Celta Vigo closer to avoiding relegation after edging Villarreal in Spanish league

MADRID (AP) — Anastasios Douvikas scored the winning goal two minutes after coming off the bench as Celta Vigo moved closer to securing another season in the top tier with a 3-2 win over 10-man Villarreal.

The victory moved Celta eight points clear of the relegation zone with four rounds remaining in the Spanish league.

The Vigo club had parted ways with coach Rafa Benítez earlier this season because of the team’s poor results. Claudio Giráldez has been at Celta’s helm since then.

Douvikas entered the match in the 80th and scored with a header shortly after to give Celta its second win in three matches.

Gonçalo Guedes had equalized in the 65th after Iago Aspas and Jorgen Larsen scored first-half goals for Celta. Albert Moreno had put Villarreal ahead in the 12th.

The visitors played a man down from the 17th when Santiago Comesaña was sent off with a straight red card after video review.

Villarreal, which was coming off two straight wins, stayed in ninth place.


Ayoze Pérez and Pablo Fornals scored a goal each late in the first half as seventh-place Real Betis won 2-0 at 13th-place Osasuna.

It was the third win in four matches for Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis as it moved two points behind sixth-place Real Sociedad, which holds the final European qualification place.

It was the fourth straight loss for Osasuna, and sixth in seven matches.


Eighth-place Valencia missed yet another chance to move closer to the European qualification places with a 1-0 home loss against Alaves.

It was the third consecutive loss by Valencia. Alaves, sitting in 11th place, has won three in row.

Real Madrid clinched the league title after a 3-0 win over Cadiz on Saturday. Girona defeated Barcelona 4-2 at home to take over second place.


Sevilla beat second-to-last Granada 3-0, leaving its rival closer to relegation.

Rayo Vallecano also wasn’t safe after losing 1-0 to Almeria at home. Rayo has won only two of its last 15 matches.


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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