Barcelona’s La Liga title hopes were dealt a huge blow as Iago Aspas’ 88th-minute free-kick condemned them to a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo.
The Estadio de Balaidos has not been a happy hunting ground for Barcelona in recent years, as they have not won at Celta since 2015.
Luis Suarez gave Barca the perfect start, heading home Lionel Messi’s clever free-kick in the 20th minute for his first goal since January.
Celta responded well to going behind and they almost made an immediate response but Brais Mendez’s shot rebounded off the post before Aspas’s fierce strike was palmed away by Ter Stegen
The hosts eventually equalised shortly after the interval as Russia striker Fyodor Smolov equalised converted from close range after being picked out by Okay Yokuslu to complete a swift counter-attack.
Quique Setien’s side restored their lead in the 67th minute as Suarez, who was once again set up by Messi, put his side on course for their first win at Celta Vigo since 2015 and a three-point gap above Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
The second goal looked to have averted a second consecutive away draw for Barca after last week’s goalless draw at Sevilla, but Aspas won a late free kick after falling over the outstretched leg of Pique right on the edge of the penalty area.
Aspas made the late opportunity count by whipping a low drive around the wall and into the near bottom corner, leaving Ter Stegen stranded.
Celta still had time for one final opportunity and they should have won the game in stoppage time when Nolito arrived at the far post to meet Denis Suarez’s cross. However, with the goal at his mercy, he shot straight at Ter Stegen
Aspas’ last-gasp strike meant Barca had to settle for a share of the spoils at the Estadio de Balaidos as Celta continued their fine form to move eight points clear of the relegation places.
Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid now have the chance to take full advantage when they travel to Espanyol on Sunday evening.
Other La Liga results
Athletic Bilbao 3-1 Mallorca
Osasuna 2-1 Leganes
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Deportivo Alaves