May 3, 2013 at 8pm UK at ​Balaídos
Celta Vigo
1-1
Athletic Bilbao
Aspas (84')
Vila (60')
FT(HT: 0-1)
de Marcos (43')
Gurpegui (35'), Iraola (58'), Muniaín (69'), de Marcos (90')

Live Commentary: Celta Vigo 1-1 Athletic Bilbao - as it happened

Balaidos, home of Celta Vigo
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash at the Estadio de Balaidos as Celta Vigo draw 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao.

Celta Vigo welcomed Athletic Bilbao to the Estadio de Balaidos on Friday knowing that three points would have moved them out of the relegation zone for the first time in three months.

Both sides had a host of opportunities in an enthralling first period, but it was Bilbao that took the lead on the stroke of the interval courtesy of a fine finish from Oscar de Marcos.

It was Celta that forced the issue in the second half, but they had to wait until the 84th minute to level the scores, with Iago Aspas finding the bottom corner from a tight angle.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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7.31pmEvening all! Week 34 in La Liga gets underway as Celta welcome Athletic Bilbao to Vigo. The title may be all but decided in Spain, but the battle to avoid the drop continues to produce drama. Celta enter this match knowing that three points would move them out of the drop zone, just four points behind Bilbao.

7.34pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Bilbao have just shaded it with two wins from the last five matches, with Celta winning once and the other ending in a draw. As mentioned, it was Bilbao that picked up all three points earlier in the season. However, the points were shared in a 1-1 draw the last time these two sides met at this stadium in March 2007.

7.37pmIn truth, it could not be much closer at the bottom of the table. Celta, who sit in 18th, are just two points above bottom outfit Real Mallorca and level with 19th-placed Real Zaragoza. Above them, Deportivo La Coruna, who have won four of their last six matches, have 31 points. It promises to be an enthralling end to the season at the bottom.

7.40pmFor a team that has struggled all season, Celta have been fairly impressive on their own patch with six wins from their 16 matches, taking 23 points in the process. It is lucky that their form in Vigo has been so impressive, as they boast the worst away record in the division, managing just two wins from 17 matches.

7.43pmBilbao, meanwhile, are far from safe despite the fact they occupy 14th position in the table. They are unbeaten in their last two, but have not won in their last four games. It is difficult to be positive about their season having been tipped to finish in the top six. It seems unthinkable that a club of their size could go down, but stranger things have happened.

7.46pmThey will not be able to call upon a strong away record this evening, however, having won just three of their 16 matches on the road, taking just 13 points in the process. Their form on their own patch as been better with seven wins from 17 matches, but there is no question that they are side lacking serious belief.

7.49pmTaking a look at the statistics, it is not difficult to see where each side has struggled this season. Bilbao have conceded 59 times, the third worst record in the league, while they have found the back of the net on 37 occasions. Celta, meanwhile, have conceded 47 times, but have scored just 32 goals.

7.52pmTEAMS:

CELTA: Varas; Bellvis, Tunez, Johny, Oubina; Fernandez, Vila, Lopez, Madinda; Krohn-Dehli, Aspas

BILBAO: Iraizoz; Iraola, San Jose, Aurtenetxe, Ekiza; Gurpegi, Iturraspe, Susaeta, Muniain; De Marcos, Aduriz


7.55pmSo there we have it. Big boost for the home side this evening with top scorer Iago Aspas returning after a period on the sidelines. His introduction alongside Michael Krohn-Dehli means that Mario Bermejo drops to the bench. Bilbao, meanwhile, select Iker Muniain and Susaeta wide of Oscar de Marcos, but there is no starting role for Fernando Llorente, who will join Juventus at the end of the season.

7.58pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. Celta have been much-improved in recent weeks, but I think Bilbao have enough about them to pick up a draw this evening. I suspect it will be a close encounter in Vigo.

0 minJust a reminder that three points for Celta would move them out of the drop zone and indeed drag Bilbao into a relegation battle. Unlike other leagues, there are no teams falling away at the bottom of the table. It promises to be a pulsating final few weeks of the season. Right, the home side get us underway on this mild evening in Vigo.

2 minThe supporters have turned up in their numbers this evening that is for certain. Not a full house inside the stadium, but not far from it. Early pressure from the home side as Lopez whips a dangerous cross into the Bilbao box, but San Jose heads clear. Another cross is delivered moments later, but Iraizoz is on hand to collect.

