A crazy couple of moments led to a share of the points in Vigo. The bittersweet feelings of last week's draw in Cádiz returned, as we came from behind after going behind in a disappointing first half. Starfelt put the hosts ahead, before Renato Tapia's dismissal sparked our second-half comeback as En-Nesyri made things level. We searched for a winner, but were at risk of falling behind once again when Celta Vigo were awarded a penalty in stoppage time when Jesús Navas became entangled with up with Anastasios Douvikas, only for the decision to be overturned by VAR.
Although we had lots of the ball in the opening minutes, it was Celta that adapted quicker to the torrid conditions in which the match was played. The wind was certainly in their sales as they created the clearest opportunities in the early period. In the first fifteen minutes, Jorgen Strand Larsen's shot was blazed over the bar, then the weather intervened once more as the wind assisted Mingueza's ball into the box, forcing a save from Orjan Nyland, whose touch tipped the ball onto the crossbar. Celta continued to push forward and were rewarded midway through the first half with a free kick sent near to the penalty spot by Iago Aspas, which Carl Starfelt finished off. The Swede beat everyone and headed powerfully home to make it 1-0.
A poor start then saw us equalise and then there was late drama with VAR
Just like in Cádiz last week, the players responded having gone 1-0 down, coming more into the game for the second half of the first forty-five. Guaita denied us an instant equaliser when Acuña's cross was headed goalwards, requiring a smart save. Celta Vigo lacked a clinical edge in attack and security in defence as we continued to press for an equaliser. First-half injury time saw another chance to level the scores, but again Guaita saved well from Gudelj's indirect set piece play. Diego Alonso introduced Lukebakio and Pedrosa, replacing Sow and Acuña, at the start of the second half in the hope of turning the game on its head. The second forty-five became an end-to-end contest, with both sides having good chances to score. Nyland managed to keep us in the game with a great double save, but the trajectory of the game changed when Tapia was shown a second yellow, leaving us with a numerical advantage for the final thirty minutes.
Celta were pushed back and En-Nesyri, introduced from the bench and who had just rattled the cross-bar with a header, took advantage after Mingueza failed to deal with a Navas cross to equalise seven minutes from time. Everything was pointing towards completing a stunning comeback victory, however both Rakitic and Pedrosa were unable to convert late chances when well placed. Then, in the last action of the game, Navas conceded a penalty for his challenge on Douvikas. However, in a dramatic turnaround that infuriated the home support, VAR advised the referee to review his decision at the monitor and it was ultimately overturned. This left Diego Alonso with a point that will feel both unsatisfactory but nonetheless better than leaving empty-handed ahead of a huge derby at home next Sunday. Before this, we face a tough Champions League assignment at Arsenal, vital in the context of group qualification.