Santi Mina shattered Barcelona’s dwindling hopes of winning the LaLiga title as his brace for Celta Vigo condemned Lionel Messi and company to a 2-1 defeat at the Nou Camp.
Lionel Messi briefly dragged Barca to within two points of leaders Atletico Madrid, who went on to beat Osasuna 2-1, but Santi’s brace created an insurmountable gap for Ronald Koeman’s men with just one league match remaining.
Furthermore, Real Madrid’s triumph at Athletic Bilbao leaves them as the only challengers to city rivals Atletico, with Barca now looking over their shoulders at fourth-placed Sevilla, who are two points behind.
Barca did look hungry from the off and Antoine Griezmann came close to scoring early on as he smashed Messi’s pass against visiting goalkeeper Ivan Villar.
In the 28th minute Messi, who had not long since volleyed over from a Griezmann lay-off, notched his 30th league goal of the season by heading Sergio Busquets’ cross from deep on the left beyond Villar.
The hosts’ lead lasted only 10 minutes thanks to Santi, who capitalised on Iago Aspas’ assist to find the back of the net from outside the box with what was Celta’s first shot of the game.
Barca next bared their teeth when teenage midfielder Ilaix Moriba cracked an effort goalwards in the 54th minute only to watch it sail over the bar.
Barca had Lenglet sent off but kept pushing and Braithwaite had a brilliant chance to put them ahead but flicked his shot wide.
Messi and substitute Martin Braithwaite both took aim without success for the hosts and it was not to be their night – or their year – as, just before full-time, Santi arrowed home a shock winner from 18 yards out.
Barca can’t catch either Madrid team after that loss, so they go into their final game against Eibar with nothing to play for as their Champions League spot for next season is already confirmed.
Celta stay in eighth and take a five-match winning run into their last match as they finish their campaign at home to Real Betis.