Sergi Roberto sees red but Barca keeps unbeaten run

A second-string FC Barcelona side were held at Celta Vigo by 2-2 as Ernesto Valverde rested players before Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against Sevilla.

Key players such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez started from the bench and Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta were rested, although Valverde started Ousmane Dembele.

He and Philippe Coutinho came into the Barca squad as part of eight changes for the night, with the goalkeeper Marc ter Stegen captaining them for the first time.

Dembele, 20, then fired Barca ahead with his first La Liga goal since joining the Catalan team in the summer before the defender Jonny Castro Otto equalised on the stroke of half-time.

Paulinho put the visitors ahead again just after the hour, by which time Messi had been sent on, but Sergio Roberto saw red on 71 minutes for pulling down Iago Aspas, who made it 2-2 with eight minutes left.

Paulinho also hit the post for the La Liga leaders on what was a frustrating night for Valverde’s side.

Still, they held out to extend their unbeaten run to 40 matches, however, and move 12 points ahead of Atletico Madrid who stays at second place, who have a game in hand.

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