Celta Vigo added to struggling Levante’s woes with a 3-0 victory at Balaidos that lifts them to within a point of fourth-placed Valencia ahead of this weekend’s fixtures. Joaquin Larrivey opened the scoring in the 27th minute and the Argentinian made it 2-0 with seven minutes to go, taking his league tally for the season to six.
Substitute Alex Lopez then wrapped up Celta’s biggest league win since April with a late third following a glaring mistake by visiting goalkeeper Diego Marino, leaving Levante – who this week sacked Jose Luis Mendilibar and replaced him with Lucas Alcaraz – stuck in the bottom two on five points.
Celta had seen their unbeaten start to the campaign ended by a 3-1 defeat to Villarreal in their last home game but the Galician side rarely looked in danger of suffering another setback against lowly Levante. Pablo Hernandez twice tried his luck without success early on for Celta but he enjoyed better fortune as a creator as his neat pass was stabbed home by Larrivey, who was adjudged to have just been onside.
Celta continued to push forward in search of a second goal but spurned several opportunities and were almost made to pay in the 71st minute when Levante forward Andreas Ivanschitz smashed a 25-yard strike against the bar. That was Levante’s best chance of the night, but Celta survived and wrapped up the points with two more goals in the final seven minutes.
Larrivey put further daylight between the sides when he headed into an empty net after Levante keeper Marino had parried Nolito’s angled drive up into the air. That goal lifted Larrivey up to joint fourth in the Spanish La Liga scoring charts, one ahead of team-mate Nolito, but he was not afforded the chance to grab a hat-trick as he was replaced soon after by Charles. Celta did not miss their in-form hitman, though, as they added a third goal in the 90th minute when Marino allowed Lopez’s rising effort from outside the box to slip through his grasp and into the net.