First Division - Day 26

Celta 0 - Málaga 0

Celta: Cavallero; Yago, Cáceres, Sergio, Silvinho; Giovanella (Karpin 68'), Luccin (Doriva 68'); Jesuli (Maurice 75'), Mostovoi, Edu; Catanha. 4-2-3-1.
Málaga: Contreras; Josemi, Fernando Sanz, Litos, Roteta; Edgar (Zárate 64'), Romero, Miguel Angel, Musampa; Darío Silva (Canabal 77'), Dely Valdés (Ivan Leko 86'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Celta: Luccin, Catanha for Doriva, Karpin / Málaga: Miguel Angel, Darío Silva for Leko, Zárate.

Goals: None.

Celta missed out on a chance to go back to the top of the table when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Málaga. Víctor Fernández brought back ex Málaga striker Catanha for this match, hoping to improve on a scoring record that has seen them go over four hours since their last goal in the league. Luccin returned after another one match ban, with Doriva and Karpin missing out, the Russian rumoured to be out of favour with his manager after failing to agree terms to renew his contract in the summer. Darío Silva came back in to Joaquín Peiró's side after a three week gap through suspension and then injury, and Miguel Angel returned in midfield. Peiró announced that his side were coming for the three points and they played open, attractive football in the opening minutes, with Edgar and Musampa active down their respective wings and Darío Silva looking as dangerous as ever in the box. Both Miguel Angel and Darío went close in the first five minutes, and Cáceres cleared off the line from Musampa a few minutes later with Cavallero beaten.

Midway through the first half though Celta woke up, and with at times aggressive football they fought their way back into the game. Catanha and Fernando Sanz clashed on more than one occasion, the ex Real Madrid defender having to be bandaged up after a clash of heads, and the striker was caught by television cameras spitting at his adversary, an act which could cost him a three match ban. The second half was played almost entirely in the visitors' half of the pitch, with Contreras once again on brilliant form making several good saves including one from substitute Maurice which he stopped with his face, and Catanha missed an easy chance when he hesitated thinking he was in an offside position. In the last minute Canabal had a chance to win it for Málaga, but he rushed his shot and missed the target. That would have been a travesty of justice however, and his side were happy to walk away with a point which keeps them clear of trouble for the time being. Celta's goal drought continues, and once again they miss an opportunity to get away from the pack.