USMNT midfielder Yunus Musah
photo: Imago/Pressinphoto

Spanish Recap: Musah, de la Torre Avoid La Liga Relegation on Last Day

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With their respective teams both in major danger of making the drop, Yunus Musah and Valencia as well as Luca de la Torre and Celta Vigo saw enough results go in their favor in order to ensure that their teams would avoid relegation.

Celta Vigo 2 – 1 Barcelona

Luca de la Torre earned a start for Celta Vigo on the last day of the season, with the team ensuring that their survival fate stayed in their own hands on Sunday with an impressive win over league champions Barcelona.

The American started on the left side of Carlos Carvalhal’s four-man midfield, putting in a 70-minute shift in what was perhaps Celta’s most impressive and important win of the season.

During his time, he took a pair of shots, one on-target, created one chance, completed 15 out of 16 passing attempts, won his only attempted tackle as well as his only duel, and made four recoveries..

Barcelona looked to have taken the lead after 11 minutes when Frank Kessié put the ball away from seven yards, but a subsequent VAR review determined that another Barcelona player was well offside in the build-up.

Then three minutes before the half, Gabri Veiga put Celta ahead with the first of his two goals in the game, pouncing on the ball when Haris Seferovic’s initial shot was spilled by Barcelona Marc-André ter Stegen.

In the 65th minute, Celta added a second, again with Veiga starring when he nailed an audacious lob from beyond the upper left corner of the area to the far upper corner, for the 2-0 lead.

While Barcelona did pull back a consolation goal thanks to an Ansu Fati header in the 79th minute, Celta still managed to hold on for the win.

The result sees Celta finish three points ahead of the drop places, with their 43 points being enough for a 13th-place finish. The American will now head stateside for USMNT duty, after which he can look forward to a full season with the Sky Blues starting in August.

Real Betis 1 – 1 Valencia CF

While their road to relegation would have required some work from other teams involved in the bottom-feeder dogfight, Yunus Musah and Valencia were able to remove any doubt with come-from-behind draw at Real Betis on Sunday.

Musah came onto the field with 12 minutes left and the teams already even on one goal apiece, and immediately made the final minutes a major challenge for his teammates by picking up a red card.

Ayoze Pérez put Betis ahead within one minute of the opening whistle, streaking through the defense to run onto Juan Miranda’s through-ball, putting it away with his first touch for the 1-0 lead.

Valencia thought they had a golden chance for an equalizer when Gabriel Paulista and Betis defender Guido Rodriguez dueled for a ball in the penalty area, with the referee initially pointing to the spot after he suspected the ball grazed the arm of Rodriguez.

However, VAR indicated no infraction on the play, preserving the Betis lead for a few more minutes.

However, with 20 minutes left on the clock, Diego Lopez equalized for the visitors, slipping between the defense to put away a fine, short, through-ball from Nico González for the equalizer.

Musah entered the game in the 89th minute for the goalscorer, and left his mark on the game, albeit in a bad way.

Three minutes after entering the field, he stuck his foot out at to impede the progression of Edgar González in the midfield, initially being shown what would have been his 11th yellow card of the season.

However, a second look by VAR correctly judged that he had blatantly stomped on his opponent’s ankle, posing a serious risk for causing a major injury, and the card was switched to a red, leaving Valencia with only ten players on the field for the remaining minutes.

They did hold on in the end, securing the point that was more than enough to ensure their survival. Valencia finish the season in 16th place on 42 points.

Musah has long been rumored to be headed for the exit at Valencia, and might have played his final game for the team. Should he somehow remain in Spain, the suspension for his red card will carry over into the new season when it starts in September.


Jonathan Gomez spent the weekend participating in the U-20 World Cup, and was not a factor in Real Sociedad’s 2-1 home win over Sevilla. The team’s fourth-place finish will see them qualify for the Champions League, and Gomez will hope for some first-team action in the new season.


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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