4 minThis really is an important match for the home side. As mentioned, three points would move them out of the relegation zone for the first time in three months, what a bonus. It's bright football from Bilbao this time as Muniain combines with Aduriz before attempting to move behind the Celta defence, but Tunez is across to clear.

6 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the opening six minutes, although Bilbao have just started to settle with possession. Aduriz attempts to force the issue after an extended period of passing, but his effort is blocked by Bellvis. Quite bitty period truth be told with the referee forced to deal with a number of poor challenges.

8 minBilbao want a penalty as Aduriz collects possession outside the box before driving towards goal, but Bellvis made contact with the ball rather than the man. It must be said that the pitch is win wonderful condition this evening. There is no question that the away side have used the surface to their advantage thus far with quick, incisive passing outside the box.

10 minThere really is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment with the home supporters making their voices known. Meanwhile, Bilbao have brought a healthy support with them this evening. Not too much for the home crowd to get excited about, however, with their opponents the team forcing the issue. However, still no real chances for either side with 10 minutes on the clock.

12 minIt's good work from Krohn-Dehli as the Dane collects possession in the Bilbao half before sliding a pass towards Aspas, but the Spaniard had just moved a yard too soon. Bilbao have a half-chance down the other end moments later as De Marcos strikes an effort from close range, but Bellvis blocks for a corner.

14 minThe chances continue to fall for the away side as Muniain dances past two defenders before finding De Marcos on the edge of the box, but the Spaniard can only thump his effort over the crossbar. The home side really need to be careful here as the pressure continues to build. Celta just have not had a sniff in the opening 14 minutes of this La Liga encounter in Vigo.

16 minCROSSBAR! Oh my word how on earth are Bilbao not ahead? Another wonderful opportunity for the away side as San Jose meets a corner from De Marcos, but his header thumps against the crossbar. Good grief Celta are under some serious pressure here. They really need to ride out this spell.

18 minSlightly bitty period of the match in the last couple of moments with the referee forced to deal with a number of late challenges. However, it has done nothing to stop the flow of Bilbao pressure. In truth, the away side look on a different level at the moment. Aspas does attempt to force the issue down the other end, but his threaded pass is collected by Iraizoz with relative ease.

21 minIt would be safe to say that the home supporters are not too pleased with what they have seen thus far. It does appear that Celta have been sent out to it back and attempt to force it on the counter. However, they have simply not had a period of possession in the opening 21 minutes. Aspas attempts to move past San Jose moments later, but the Spaniard makes a fine challenge.

23 minReally lively affair with 23 minutes on the clock with both sets of players starting to throw their weight around with a series of challenges. The referee has done well to let the play flow in the past few minutes. Not too much in terms of chances for either side in the last few moments, but the home side are much improved.

25 minCelta want a penalty as Aspas hits the deck under contact from Gurpegi, but the referee is not interested. In truth, it would have been very harsh. Aspas is involved in a positive manner moments later as he combines with Oubina before driving into the box, but Ekiza is across to make the challenge. Little over 20 minutes of the first period remaining.

27 minIt's good work from Fernandez this time as the Argentine collects possession in the Bilbao half before beating two players and delivering a cross towards Aspas, but Iraizoz is on hand to claim. The Bilbao stopper attempts to find De Marcos on the counter, but Bellvis was always favourite in the challenge. Very interesting tactical battle between these two struggling sides this evening.

29 minHalf-chance for Aspas this time as the Spaniard collects a pass from Vila before driving into the box, but his effort is straight at the goalkeeper. That is the player that Celta would have wanted in that position, but it was a tame effort. Bilbao attempt to respond down the other end with a strike from Muniain, but it was always moving wide of the post.

32 minOpportunity for Celta to test Iraizoz from distance as Krohn-Dehli strikes a free kick from outside the box, but the Bilbao goalkeeper makes a fine save. The resulting corner also causes problems in the Bilbao area, but Iraizoz manages to win the free kick in a challenge with Alex Lopez. Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining, with the score still goalless.

34 minBilbao have just lost their way since the early stages with their passing no longer reaching the desired destination. Again Krohn-Dehli has an effort from outside the box moments later, but Iraizoz makes the save. The crowd have responded to this spell of pressure from Celta, but they really need to find a goal. The opening 34 minutes of this match has just flown past.

36 minSlightly sloppy period of the match in the last few moments with both sides guilty of losing possession in the opposing half. Muniain attempts to fashion an opportunity for the away side as he combines with De Marcos, but the impressive Bellvis is once more across to clear. Little under 10 minutes of the first period remaining.

