|First Division - Day 37|
Celta 1 - Sevilla 2
Méndez, Cáceres, Sergio (Vagner 46'), Juanfran; Karpin, Luccin;
Jesuli (Edu 46'), Mostovoi, Gustavo López; Catanha. 4-2-3-1.
Team changes: Celta: Sergio, Juanfran for Yago, Giovanella / Sevilla: Juanmi for David.
Celta's hopes of Champions League football went crashing after they threw away a one goal lead to lose to Sevilla. Víctor Fernández's side are getting a reputation for failing to come up with the goods when it most matters, and once again they handed back the advantage to their rivals after getting the edge over Barcelona and Betis last week in the race for fourth spot. The manager could well have been in charge for the last time in the Balaidos stadium after being linked with a move to Betis and other clubs, and he put out a strong side, with Sergio and Juanfran returning after their respective one match bans. One who was definitely making his last appearance at home for Celta though was Karpin, and with Giovanella injured and Vagner not fully fit, the Russian switched to accompany Luccin in the defensive midfield positions.
There was a festival atmosphere in the crowd, and this motivated the local side right from the kick off. Within six minutes they were in front, Mostovoi winning the ball off Njegus on the left and cutting in to shoot low past Notario. Sevilla though were still in with a shout of qualifying for the UEFA cup, and they didn't take it lying down, Toedtli going close before levelling the scores a few minutes later after Gallardo rounded Juanfran on the right before laying the ball across. Six minutes later the Argentine striker put his side in front with his second of the night, this time after Víctor Salas won the ball off Cáceres to find his head with a floated cross. Celta were stunned, and the visitors were unlucky not to get a third before the break, Víctor Salas seeing his header ruled out for offside after Gallardo had hit the bar.
Víctor brought on Vagner and Edu at half time and their game improved, although the orderly Sevilla defence kept them at bay for most of the second half. Only near the end did they trouble Notario, and the keeper made a series of spectacular saves from Catanha, Edu and a Mostovoi free kick to ensure the victory for his side. The party was ruined, and the fans' cheers turned to boos as the sides left the field. Celta now need to win next week at Rayo and hope Barcelona lose at Zaragoza to take that fourth spot, otherwise they will be back in the UEFA cup again. Sevilla's third win in a row takes them within a point of seventh, and with goal difference in their favour against all their rivals, a victory next week against Villarreal coupled with a draw or a defeat for Alavés will mean they join their city rivals Betis (and Celta?) in the UEFA cup. A successful return this time to the top flight.