Celta Vigo 2-2 Real Sociedad: 10-man Celta pick up deserved point against La Real
Celta Vigo took another step towards ensuring their La Liga status for next season after coming back from behind on two occasions to pick up a 2-2 draw against Real Sociedad at Balaidos.
The first half started at a ferocious tempo with both teams almost taking the lead in the first minute. At 1:37 Augutso’s low cross picked out Krohn-Dehli, the Dane connected well with a shot that took a fine block from Mikel Gonzalez to prevent the ball heading on target. Sociedad counter attacked and on 1:52 Carlos Vela’s delivery was met by the head of Canales but Yoel was equal to the effort. The visitors kept up the tempo, moving the ball around with purpose and closing down quickly which Celta couldn’t handle, and seven minutes in they broke the deadlock. Canales receiving the ball deep tried his luck from distance, the shot was blocked but he reacted quickest to the loose ball and again from long range sent a powerful left-foot drive past Yoel, although the shot-stopper should have done better.
Celta were all over the place following the goal but La Real couldn’t make them pay, Vela’s shot from the edge of the box was straight at Yoel, Inigo Martinez twice headed wide from set-pieces and Antoine Griezmann cut in from the left-wing with ease but dragged his shot wide as the hosts were holding on for dear life. Oddly though Real Sociedad decided to sit back and absorb pressure, trying to play on the counter attack which allowed Celta more time on the ball which brought about a period of sustained pressure from the Galicians. On 20 minutes, Fontas was involved in a lovely team move, threading a perfectly weighted pass to Jonny, the full-back fizzed a cross across the six-yard box which Mario Bemejo attacked but it took a last-ditch challenge from Jose Angel to prevent the equaliser. That seemed to wake Celta up, soon they were the ones moving the ball around with intensity with Sociedad struggling to keep up, Nolito was played in by Krohn-Dehli but the winger’s effort was parried by Bravo then seconds later Rafinha linked up well with Augusto but his shot aimed at the near post was wide of the mark.
Krohn-Dehli forced Bravo into another save with his attempt from distance and Bemejo should have done much better with his chance from the edge of the penalty area after some smart movement, the shot in the end was well wide. The veteran striker played a huge part in Celta’s equaliser on 37 minutes as the pressure finally paid off when Nolito converted from the spot, after Inigo Martinez up-ended the veteran striker. There was still a final twist to come in this action-packed opening 45, a direct move from Sociedad ended with Agirretxe knocking the ball down for Griezmann, the Frenchman latched on to the header and with time to let the ball drop he executed his half-volley with aplomb sending it flying past Yoel, via the underside of the crossbar for his 16th goal of the season, punishing Celta’s soft defending.
Within just two minutes of the restart this game took another turn when Celta’s Aurtenetxe was shown a straight red card for a very high challenge on Carlos Vela which seemed to catch the Mexican in the stomach. Santi Mina and Orellana were sent on to try and turn the match back in the hosts’ favour and with that the pattern for the second half was set. Celta, sticking to their attacking principles, applied pressure to find the second leveller while Sociedad were content to player on the break utilising the space of their front three. Griezmann ought to have put the match beyond Celta just before the hour mark, after a long ball over the top caught out the home defence, he was one-on-one with Yoel but carelessly dragged the ball wide when it looked easier to score.
Celta wouldn’t lie down and continued to look dangerous, Krohn-Dehli’s shot from inside the box was blocked and Santi Mina couldn’t get good enough contact from a cross as he slid to connect with it. Nolito was a spark for Enrique’s team, dribbling into good positions but he couldn’t quite find the killer pass to create an opening, he did however test Bravo from a free-kick that was goal-bound but it didn’t have enough curl to take it past the Chilean. Celta kept plugging away and were rewarded ten minutes from the end, Fontas was the driving force behind the goal sending the ball to Orellana, the forward cut inside but Sociedad thought they had cleared, instead the ball fell kindly for Santi Mina who accurately found the bottom corner with a powerful low drive to send Balaidos crazy.
Even after that Celta didn’t hold back as they tried to find the winner, Orellana was again causing problems on the left flank racing past his marker but his delicate dink from an acute angle was saved. In the end both sides had to settle for a point but considering Celta had to play the majority of the second half with ten men, it’s a positive result and performance that moves them a step closer to Primera safety. As for the Basques it’s a missed opportunity to provisionally draw level on points with Sevilla in fifth place, while also denting any small hopes of finishing in the final Champions League spot.
Celta Vigo 2-2 Real Sociedad
Referee: E. Fernandez
Celta Vigo XI: Yoel; Mallo, Cabral (70′), Aurtenetxe, Jonny; Fontàs, Rafinha, Krohn-Dehli; Augusto (60′), Bermejo (60′), Nolito.
Subs: Íñigo López (70′), Oubiña, Madinda, Orellana (60′), Santi Mina (60′), Charles.
Goals: Nolito pen (37′), Mina (80′)
Yellow Cards: Mallo (17′), Bermejo (53′), Cabral (66′)
Red Cards: Aurtenetxe (47′)
Real Sociedad XI: Bravo; Zaldua, Mikel González, Iñigo Martínez, José Angel; Markel Bergara, Zurutuza (86′), Canales (75′); Carlos Vela, Agirretxe (83′), Griezmann.
Subs: Zubikarai, Carlos Martínez, Elustondo, Rubén Pardo (75′), Granero, Chory Castro (86′), Seferovic (83′).
Goals: Canales (7′), Griezmann (42′)
Yellow Cards: Inigo Martinez (28′), Canales (52′), Zaldua (64′) Griezmann (72′), Pardo (80′)