Rafa Benitez was eying his first big win since returning to coaching in Spain with his team ahead 2-0, but that didn’t go as planned.
Jorgen Strand Larsen had given Celta a surprise lead in the 19th minute, and the visitors looked on course for a famous victory when Anastasios Douvikas struck a second with 14 minutes remaining.
However, two clinical finishes in the space of just four minutes from Robert Lewandowski rescued Barcelona’s hopes.
Joao Cancelo who is on loan at the club then struck in the 89th minute, helping Barcelona who were two goals down defeat Celta Vigo 3-2.
The defeat would be a bitter loss for Benitez who became Celta’s manager this summer. This is his first job in Spain since his short-lived stint with Real Madrid in 2015. Celta has only one win in six games under the coach who led Valencia to league titles back in 2002 and 2004.
The late rally means Barcelona are now the first La Liga team to win in the last 14 seasons when trailing by multiple goals entering the 80th minute. The club is now tied on points surprisingly with Girona at the top of the table after its fellow Catalan club routed Mallorca 5-3. Real Madrid is one point behind both before visiting Atletico Madrid on Sunday, September 24.
Speaking after the match, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said;
“It was a spectacular comeback. We really believed until the end. We played with faith and courage. It was a comeback born from a will to win. When you don’t play well, you need these qualities.
“We were taking more and more risks, leaving two at the back, everyone else on the pitch was an attacking player. We had to take risks and it came off.
“This shows the generational change we see in society. [The players] don’t give up, 2-0 down, at home, but this generation fights until the end.
“Gavi, [Alejando] Balde, Lamine [Yamal] … today is a massive point of inflexion for our winning character. We have not played good football, but it’s about epic character and faith.”