On the northeastern coast of Spain, rain fell in bunches. It soaked the Balaidos pitch where Celta de Vigo and Deportivo La Coruna battled in the ONoso derby. Celso Borges, who was so instrumental for Deportivo, scored the opener in the 21st minute before Nolito equalized on the half hour mark. Neither really threatened after that as the two settled for a 1-1 draw.
For the time being, Celta are still clinging on to a Europa League spot. They sit one point ahead of Sevilla and are two points in front of Athletic Club. The two clubs that the light blue shirts are in front of are perennial competitors on the European stage. Taking a spot away from one of these two clubs would be monumental. Deportivo, on the other hand, are still in the top half of the table, but just. This result though does not hurt La Coruna as they will not be facing a relegation battle anytime soon.
Goals cancel each other out
Deportivo controlled the action early, finding ways into their attacking half of the pitch. They were able to exploit Celta’s holes on the defensive end but did not get many chances away; Lucas Pérez’ long range effort was caught with ease by Sergio Álvarez; Luis Alberto’s shot was blocked; Sidnei missed a header off a set piece.
But then, 21 minutes into the contest, the visitors broke the deadlock. Federico Cartabia sliced open the Celta defense with a pass to the feet of Luis Alberto. The former Liverpool man continued his run to the byline before sending a low cross back through the middle of the box. Celta’s goalkeeper attempted to dive and punch it away, but missed. As a result, Celso Borges received the ball and took a touch before finding the empty net with his right foot.
That lead did not last long though as Celta de Vigo found an equalizer nine minutes later. This goal came completely against the run of play as they had barely gotten a touch near the eighteen yard box. Fabián Orellana weighted a perfect ball to the feet of Nolito, getting behind two Deportivo defenders. Nolito worked his way into the area and curled a wonderful shot into the far right corner.
Arribas sees red
Drama always unfurl when these two rivals meet and that was never truer than when Alejandro Arribas received his second yellow card. Arribas slid towards a Celta footballer and it looked as if he got a touch of the ball first. He went in studs up and his trailing leg did take down his man. Luckily for Deportivo, they were able to buckle down on the defensive end and hold on to a point.
With the last derby of the season out of the way, the two sides can focus on the rest of their season. Celta de Vigo will play the early Sunday match against Sporting de Gijon on the road. For Deportivo La Coruna, they too will face a newly promoted side in Las Plamas at the Riazor on Monday night.