38 minIt's really good work from Aspas once more as the Celta forward bursts past two defenders before attempting to move into the Bilbao box, but San Jose just manages to make a challenge at the vital moment. Wonderful pace from Aspas, who has looked the most likely for Celta.

40 minCROSSBAR! Celta come within inches of taking the lead as Lopez loops a header to the far post, but it hits the top of the crossbar. It falls kindly for Tunez moments later, but Iraola is on hand to make the block. This could be 2-2, but neither side has been able to find the back of the net thus far. Wonderful entertainment in Vigo.

43 minAnother half-chance for Aspas as the Celta forward turns on the edge of the box before striking an effort towards the bottom corner, but Iraizoz is across to make the save. Bilbao have possession down the other end moments later, but a deep cross from Susaeta is cleared by Tunez before Aduriz drifts into an offside position.

43 minGOAL! Celta 0-1 Bilbao (De Marcos)

44 minBilbao take the lead! It is certainly against the run of play, but the away supporters do not mind. It's bright work from Susaeta who finds the run of De Marcos, the Spaniard does not break stride before clipping his effort into the back of the net.

45 minTwo half-chances for the home side in quick succession as Krohn-Dehli's sliced effort falls to Fernandez, but his strike smashes into the side netting. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute at the end of the first period.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Celta 0-1 Bilbao

8.48pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Bilbao leading 1-0 courtesy of a goal from De Marcos one minute before the break. The away side certainly started the better, but Celta have grown into the half. As it stands, the home side will remain in the relegation zone. But there is still a lot of football to be played.

8.53pmSTATISTICS: The away side have had more of the possession with 60%, but they have had just four attempts to Celta's eight. Bilbao could have been a couple of goals ahead in the opening 10 minutes, but there is no question that the goal came against the run of play. Celta have work to do in the second period that is for certain.

8.58pmBENCH WATCH: Celta have a host of attacking options on the bench in the shape of Mario Bermejo, Orellana and Enrique De Lucas. I suspect that we will see at least two of those at some point this evening. Bilbao, meanwhile, also have a forward options on the bench in the shape of Llorente, Toquero and Ibai Gomez. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side at the interval, which is not too surprising at this stage of events. Just a reminder that as it stands Celta would remain in the bottom three, while Bilbao would take a big step towards safety. Right, the away side get the half underway.

48 minYou just get the feeling that the next goal could ultimately decide the final result this evening. If Celta score, then it is very much game on, but it would be difficult to see the home side coming back from 2-0. Bright start from Aspas as he combines with Vila before striking towards goal, but it was always moving wide of the post.

50 minCHANCE! Early opportunity for the home side as Fernandez strikes a powerful effort from outside the box, but once more Iraizoz gets down well to make the save. The pressure continues as Aspas strikes from close range, but it is deflected wide of the post. Really bright opening from the home side.

52 minAgain it's really bright work from Aspas as the Spaniard dances past two defenders outside the Bilbao box, but San Jose comes across before fouling the striker. The resulting free kick is taken by Aspas, but his effort hits the wall before falling into the arms of the Bilbao stopper. Really bright opening seven minutes to the second period.

54 minCHANCE! Hardly time to take a breath here as Aduriz meets a cross from De Marcos, but his header is straight at the goalkeeper. What an opportunity to move into a two-goal lead. It really is end-to-end football with both teams committing numbers to each attack. Somehow, it remains 1-0 to Bilbao as Aspas heads just wide moments later.

56 minBilbao come close once more as Muniain drives down the left before delivering a low cross into the box, but Tunez is across to make the challenge. Moments later Aspas has a strike from a wide area, but it was always moving wide of the post. Little under 35 minutes of football to play here. I would be astounded if we did not see another goal, or two.

58 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but the tempo has certainly not slowed. Celta just need to show a bit more quality in the final third as they continue to pump high balls into the box. Still no changes for either side, but I suspect that will change in the next 10 minutes or so.

61 minIt's a really poor challenge from Iraola as the Bilbao stopper fells Bellvis outside the box. The resulting free kick is whipped into the box by Krohn-Dehli, but it was always moving over the crossbar. Meanwhile, Bilbao do indeed make a change as Iturraspe is replaced by Ibai Gomez.

63 minAspas continues to force the issue for the home side as he combines with Madinda before driving into the box, but Iraola is across to make a fine challenge. Bilbao have possession down the other end moments later, but Vila fells De Marcos outside the box. The resulting free kick is taken by Susaeta, but Varas is on hand to collect.

