|First Division - Day 38|
Barcelona 2 - Celta Vigo 0
Víctor Valdés; Gabri, Puyol, Frank De Boer, Reiziger;
Overmars (Gerard 80'), Mendieta, Cocu, Sorín (Motta 46'); Saviola (Dani
75'), Kluivert. 4-4-2.
Team changes: Barcelona: Sorín for Luis Enrique / Celta: Pinto, Cáceres, Juanfran, Angel, Gustavo López for Cavallero, Berizzo, Sylvinho, José Ignacio, Mido.
Barcelona came good in the last game of what has been one of their worst seasons on record, clinching the last UEFA spot ahead of Athletic Bilbao with a 2-0 victory over Celta. Newly elected president Joan Laporta was in the directors' box for the first time to see his side record their fourth win in a row to keep up their unique ever-present record in Europe, thanks in part to Athletic's defeat at the hands of the old enemy Real Madrid.
Radomir Antic was in charge for probably the last time at the Nou camp, and he decided to play Sorín further forward on the left of midfield in place of the injured Luis Enrique. It proved to be a key move, and the Argentine international opened the scoring in the seventh minute after Kluivert headed on Saviola's cross. Both sides were left with ten men though midway through the first half after Angel was sent off for an elbow on Frank De Boer and Kluivert followed him for hitting out at the under 21 international in the ensuing fracas.
Having already clinched a Champions League place, the visitors had little to play for and Lotina rested first choice keeper Cavallero to enable him to be sure of winning the Zamora prize this season. His replacement Pinto though put up a good display, tipping a header from Kluivert away for a corner and stopping a shot from Saviola with his face. He could do nothing though to prevent Saviola winning the ball back off Juanfran and forcing it past him for a second goal early in the second half. Edu had a goal disallowed for offside later on in the half, but Saviola, Mendieta and Dani could also have added to Barcelona's total. But they had done enough to keep up their proud record, and free them of the obligation to play the Intertototo cup this summer.