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Celta Vigo handed Las Palmas their fourth La Liga defeat in a row on Monday, as an Iago Aspas hat-trick led them to a comprehensive 5-2 win at the Estadio Gran Canaria.
The visitors started quickly, with excellent goals from Emre Mor and Aspas putting them 2-0 in front within 20 minutes. Aspas grabbed his second after the break before Celta goalkeeper Ruben Blanco was harshly sent off.
Even with 10 men, the away side were superior, as Pablo Hernandez added a fourth and Aspas completed his hat-trick. Las Palmas did add a couple of consolation goals in stoppage time, though the game was done by then.
Earlier this weekend Real Madrid closed the gap on Barcelona to five points at the top of the table, as they beat Getafe 2-1. Barca battled to a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid.
Read on for the weekend results in full, a recap of Monday’s fixture and a reminder of how the action played out across La Liga in Week 8.
Week 8 Results
Espanyol 0-0 Levante
Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Sevilla
Getafe 1-2 Real Madrid
Alaves 0-2 Real Sociedad
Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona
Eibar 0-0 Deportivo La Coruna
Girona 1-2 Villarreal
Malaga 0-2 Leganes
Real Betis 3-6 Valencia
Las Palmas 2-5 Celta Vigo
The table in full is available courtesy of WhoScored.
Juan Carlos Unzue would have been calling on his Celta team to begin this one on the front foot against their struggling hosts, and they did exactly that in a frantic first 20 minutes.
Mor was the man on hand to fire home the opener for the Galicians, as he calmly finished with his left foot after being played into the right channel in the 16th minute. As we can see, courtesy of OptaCan, the youngster capped off an excellent passing move:
2 – Emre Mor has scored his first La Liga goal in his 2nd shot on target in the competition; Celta have made 11 passes before goal. Network. https://t.co/Gj56zzrUTO
Stunned by the opener, Las Palmas grew ragged and Aspas was able to take advantage with a moment of individual brilliance four minutes later.
The Spain international slalomed around his marker to manufacture a shooting chance from a tight angle. It was an effort that surprised the goalkeeper, with Aspas rattling home a low drive at the near post. Suddenly, the home side had a mountain to climb in this one.
It got bigger four minutes into the second half, as Aspas arrowed another strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Celta’s momentum was halted somewhat after the third goal. As noted by AS English, Blanco was sent off for what appeared to be a fair tackle on Jonathan Calleri:
AS English @English_AS
RED CARD! Celta ‘keeper Rúben Blanco is harshly sent off for a seemingly clean tackle on Jonathan Calleri.
But later on in the contest, the visitors found a way through again through Hernandez before Aspas completed a deserved hat-trick after an exceptional display. Per the Spanish Football Pod, Celta are in brilliant goalscoring form:
Spanish Football Pod @tsf_podcast
Hat trick for Iago Aspas at Las Palmas. Ten man Celta Vigo go 5-0 up. They’ve scored 12 goals in last 3 games!
With the game effectively over, Celta did get a little complacent late on, allowing Vitolo and Loic Remy to make the scoreline a little more respectable for Las Palmas. However, manager Pako Ayestaran has some major problems to address if his team are to pull away from relegation troubles.
While Real and Barcelona were both involved in key matches, the fixture of the weekend saw Valencia and Real Betis play out a classic.
Having taken a 4-0 lead, Los Che appeared to be on their way to a routine victory. However, Betis cut the deficit to 4-3 in the second half, before Marcelino’s men turned on the style late in the contest to win 6-3.
Sky Sports’ Rob Palmer commented on an absorbing game between two of La Liga’s most attacking sides:
Rob Palmer @robbopalmer
That was invigorating
Valencia 4-0 up & scrape it 6-3
Think I need a cerveza
In the grand scheme of things, this remarkable result keeps Valencia in second spot in the table, where they sit just four points behind Barcelona.
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
That’s after the Blaugrana dropped their first points of the domestic season in the draw against Atletico Madrid. They appeared destined for defeat for long spells after Saul Niguez’s superb opening goal, but Luis Suarez salvaged a draw eight minutes from time.
As we can see, courtesy of 101 Great Goals, the Barcelona striker enjoyed silencing the Wanda Metropolitano:
101 Great Goals @101greatgoals
Luis Suarez v Atletico Madrid haters 🔴🔵 https://t.co/kjfcJfpmjO
Still, the draw means Real Madrid are now just five points back on their big rivals, as they had to dig deep to overcome local rivals Getafe.
After Karim Benzema’s opening goal was cancelled out by Jorge Molina, the match appeared to be meandering towards a draw. Los Blancos’ talisman Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up in the 85th minute to earn the three points for his side, though, adding another intriguing twist to the early stages of this title race.