65 minFirst change of the match for the home side as Orellana replaces Alex Lopez. Aspas now has company in the final third. As it stands, Celta would remain in the bottom three, while Bilbao would all but secure safety. However, you just get the feeling that we will have more twists and turns with little over 25 minutes of football remaining.

67 minBilbao need to be really careful here as they continue to commit fouls in and around their own penalty area. Orellana takes the free kick, but he fires it straight out of play. That is really poor from the substitute.

67 minCROSSBAR! Bilbao come close to adding their second as Ibai Gomez collects a pass from Aduriz before thumping an effort from outside the box, but it smashes against the crossbar. That would have been game, set and match.

70 minMISS! Oh my good grief what has just happened? This is one of the most incredible misses you will ever see. Muniain puts it on a plate for Aduriz inside the box, but he fires wide in front of an open goal. Will Bilbao be made to regret that missed chance? Bielsa cannot quite believe it.

72 minCelta make their second change of the match as Bermejo replaces Krohn-Dehli, who has not quite been on form this evening. The home side have just struggled for possession in the last couple of moments with Bilbao seemingly moving up a gear. Little under 20 minutes of football remaining in Vigo, with just the one goal separating the two sides.

74 minHalf-chance for Ibai this time as the Bilbao midfielder collects a pass from Susaeta before striking an effort from close range, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. They could have put this game to bed in the last five minutes or so. Celta have gone awfully quiet, meanwhile, with their passing going astray.

76 minGood pressure from the home side in the last couple of moments as they force two corners in quick succession. However, the first is headed clear by San Jose before Iraizoz comes through traffic to claim the danger. You just get the feeling that there is another goal in this match. Little under 15 minutes of football remaining in Vigo.

78 minBoth sides make changes with Aduriz being replaced by Llorente for Bilbao, while Celta introduce Toni in place of Fernandez. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last few moments with neither side taking too much care in possession of the ball. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining. Still Bilbao lead courtesy of that De Marcos strike in the first half.

81 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for the home side as Bermejo rises in the box, but his header just moves wide of the post. The corner count continues to rise as Celta pen Bilbao into their own box, but they just cannot find the back of the net. Can Bilbao hold on here?

83 minNasty head injury for Gurpegi as the Bilbao defender clashes with Bermejo, but he does return following a period of treatment. The away side must be praised for their defensive performance this evening. Celta continue to hit the long ball into the box, but it just will not stick. One-way traffic with 83 minutes on the clock.

84 minGOAL! Celta 1-1 Bilbao (Aspas)

85 minCelta level! Wonderful goal from Aspas as the Spaniard collects a pass from Orellana before thumping an effort into the bottom corner. What an outstanding finish from the home side's top scorer.

87 minNot too much football being played by either side at the moment with the ball spending more time in the air than on the deck. Celta just need their supporters to raise the atmosphere as we approach the final three minutes, there is a winner in this.

89 minBilbao attempt to force the issue as Muniain drives down the right before delivering a cross towards Llorente, but the Spaniard just could not make contact. This is not a match for the faint hearted at the moment as the challenges continue to fly in. Little over one minute of normal time remaining.

90 min+1Not too much to report in the last couple of moments with both sides seemingly accepting a share of the spoils. If any team looks like winning it, then it is Bilbao. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes at the end of the match.

90 min+3Bilbao force the issue with two corners in quick succession, but the first is cleared by Bellvis before Llorente heads just wide of the post. Celta attempt to threaten on the counter, but Aspas just could not escape Gurpegi. Little under one minute of stoppage time remaining.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Celta 1-1 Bilbao

9.52pmSo there we have it. Aspas's late goal rescues a point for Celta, but Bilbao will believe that they had enough chances to pick up all three points. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us for a host of live commentaries this weekend. Good evening!

Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez in action against Atletico Madrid on March 10, 2013
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1Real Madrid11003033
2Barcelona11002023
3Real Sociedad11003213
4EibarEibar11001013
5Leganes11001013
6Levante11001013
7Valencia11001013
8Atletico MadridAtletico10102201
9GironaGirona10102201
10Espanyol10101101
11Sevilla10101101
12Athletic Bilbao10100001
13Getafe10100001
14Celta Vigo100123-10
15AlavesAlaves100101-10
16Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10
17Malaga100101-10
18Villarreal100101-10
19Real Betis100102-20
20Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo100103-30