Barcelona, May 10 (EFE).- FC Barcelona took another step toward locking up a second-place finish in LaLiga with a 3-1 victory here Tuesday over Celta Vigo, a match in which Ousmane Dembele was most responsible for orchestrating the Catalans’ attack.
The result on the field, however, was overshadowed by concern for the health of Barça center back Ronald Araujo, who suffered a concussion and had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance after a scary collision of heads with teammate Gavi.
Barcelona started slowly against a Celta side that had more ideas on attack in the early going and created some danger with the play of Argentine midfielder Franco Cervi on the left and Brazilian forward Thiago Galhardo, who led his side in shots on goal.
But just as the Camp Nou fans were getting restless, Dembele came alive at the half-hour mark to beat a pair of defenders and cross the ball to Memphis Depay, who scored past net minder Matias Dituro.
On the play, Dembele notched his league-leading 12th assist and Memphis tallied his 12th goal.
Celta tried to answer in the 37th minute but were stymied thanks to a remarkable save by Marc-Andre ter Stegen of a shot by Galhardo.
Instead, Barça doubled their lead on a goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who took advantage of an error by Mexican defender Nestor Araujo to score in the 41st minute.
Dembele then ran the show early in the second half, tallying yet another assist in the 48th minute when he served Aubameyang a goal on a platter.
Celta Vigo got on the board in the 50th minute when Iago Aspas scored after Ter Stegen had gifted the ball to a player on the opposing team just outside Barça’s area.
But the visitors were left short-handed when Jeison Murillo was ejected for a hard foul on Memphis in the 58th minute, and then the life went out of the game when Araujo was taken off the field just after the one-hour mark.
The Uruguayan initially bounced right up after the head clash with Gavi, but he then collapsed to the ground about 20 meters from where the collision had occurred.
Afterward, Barcelona head coach Xavi had good news concerning Araujo’s condition.
“He’s conscious and out of danger,” he said at a press conference, relaying the medical report from the team’s doctor. “He’ll spend the night in the hospital as a precautionary measure, but if all goes well tomorrow he’ll be back at home.”
With the win, Barcelona (72 points) have a seven-point lead over third-place Sevilla and an eight-point lead over fourth-place Atletico Madrid.
Barça have two games remaining in their season while Sevilla and Atleti have three matches left.
Real Madrid have 81 points and have already clinched this season’s LaLiga title. EFE