|First Division - Day 22|
Celta 3 - Real Rociedad 1
Celta: Pinto; Coira,
Cáceres, Berizzo, Sylvinho; Luccin, Vagner; Edu, Mostovoi (Doriva 85'),
Gustavo López (Jesuli 78'); Catanha (Giovanella 67'). 4-2-3-1.
Team changes: Celta: Pinto, Cáceres, Silvinho, Vagner, Gustavo López for Cavallero, Sergio, Juanfran, Giovanella, Karpin / Real Sociedad: No change.
Celta came from behind to beat Real Sociedad and leave John Toshack's side firmly anchored at the bottom of the first division. Víctor Fernández was forced to make several changes to his side, with Cavallero and Karpin suspended and Juanfran and Segio injured, although he could in the end count on Mostovoi after the disciplinary committee upheld Celta's appeal to have a fifth yellow card cancelled. The decision proved to be of vital importance for the outcome of the match, the Russian midfielder shaking off flu to inspire his side to victory with two important goals in the second half. It was another Russian international who stole the limelight in the first half however, Real Sociedad's Khokhlov giving his side the lead after rounding stand-in keeper Pinto to slot the ball home from an impossible angle, and then going very close to adding a second when Pinto made a spectacular save from his flying header.
Both sides had had their chances though in an entertaining match full of attacking football. Catanha had hit the bar with a powerful header with Westerveld beaten, and he rattled the woodwork again just after the break. Then referee Fernández Marín left Celta with ten men after Luccin picked up his second booking of the match, and Real must have thought the match was theirs for the taking. They had not counted on Mostovoi though, and before they could take advantage the Tsar struck twice to turn the game around. Víctor immediately took off Catanha, bringing on Giovanella to fill the gap in midfield, leaving Edu alone up front. Toshack gave Nihat his debut and he immediately forced Pinto into full stretch to turn away his free kick. But then in injury time Edu got his tenth of the season with a shot which deflected in off Luiz Alberto. The result leaves Toshack close to destitution, and takes the Gallicians up to second place, three points behind Real Madrid.