First Division - Day 12

Deportivo 1 - Celta 0

Deportivo: Molina; Manuel Pablo, Naybet, Donato, Capdevila (Romero 72'); Mauro Silva, Emerson; Víctor, Valerón (Djalminha 57'), Turu Flores; Diego Tristán (Makaay 70'). 4-2-3-1.
Celta: Pinto; Coira (Jesuli 82'), Cáceres, Noguerol, Yago, Tomás; Doriva; Karpin, Mostovoi (Vagner 84'), Gustavo López; Catanha (Pablo 70`). 5-1-3-1.

Team changes: Deportivo: Donato, Víctor, Turu Flores for Helder, Scaloni, Fernando / Celta: Noguerol, Tomás, Mostovoi for Juanfran, Giovanella, McCarthy.

1-0. 76. Djalminha. Took long pass, back-heeled, turned and shot over keeper.

The match of the weekend in Spain was the Gallician derby between Deportivo and Celta. As with many derbies, it was a dour, hard fought and a times boring affair. Boring that is, until the 76th minute, when Deportivo's Djalminha stepped on to centre stage to settle the match with a moment of magic that only he is capable of. Coming on in place of Valerón with the game almost an hour old, Djalma had already shown his class with a crossed-foot pass to Turu that the Argentinian forward should have made more of. Then a few minutes later he ran on down the right wing chasing a long Tristán pass, and with Yago alongside him expecting the touch on, Djalma left him for dead stepping over the ball and backheeling it with his first touch. Stopping and turning rapidly, he saw Pinto off his line and unleashed a curling left foot shot which sailed over the keeper in to the top corner of the net.

It was enough to take the three points and keep Depor level with Valencia at the top of the table, now four points clear of their closest rivals. Up to that point the makeshift Celta defence had been able to resist everything the Coruña side had thrown at them, with Turu Flores even putting a penalty kick wide five minutes before half time after referee Iturralde González had awarded a dubious penalty for a foul on Diego Tristán. Turu had scored in the last five matches against Celta, but this time his luck was out as he failed to capitalize on a number of chances before Irureta replaced him with Makaay twenty minutes from time.

Deportivo started with the same eleven players who had defeated Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday night, and their manager even had the luxury of leaving three of his stars, César, Fernando and Pandiani in the stands. Víctor Fernández was not so lucky, and although Mostovoi was fit enough to play, the one match suspensions to Juanfran, Edu and Giovanella together with injuries to six players (including McCarthy who twisted his knee this week) meant that he had to call up two youngsters, Jorge and Oubiña, to make up numbers on the bench. The long trip and exhausting Thursday night match in the frozen Ukraine had taken it's toll, and the Vigo based side hardly troubled Molina in the Deportivo goal. The defeat leaves them down in tenth place in the league, and with Barcelona and Real Madrid next up, the manager is hoping to recover some of his squad to have any chance to move back up the table. To add to their misery, hooligans broke the windows of their team coach before the game. They probably knew then that it was not going to be their night.