Neymar scored twice as Barcelona recorded a comfortable victory over Celta Vigo to remain firmly in the hunt for the La Liga title.

The Brazilian opened the scoring early on with a close-range finish from Alexis Sanchez's cross.

Barcelona lost goalkeeper Victor Valdes to a serious looking injury before Lionel Messi slotted in a second.

Neymar wrapped up the win in the second half, collecting a long Sanchez ball and finishing with a low shot.

Barcelona's remaining games

  • 29 March v Espanyol (a)
  • 5 April v Real Betis (h)
  • 12 April v Granada (a)
  • 27 April v Villarreal (a)
  • 4 May v Getafe (h)
  • 7 May v Athletic Bilbao (h)
  • 11 May v Elche (a)
  • 18 May v Atletico Madrid (h)

The win moved Barcelona top of the standings with 72 points, although that could change with Real Madrid and Atletico in action later on Wednesday. They play Sevilla and Granada respectively.

Barcelona brought themselves right back into the title race when they beat Real Madrid 4-3 in a thrilling Clasico on Sunday and were determined to build on that as they attacked Celta Vigo from the outset.

No sooner had the game kicked off and Messi had the ball in the net, but was flagged offside.

Barcelona's opener arrived minutes later, as Messi cut open the defence with a pass to send Sanchez clear and the forward in turn played a square ball for Neymar, who tapped in from close range.

The trio were causing all sorts of problems and at one stage all three ran clear but Messi uncharacteristically played a pass that left Neymar with too much to do and the Brazilian shot into the side netting.

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes was carried off on a stretcher early on with a suspected knee injury

Celta had won three of their previous four away games in La Liga and, to their credit, they did not set themselves up solely to nullify Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

They thought they had been awarded a penalty midway through the first half when Adriano handled the ball. The referee had appeared to point towards the penalty spot but then awarded a free kick, which Fabian Orellana curled towards goal but Valdes saved at the second attempt.

However, that save came at a price as the Spain goalkeeper injured his knee and had to be substituted, with 38-year-old Jose Manuel Pinto taking his place.

Barcelona responded to that setback by swiftly adding a second as Andres Iniesta played a perfect defence-splitting pace that sent Messi clear to slot calmly into the corner of the net.

The home side were dominant in possession but on the few occasions Celta managed to break into the Barcelona final third, their attacking play was quick and incisive.

Only a superb double save from Pinto prevented them from pulling a goal back early in the second half when he denied Augusto Fernandez, before getting on his feet quickly to prevent Santiago Mina from scoring with the follow up.

Instead, it was Barcelona who put the game beyond the visitors with just over 20 minutes remaining as Sanchez played a cross-field pass for Neymar, who raced down on goal and, despite the attention of two defenders, squeezed a shot into the net.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Barcelona

  • 01 Valdés (Pinto Colorado - 24' )
  • 21 Adriano Booked
  • 18 Alba Booked
  • 17 Song
  • 15 Bartra
  • 14 Mascherano
  • 04 Fábregas
  • 08 Iniesta (Sergi - 45' )
  • 10 Messi
  • 09 Sánchez
  • 11 Neymar (Pedro - 71' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Piqué
  • 07 Pedro
  • 13 Pinto Colorado
  • 16 Busquets
  • 20 Tello
  • 22 Dani Alves
  • 24 Sergi

Celta de Vigo

  • 13 Rodríguez Oterino
  • 02 Mallo Novegil Booked
  • 15 Aurtenetxe
  • 19 Castro Otto
  • 03 Fontás (Oubiña - 74' )
  • 22 Cabral (López - 38' )
  • 24 Fernández Booked
  • 08 López Sánchez
  • 14 Orellana (Bermejo - 64' )
  • 29 Mina Lorenzo
  • 17 Madinda

Substitutes

  • 01 Álvarez Conde
  • 04 Oubiña
  • 09 Bermejo
  • 10 Agudo Durán
  • 11 Dias de Oliveira
  • 21 López
  • 30 Costas
Ref: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez
Att: 67,162

Match Stats

Shots

14 8

On target

6 6

Corners

4 6

Fouls

11 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Barcelona 3, Celta de Vigo 0.

90:00 +3:00 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Celta de Vigo 0.

90:00 +2:00

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

90:00 +1:19

Delay in match Mario Bermejo (Celta de Vigo) because of an injury.

88:31

Foul by Sergi Roberto (Barcelona).

88:31

Borja Oubiña (Celta de Vigo) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

87:21

Foul by Adriano (Barcelona).

87:21

Santi Mina (Celta de Vigo) wins a free kick on the left wing.

85:54

Attempt saved. Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

83:50

Attempt saved. Mario Bermejo (Celta de Vigo) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Álex López with a cross.

82:47 Booking

Booking Hugo Mallo (Celta de Vigo) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

82:40

Pedro (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:40

Foul by Hugo Mallo (Celta de Vigo).

82:33

Attempt saved. Jonny (Celta de Vigo) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Álex López.

