First Division - Day 13

Alavés 1 - Celta 0

Alavés: Herrera; Geli, Coloccini, Téllez, Llorens; Pablo, Turiel (Witschge 65'); Astudillo, Jordi Cruyff, Magno (Kanu 80'); Rubén Navarro (Iván Alonso 46'). 4-2-3-1.
Celta: Cavallero; Yago (Edú 68'), Cáceres, Berizzo, Juanfran; Luccin, Doriva; Karpin, Gustavo López (Jacobo Campos 86'), Silvinho (Vagner 82'); Catanha. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Alavés: Pablo for Witschge / Celta: Cavallero, Berizzo, Luccin, Silvinho for Pinto, Velasco, Giovanella, Mostovoi.

1-0. 04. Pablo. Shot from outside of area which took a deflection off defender.

Alavés took advantage of slip ups by the teams above them to move up to second place with a narrow victory over Celta. Once again Mané has been able to cobble together a competitive side having lost several of his star players in the summer, and their success for the third season in a row is no longer a surprise. Pablo returned to the Vitoria based team after a one match suspension, and he scored what was to be the only goal of the game in the fourth minute with a long shot which took a slight deflection off the lunging Juanfran. Celta were missing four players through suspension, including Mostovoi who was given a four match ban for insulting the referee last week, although Cavallero and Berizzo returned from international duty and Luccin was back after his one match ban.

The absence of "the Tsar" though was particularly noticeable, and although Celta did most of the attacking they were missing the inspiration to find a way through a solid back four, with the much sought after Coloccini in his best form. Both keepers pulled out good saves after the break to maintain the scoreline as it was, with Cavallero diving to stop Jordi Cruyff's effort and Herrera preventing Karpin from scoring from a free kick. As the rain poured down Mané brought on a fifth defender, Kanu, (the brother of the Arsenal forward) for the last ten minutes, presumably also to give him a run out with Téllez and Llorens both due to miss the next game for accumulation of yellow cards. Celta were beaten, and they drop out of the top six down to eighth place after their fourth defeat in a row.