Thursday, March 30, 2017

La Liga Review: Celta and Athletic stay on course, Valencia win

SoccerNews in La Liga 10 Apr 2016

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Celta Vigo and Athletic Bilbao stayed on course for Europa League qualification with respective 1-0 wins over Sporting Gijon and Rayo Vallecano in La Liga on Sunday.

Celta’s star forward Nolito cut inside to thrash home a fine 64th-minute winner – his 11th goal in 26 appearances this term – that leaves hosts Sporting third bottom and two points from safety with six matches to play.

Rayo are only three points better off than Abelardo’s team in 16th having failed to build on last weekend’s win over Getafe when they travelled to Bilbao.

Highly rated winger Inaki Williams collected Raul Garcia’s pass and rifled into the top corner from 18 yards after the hour to seal the points.

Celta lie fifth on 52 points – a place and a point better off than Athletic, who will seek to overturn a 2-1 Europa League quarter-final deficit at Sevilla on Thursday.

Unai Emery’s squad had their preparations for that match hit as they went down to a last-gasp 2-1 defeat at Valencia.

Playing at the Mestalla for the first time since parting company with boss Gary Neville, the hosts led four minutes before the interval through Dani Parejo.

Kevin Gameiro was called from the bench to level, with his 15th goal of the season in the 86th minute, but it was another substitute striker who had the final word in stoppage time.

Sevilla failed to deal with Andre Gomes’ left-wing free-kick and Alvaro Negredo was alert to poach a winner against his former club.

Elsewhere, fellow Europa League participants Villarreal remained secure in fourth with a 2-0 victory as Denis Suarez and Cedric Bakambu scored to keep Getafe in the relegation zone.

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