“Lewandowski secures last-minute victory for Barcelona with a converted penalty.”

“Xavi faces mounting pressure despite his recent announcement to step down as Barcelona coach at the end of the season.”

Robert Lewandowski converted a penalty kick in stoppage time, redeeming himself after missing his initial attempt, to secure a 2-1 victory for Barcelona against Celta Vigo on Saturday. The win came as a relief for the club, especially ahead of a crucial Champions League playoff.

Lewandowski’s first penalty was saved by Celta goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, but a video review showed that Guaita had moved off the goal-line prematurely, giving Lewandowski another chance. The veteran striker calmly placed the ball into the corner of the net in the seventh minute of stoppage time, clinching the win for Barcelona. This victory followed a disappointing home draw against Granada in the previous round, which saw the team facing criticism from its fans.

“I don’t know what happened in the first penalty, but the goalkeeper was off the line too fast and I had the chance to score as usual in the second penalty,” Lewandowski said. “It was very important for us to get these three points, and now we can start focusing on the Champions League.”

Barcelona will face Napoli on Wednesday in the first leg of the round of 16. This marks their return to the Champions League knockout rounds after two consecutive eliminations in the group stage.

“It was an agonizing win but it was well deserved,” Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández said.

Xavi has been facing increased pressure despite announcing his decision to step down as Barcelona coach after the season. The team has managed to collect 10 out of 12 possible points since his announcement.

Barcelona currently sits seven points behind Spanish league leader Real Madrid, with a chance for Madrid to extend their lead when they face Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. They are also trailing behind second-placed Girona by two points, with Girona set to play Athletic Bilbao on Monday.

Atletico Madrid, currently in fourth place, rebounded from their recent winless streak by routing Las Palmas 5-0. Atletico will now focus on their upcoming Champions League match against Inter Milan.

Overall, it was a fruitful day for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga, with both teams securing crucial victories as they look ahead to their respective challenges in Europe.

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