Evening all! Our final live La Liga commentary of the evening comes from Vigo as Celta Vigo
welcome Rayo Vallecano
. Celta appear to have found some form in recent weeks with six points from their last three matches. However, they are the only team in the league that has failed to win on their own patch this season.
Rayo, meanwhile, are in trouble. The capital outfit did pick up back-to-back wins at the beginning of October, but have lost their last three matches, conceding nine times in the process. That said, due to the closeness at the bottom of the table, they are just two points from safety after 12 matches.
In terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, both have won two of the last five, with the other ending in a draw. As mentioned, the corresponding fixture last season ended in a 2-0 win for Rayo, who were also 3-2 winners on their own patch in November 2012. Looking further back, a Segunda Division clash in this stadium in October 2009 ended in a goalless draw.
CELTA VIGO: Yoel; Mallo, Costas, Fontas, Toni; Oubina, Augusto, Lopez; Mina, Nolito, Charles
RAYO VALLECANO: Ruben; Tito, Nacho, Galvez, Arbilla; Lass, Trashorras, Saul, Viera; Bueno, Falque
So there we have it. Still no place in the Celta XI for on-loan Barcelona forward Rafinha, with Santi Mina joining Nolito and Charles in attack. Rayo, meanwhile, recall Alberto Bueno to their forward line. There are also starts for Jonathan Viera
and Lass Bangoura. Right, the away side get the action underway at the Balaidos.
Bright start from the away side as Lass finds some space down the left before delivering a dangerous cross into the box, but Fontas is on hand to clear at the vital moment. Viera has possession down the opposite side moments later, but once more his cross is cleared by a Celta defender. Lively opening couple of minutes.
CHANCE! Wonderful chance for Celta inside four minutes as Mina beats the offside trap before squaring to Nolito, but his effort is blocked on the line by Tito. Incredible opportunity. Ruben flaps at the resulting corner, but the danger is eventually hooked clear by a black shirt.
The end-to-end period of the match continues as Lass finds some space down the right before delivering a dangerous cross towards Falque, but the on-loan Spurs attacker cannot convert at the far post. Plenty happening in the middle of the park, meanwhile, with the challenges arriving from both sides. Not a fixture for the faint-hearted.
Neither side is really in control of the match at the moment with both sides exchanging periods of possession. It is almost as if both managers have told their teams to go and play this evening. No restrictions, just attacking football. It has been a high-tempo opening eight minutes of football in Vigo.
Half-chance on the counter for the home side as Alex Lopez carries possession into the Rayo half before attempting to find Mina, but Ruben is aware of the danger and comes to claim. Rayo are down the other end moments later with Falque, but the Spaniard is ruled offside. Still goalless with 11 minutes on the clock.
As it stands, a point would move Rayo off the bottom of the table, dropping Real Betis into 20th in the process. That is the last thing that Pepe Mel would want ahead of tomorrow's clash with Barcelona. Another half-chance for Celta as Fernandez slides a low pass towards Charles, but the Brazilian had just moved into an offside position.
It must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this evening. Celta might not have won on their own patch this season, but the support from their fans remains. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments as both sides settle with possession in midfield. Still goalless with 15 minutes on the clock.
Good pressure from Celta as Nolito collects possession outside the box before feeding Mina, but his effort is blocked by Tito. Rayo break down the other end with Viera, but the final pass is short of the required target. Neither side has been too impressive in the final third thus far. However, that has not dropped each committing numbers forward.
Much of the threat from Rayo is coming in the wide areas with Viera and Lass both forcing the issue, but Bueno has struggled in the opening 20 minutes of action. Not too much from Celta, in terms of possession or chances, meanwhile, as the away side enjoy a purple period in the match. The opening goal could be decisive this evening.
Scrappy period of the match in the last couple of moments as both sides continue to struggle for invention in the final third. It would not be a surprise if one goal proved enough to pick up all three points this evening. Just the one clear chance has arrived thus far, with Nolito coming close for Celta in the early stages.
Luis Enrique is not best pleased with what he has seen from his side this evening as he parades up and down the touchline, but Paco Jemez seems calmer about proceedings at the moment. Rayo have just shaded the match in general play, while their pressing is forcing Celta into a number of mistakes. That has been the story of the match thus far.
