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Barcelona's midfielder Pedri (centre) celebrates scoring the opening goal with Gavi (right) during the Spanish League match against RC Celta de Vigo at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. Image Credit: AFP

Pedri’s first-half goal gave Barcelona a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo at Camp Nou on Sunday to move them back to the top of LaLiga but they had to battle for the victory against determined opponents.

Barca are level on 22 points with Real Madrid after eight games but have a better goal difference before the pair face each other next Sunday in El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It was the seventh consecutive league win for Barcelona, who started well with Gavi and Raphinha running the channels and creating several scoring opportunities.

Incredible save

Celta’s Argentine goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin made an incredible save in the 10th minute with the tip of his left hand to keep out a brilliant long-range shot from Raphinha.

However, he was beaten seven minutes later by Pedri’s close-range strike from a rebound after capitalising on an error by defender Unai Nunez who tried to clear Gavi’s cross.

Teenage sensation Pedri was again on hand to find the net, having scored eight goals from 16 shots on target in LaLiga, scoring with each of his last four.

Celta looked much better after the break, taking control of the ball and creating several chances, but were denied by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The German international extended his clean-sheet streak in LaLiga to six games, while he has not conceded a goal in seven of Barca’s eight league games this season.

Celta made a late push but Ter Stegen made three brilliant safes to deny Celta an equaliser - two of them late on.

First he stopped a one-on-one strike from Iago Aspas with his right foot and then, in added time, deflected a close-range header by Carles Perez moments before Gonzalo Paciencia smashed a thundering strike off the right post.

Much better

“We need to be self-critical today, we have to be much better than we were today,” Barca coach Xavi Hernandez told DAZN.

“Our team played well in the first 30 minutes, could have scored more goals, but they were better than us in the second half.

“But soccer is like this, it’s hard to win and important to win games like this, when you are not at your best and the rivals give you a hard time.” After Celta’s good start to the first part of the season, they have lost three of their last four league games and are 11th on 10 points, four above the relegation zone.

“I think we deserved more than just one point, we deserved to win,” Celta captain Aspas told DAZN. “We had a great second half, had five or six great scoring chances, but the usual is to lose here.”