vigo - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - May 16, 2021 Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action with Celta Vigo's Denis Suarez REUTERS/Albert Gea

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona saw their hopes of winning La Liga extinguished as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Barca were dominant in the first half and deservedly took the lead through Lionel Messi in the 27th minute, as the Argentine headed Sergio Busquet's precise cross past Ivan Villar to make it 30 league goals for the season.

Celta equalised against the run of play 11 minutes later as Santi Mina fired in from the edge of the box following a pacey counter-attack.

Defender Ronald Araujo went close with a header after the restart as Barca tried in vain to retake the lead. However, they found themselves up against it when Clement Lenglet was dismissed with six minutes to play.

With just one minute of normal time left, Mina netted his second of the game to condemn the Catalans to at best a third-placed finish in Ronald Koeman's first season in charge. Barca are third on 76 points, four behind Real Madrid in second with one game remaining.

(Reporting by Joseph Walker; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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