First Division - Day 23

Málaga 1 - Celta Vigo 1

Málaga: Contreras; Rojas, Fernando Sanz, Roteta, Iznata (Sandro 75'); Manu, Gerardo, Romero, Nacho Pérez (Koke 60'); Canabal (Leko 65'), Dely Valdés. 4-4-2.
Celta: Cavallero; Velasco (Sylvinho 68'), Cáceres, Sergio (Berizzo 51'), Juanfran; José Ignacio, Luccin; Angel, Mostovoi, Gustavo López (Jesuli 75'); Edu. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Málaga: Iznata, Nacho Pérez, Canabal for Valcarce, Sandro, Musampa / Celta: Juanfran for Sylvinho.

1-0. 05. José Ignacio. Beat keeper from inside area after Edu squared across.
1-1. 87. Koke. Header close up after ball span into area off Dely Valdés.

Celta stay in fifth place after drawing 1-1 at Málaga, a game they could probably have won had they not decided to defend after their early goal. Miguel Angel Lotina's side were full of confidence after two wins in a row, and they went in front when José Ignacio finished off after Edu set him up. Joaquín Peiró was missing the injured Darío Silva, and rested Musampa and Valcarce in preparation for Thursday night's UEFA cup tie with AEK Athens, giving B team midfielder Nacho (incidentally the son of the team doctor, an ex Málaga player) his first start. However even without three of their key men they took control, and could have equalised had Cavallero not closed down Dely Valdés in the first half, forcing him to shoot wide.

The pressure from the home side continued after the interval as the visitors sat back, and Cavallero made two important saves from Josemi and Canabal immediately after the restart. Substitute Leko rattled the woodwork with a free kick a few minutes later, and soon afterwards Celta were left with ten men after Mostovoi was shown a second yellow card after grabbing Gerard round the neck, the crowd probably helping Mejuto González to make up his mind with their protests. Peiró had thrown on young striker Koke for Canabal earlier in the half to spice up the attack, and with three minutes to go he got the equaliser the hosts were looking for, heading into the net at close range when the ball span in his direction after Cavallero had parried an effort from Dely Valdés.