Athletic beat Celta to climb out of La Liga drop zone

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/8/2019 6:58:15 PM Sports and Culture

Vigo (Spain), Jan 8 (IANS) Athletic Club defeated Celta 2-1 to pick up three valuable away points and emerge from the La Liga relegation zone.

The Bilbao side, undefeated in their last four matches under new coach Gaizka Garitano, move up to 17th with 19 points from 18 matches, reports Efe.

Celta, with 21 points, are 14th.

The hosts struggled to play out from their own end in the early going and the first three chances here on Monday in front of the 12,000 spectators at Vigo's Balaidos Stadium came on free-kicks.

With a focus on the counter-attack, Athletic's moment arrived in the 19th minute, when Iñaki Williams went almost the length of the pitch and got the ball to Iker Muniain in the area for the goal.

The contest then settled into torpor until the dying seconds of the first half, when 19-year-old Fran Beltran converted a corner to bring Celta level with his first LaLiga goal.

Celta were brighter to start the second half and both Beltran and Maxi Gomez tested visiting goalkeeper Iago Herrerin.

But the rally sputtered as the minutes passed and Athletic reclaimed the initiative, again with Williams in the vanguard.

In the 53rd minute, Herrerin sent the ball 60 yards to Williams behind the Celta defense and the striker beat keeper Ruben Blanco in the 1v1 to put the Bilbao club ahead 2-1.

Conceding a second time appeared to sap whatever remained of Celta's morale and the closest the hosts came to equalizing was a header by Gomez in the final play of the match.


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