GOAL! Celta Vigo 0-1 Rayo Vallecano (Viera)
Viera scores his third goal in his last two matches as the on-loan Valencia attacker collects a through pass from Tito, before sliding his effort into the bottom corner. Rayo lead with 25 minutes on the clock.
Winning at home has been a real problem for Celta this season and their task has been made harder this evening. Another half-chance arrives for Rayo as Lass drives past two defenders before finding Bueno on the edge of the box, but his effort is blocked by Mallo.
As it stands, Rayo are out of the bottom three. However, you just get the feeling that we have not seen the last of the goals this evening. It must be said that it is a surprise that Rafinha has been left on the bench for Celta this evening. At the moment, the home side are struggling at the back as Rayo continue to press.
CHANCE! Incredible chance for Rayo to score their second as Saul finds himself unmarked inside the Celta box, but somehow Yoel manages to make the save. Celta need to be really careful here as the pressure continues to build. Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining.
It would be easy for the home supporters to turn on their side this evening, but that has not been the case. Nor will it be. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of minutes, but Rayo continue to boss the possession in the final third. You just get the feeling that the next goal - if we indeed have one - could be decisive.
CHANCE! Another opportunity for Rayo to score their second as Galvez curls a free kick from the edge of the box, but it just moves wide of the post. Celta are really struggling to keep possession at the moment, which is handing Rayo the chance to keep the pressure on.
Celta want a penalty as Mina goes down inside the box, but the referee is not interested. In truth, it would have been harsh with Falque hardly touching the striker. Just a few signs that the home side are starting to find their passes in the final third as they force two corners in quick succession.
CHANCE! Wonderful chance for Rayo to score their second just before the interval as Viera delivers a dangerous cross towards Lass, but the attacker cannot make contact at the far post. That could and should have been 2-0. Chances at both ends with 41 minutes on the clock.
Another half-chance for Rayo as Saul meets a bouncing ball on the edge of the box, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. You just wonder whether the away side will be made to regret these missed opportunities. Surely Celta will emerge with a different attitude in the second period.
Half-chance for Charles this time as the Brazilian collects a loose ball inside the box, but Ruben is on hand to make the save. Lass carries possession down the other end, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute.
HALF TIME: Celta Vigo 0-1 Rayo Vallecano
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Rayo leading 1-0 at the interval. Celta have had their moments, but it has been a half utterly dominated by Rayo, who should be more than one goal ahead after 45 minutes of action.
STATISTICS: Rayo have dominated the possession with 60%, while they have had five attempts to Celta's two. However, it must be stressed that at least two of Rayo's chances, aside from the goal, have been golden opportunities. It would not be an unfair reflection if they led 2-0/3-0 at this stage.
BENCH WATCH: The home side have a wealth of attacking talent on their bench this evening in the shape of Orellana, Michael Krohn-Dehli and Rafinha. Meanwhile, Rayo have the likes of Rodri, Larrivey and Mojica in reserve. It would not be a surprise if Luis Enrique made changes at the interval.
Here we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. As it stands, Rayo would move out of the bottom three. However, I would be surprised if there was not a response from Celta in the second period. The home side get the action underway. Let's hope the tempo from the first half remains.
No changes from either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise. However, I expect changes to be made if the score remains the same in the next 15 minutes or so. If Celta do equalise, then you would fancy them to claim all three points. However, Rayo have impressed on the counter this evening. It is so delicately balanced in Vigo.
Half-chance for the home side as Nolito finds some space down the right before delivering a low cross into the box, but Charles does not read the situation and the danger moves out for a goal kick. Rayo have a free kick just outside the Celta box moments later as Viera is felled by Fontas. However, Trashorras's effort is high and wide of crossbar via a deflection.
Celta continue to force the issue with a series of touches around the edge of the box, but the final pass just has not been there thus far. It would not be a surprise if Luis Enrique was always thinking about making changes. Rafinha would be the obvious attacking option from the bench. Both Mini and Charles have struggled thus far.
Not too much from Rayo as an attacking threat in the second period, but you just get the feeling that they need to score a second if they are to take three points from this match. To suggest that the capital outfit have struggled defensively this season would be putting it kindly. It appears that both sides are preparing to make changes.
