Luca de la Torre
photo: Antonio Pozo/PRESSINPHOTO

Spanish Recap: de la Torre, Celta on Cusp of Relegation

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Yet another loss by Luca de la Torre and Celta Vigo saw them drop dangerously close to the drop, while Yunus Musah couldn’t get onto the field for Valencia as a point against now-relegated Espanyol might have been enough to ensure their survival.

Cadiz 1 – 0 Celta Vigo

A narrow loss at fellow relegation strugglers Cadiz on Sunday put Luca de la Torre into a familiar situation, facing a potential drop into the relegation places in the final week of the season after spending much of the season looking perfectly safe.

At his previous club Heracles Almelo in the Eredivisie, de la Torre saw the team tank over the final few weeks, only to fall into the relegation playoff and eventually make the drop to the second tier.

On the heels of a horrible run that hasn’t seem the team win since late-April, a repeat could be in order, but this time without the potential lifeline of a playoff.

The American played the second half in midfield after entering as a substitute for Miguel Rodriguez, taking one shot, completing 13 out of 19 passes, making four recoveries, winning one out of two duels, but earning a yellow card.

Highlights of the game can be seen here!

After a scoreless and largely lifeless first half that saw the team only attempt three shots and put just one of those on-target, head coach Carlos Carvalhal brought on the USMNT midfielder to replace Rodriguez on the right, however the team only found their motivation when it was already too late.

In the 53rd minute, Cadiz midfielder Ruben Sobrino struck what would be the eventual winning goal, although the build-up work from his teammate Gonzalo Escalante was equally to credit.

Receiving the ball at 30 yards out, Escalante wove forward, taking three defenders out of the picture along the way, before slipping it forward to Sobrino. The former Real Madrid youth player found space in the left side of the area, and aimed his shot to the right side of the goal for the 1-0 lead.

Celta had a late flurry in the final minutes, with de la Torre taking a shot, albeit an off-target one, in injury time, shortly after Carles Pérez forced a save from the Cadiz keeper. Cadiz were then unlucky not the extend their lead in the tenth minute of added time, however Roger’s header bounce off the right upright.

The loss leaves Celta in a precarious predicament. They do hold a one-point edge and tiebreakers over 18th-place Real Valladolid in trying to avoid the final relegation spot, however have a tougher road ahead. Celta must host crowned champions Barcelona on Sunday, while Valladolid host 14th-place Getafe.


Yunus Musah was an unused substitute for Valencia on Sunday evening, as a last-gasp draw against Espanyol earned the team an important point. While the result relegated Espanyol, it put Valencia two points out of danger heading into next weekend’s finale. Only an unlikely combination of events would see Valencia relegated, however they will try to remove all doubt by getting a result at Real Betis.

Jonathan Gomez is currently with the U-20 MYNT in the World Cup, and did not take part on Sunday for Real Sociedad’s 2-1 loss at Atletico Madrid. The team is still guaranteed a top-four finish, meaning that Gomez could see action in the Champions League next season.

Samuel Shashoua was injured for Tenerife’s season finale, a 2-1 home win over Burgos. The team ends in tenth place, ten points out of the last promotion playoff spot. With his contract ending this summer, after an injury-hit year that only saw him make 13 appearances, Shashoua’s future at the club is uncertain.


David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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