82:03

Attempt missed. Augusto Fernández (Celta de Vigo) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Yoel.

81:33

Attempt missed. Jordi Alba (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas.

80:39

Attempt missed. Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

78:06

Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

78:06

Mario Bermejo (Celta de Vigo) wins a free kick on the right wing.

77:02

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

76:05

Delay in match Pinto (Barcelona) because of an injury.

74:54 Booking

Booking Augusto Fernández (Celta de Vigo) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

74:48

Jordi Alba (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

74:48

Foul by Augusto Fernández (Celta de Vigo).

74:18

Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

74:18

Foul by Borja Oubiña (Celta de Vigo).

73:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celta de Vigo. Borja Oubiña replaces Andreu Fontás.

72:22

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Jonny.

72:21

Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Pedro with a through ball.

70:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Pedro replaces Neymar.

69:22

Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).

69:22

Jon Aurtenetxe (Celta de Vigo) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Barcelona 3, Celta de Vigo 0. Neymar (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez following a fast break.

65:36

Corner, Celta de Vigo. Conceded by Javier Mascherano.

64:33

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

64:33

Iñigo López (Celta de Vigo) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celta de Vigo. Mario Bermejo replaces Fabián Orellana.

61:09

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

61:09

Foul by Iñigo López (Celta de Vigo).

59:11

Corner, Celta de Vigo. Conceded by Adriano.

58:30

Corner, Celta de Vigo. Conceded by Javier Mascherano.

58:01

Offside, Barcelona. Lionel Messi tries a through ball, but Francesc Fábregas is caught offside.

57:25

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

57:25

Foul by Hugo Mallo (Celta de Vigo).

55:12

Foul by Marc Bartra (Barcelona).

55:12

Lévy Madinda (Celta de Vigo) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

55:00

Offside, Barcelona. Javier Mascherano tries a through ball, but Alexis Sánchez is caught offside.

54:36

Offside, Celta de Vigo. Yoel tries a through ball, but Augusto Fernández is caught offside.

52:10

Attempt missed. Augusto Fernández (Celta de Vigo) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Santi Mina with a cross.

51:54

Attempt saved. Santi Mina (Celta de Vigo) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

51:53

Attempt saved. Augusto Fernández (Celta de Vigo) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fabián Orellana with a cross.

51:04

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

51:04

Foul by Hugo Mallo (Celta de Vigo).

49:04

Corner, Celta de Vigo. Conceded by Jordi Alba.

47:08

Corner, Celta de Vigo. Conceded by Marc Bartra.

46:34

Attempt missed. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

45:00

Second Half begins Barcelona 2, Celta de Vigo 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Andrés Iniesta.

45:00 +4:08 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Barcelona 2, Celta de Vigo 0.

45:00 +2:59 Booking

Booking Jordi Alba (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

45:00 +2:54

Foul by Jordi Alba (Barcelona).

45:00 +2:54

Álex López (Celta de Vigo) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00 +0:22

Alexandre Song (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +0:22

Foul by Andreu Fontás (Celta de Vigo).

44:31

Attempt missed. Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.

42:33

Foul by Marc Bartra (Barcelona).

42:33

Fabián Orellana (Celta de Vigo) wins a free kick on the left wing.

37:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celta de Vigo. Iñigo López replaces Gustavo Cabral because of an injury.

37:05

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Jon Aurtenetxe.

37:04

Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Neymar.

33:36

Offside, Barcelona. Lionel Messi tries a through ball, but Neymar is caught offside.

33:06

Attempt saved. Fabián Orellana (Celta de Vigo) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Álex López.

30:51

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Hugo Mallo.

29:18 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Barcelona 2, Celta de Vigo 0. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta with a through ball.

28:25

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

26:25

Delay in match Gustavo Cabral (Celta de Vigo) because of an injury.

25:29

Corner, Celta de Vigo. Conceded by Jordi Alba.

23:13

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

23:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Pinto replaces Víctor Valdés because of an injury.

20:55

Delay in match Víctor Valdés (Barcelona) because of an injury.

20:36

Attempt saved. Fabián Orellana (Celta de Vigo) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

19:41 Booking

Booking Adriano (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

19:20

Hand ball by Adriano (Barcelona).

18:08

Offside, Celta de Vigo. Lévy Madinda tries a through ball, but Fabián Orellana is caught offside.

17:41

Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

17:41

Santi Mina (Celta de Vigo) wins a free kick on the right wing.

15:07

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.

14:19

Attempt missed. Neymar (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

13:02

Offside, Barcelona. Adriano tries a through ball, but Neymar is caught offside.

12:25

Attempt saved. Adriano (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.

11:27

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

11:27

Álex López (Celta de Vigo) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:31

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Jon Aurtenetxe.

8:47

Offside, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.

6:58

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

6:58

Foul by Jon Aurtenetxe (Celta de Vigo).

5:06 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Barcelona 1, Celta de Vigo 0. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

4:49

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Neymar.

3:44

Offside, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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