Rayo do indeed make their first change as Larrivey replaces Bueno, who has struggled this evening. The striker is involved immediately as he uses his presence to pick the pocket of Fontas, but the referee blows for a free kick. Strange decision from the Spaniard. Little over 30 minutes of normal time remaining here.
Celta make their first change as Rafinha, who is the brother of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago, replaces Mina. A half-chance arrives for the home side moments later as Nolito delivers a deep cross into the box, but Fernandez cannot make proper contact. The pressure is starting to arrive from the home side.
Slightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges. The latest foul from Lass allows Nolito the chance to deliver a cross towards Mallo, but his header is straight into the arms of Ruben in the Rayo goal.
Just a few signs of timewasting in the last couple of moments as Rayo continue to take longer than needed with each throw, free kick etc. It has been noted by the referee and it would not be a surprise to see cards issued in the final 25 minutes or so. Celta's frustration continues to grow as the second period gathers pace. Can the home side respond?
Half-chance for Larrivey this time as the Rayo striker collects possession outside the box before attempting to find the bottom corner, but Yoel makes the save. Celta are down the other end with Rafinha moments later, but his low effort deflects wide of the post. A goal at this stage would hand Celta great confidence.
Another half-chance for the home side as Nolito finds Rafinha inside the box, but he can only strike his effort into the arms of Ruben, much to the frustration of the home supporters. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining, with Rayo still leading courtesy of that strike from Viera in the first period.
Celta make their second change of the match as Oubina is replaced by Krohn-Dehli. Not too much in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but the home side are putting the pressure on. Rayo follow with a change of their own moments later as Falque is replaced by Adrian Embarba.
Another half-chance for the away side as Larrivey finds Saul on the edge of the box, but his effort was always rising high and wide of the crossbar. You just get the feeling that we have not seen the last of the goals this evening. However, Rayo are threatening as much as Celta with 73 minutes on the clock.
GOAL! Celta Vigo 0-2 Rayo Vallecano (Larrivey)
Rayo double their lead with 72 minutes on the clock as Adrian's cross is turned into the back of the net by Larrivey. What a header from the Argentine. Has that secured all three points?
Almost silent inside the stadium following that goal from the away side. What is it with Celta on their own patch?! They have been impressive on the road this season, but have really struggled in this stadium. As it stands, Rayo will move out of the bottom three. Final change for Celta, meanwhile, as Jonny replaces David Costas.
Rayo make their third and final change of the match as Lass is replaced by Mojica for the final 10 minutes or so. The away side have a two-goal lead, but one goal for Celta would certainly make the latter stages interesting. Nolito attempts to provide it, but his curling effort just moves wide of the top corner.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments as Rayo continue to keep possession in their own half. Even at 1-0, you never felt that Celta were capable of turning this match around. Comfortable for the capital outfit as they keep hold of the ball, much to the frustration of the home crowd.
Half-chance for Viera to score his second as he collects a pass from Saul before striking one towards the bottom corner, but it was always moving wide of the post. Strange atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment - it is almost like a pre-season fixture. The home supporters are flabbergasted with what they have seen.
Half-chance for the home side as Krohn-Dehli finds some space inside the box before combining with Nolito, but Tito is across to clear at the vital moment. Celta continue to force the issue with a couple of deep crosses into the box, but Ruben is equal to the danger on both occasions.
CHANCE! Krohn-Dehli is again involved as the Dane collects a pass from Nolito before attempting to place one into the bottom corner, but it just moved wide of the post. Little under five minutes of normal time remaining in Vigo. It does appear that Rayo will indeed collect all three points.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments as Celta's problems in the final third continue. They have simply not been able to break through this Rayo defence. Krohn-Dehli's night gets a little worse moments later as he collects a booking for fouling Mojica. Little over one minute of normal time remaining as the home supporters make their way towards the exit.
The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes and we are indeed into the second of those. Celta have possession inside the Rayo half as they attempt to open their tally for the evening, but it does appear that the away side will maintain their clean sheet.
FULL TIME: Celta Vigo 0-2 Rayo Vallecano
So there we have it. Rayo pick up all three points with a 2-0 win. The result moves them off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us tomorrow for more La Liga football. Until then!