Celta cherished the victory against Espanyol in a key game to keep on aspiring to European posts. The sky-blues exhibited their offensive power against rival who renounced to having the ball and willing to hit on the counter strike. Espanyol’s approach didn’t turn out to be a bad one. Unzué’s team clearly surpassed Espanyol at the start of the game, in which they made merits to get ahead on the scoreboard, and yet it was the Catalan team the first to draw blood. On its first approach to the goal line defended by Rubén Blanco, the Barcelona team scored through Baptistao.
Celta didn’t surrender, and played actively and dynamically on the attack. At the 30 minute mark, after several attempts frustrated by Diego Lopez, Uruguayan Maxi Gomez scored the draw with a header after a cross pass by captain Hugo Mallo. After halftime, the clash did not vary: a very aggressive Celta reached the rival’s goal area several times, but found a wall in Espanyol’s defense and especially in their goalkeeper who displayed an incredible performance. Celta’s insistence was awarded with ten minutes to go before the final whistle. Again Maxi Gomez, an idol at Balaídos with his twelve goals this season, put the 2-1 on the scoreboard after a magnificent solo play by Emre Mor on the left side of the pitch.
When Celta was about to celebrate the win, Gerard Moreno took a shot out of nowhere crossing the ball towards the goal which turned out to be almost unstoppable and meant the final draw. Celta keeps its 8th position in the league rankings with 32 points, three points away from the 7th team on the leader board.
2-CELTA: Rubén, Hugo Mallo (Boyé, min.89), Roncaglia, Sergi Gómez, Jonny, Lobotka, Wass, Radoja (Tucu Hernández, min.75), Iago Aspas, Sisto (Emre Mor, min.75), Maxi Gómez.
2-ESPANYOL: Diego López, Navarro, Naldo, David L., Aarón, Víctor S., Carlos S., Darder (Didac, min.72), Jurado (Sergio García, min.60), Baptistao (Piatti, min.72) y Gerard.
Goals: Baptistao (0-1, min.10), Maxi Gómez (1-1, min.32), Maxi Gómez (2-1, min.79), Gerard Moreno (2-2, min.87).
Referee: González González, Castilla-León committee. Yellow cards: Tucu Hernández, Hugo Mallo, Maxi Gómez (Celta); Víctor Sánchez, Navarro (Espanyol).
Stadium: Balaídos (15.750 spectators).