Leganes tops Celta Vigo 1-0 in Spanish soccer
Leganes' Ruben Perez (L) and Celta Vigo's Pione Sisto (C) in action during their Spanish La Liga soccer match at Butarque Municipal Stadium in Leganes, Madrid, Spain, 14 April 2018. EPA-EFE/JAVIER LIZON
Leganes' Ruben Perez (L) and Celta Vigo's Pione Sisto (C) in action during their Spanish La Liga soccer match at Butarque Municipal Stadium in Leganes, Madrid, Spain, 14 April 2018. EPA-EFE/ JAVIER LIZON
Leganes' Diego Rico (L) in action against Celta Vigo's Daniel Wass (R) during a La Liga soccer match between Leganes and Celta Vigo at Butarque Municipal Stadium in Leganes, near Madrid, Spain, 14 April 2018. EPA-EFE/JAVIER LIZON
Celta Vigo head coach Juan Carlos Unzue reacts during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Leganes and Celta Vigo at Butarque Municipal Stadium in Leganes, near Madrid, Spain, 14 April 2018. EPA-EFE/JAVIER LIZON
Leganes, Spain, Apr 14 (efe-epa).- A second-half goal by Miguel Angel Guerrero lifted Leganes to a 1-0 victory over Celta Vigo in Spanish-league action here Saturday.
The Celts came to Butarque Stadium outside Madrid with an eye on continuing their quest for a berth in next season's Europa League, but instead they slogged their way through another poor road performance, having lost four matches and played to one draw in their past five away contests.
Leganes, which is well off the pace for a spot in Europe but also not in danger of relegation, had less to play for on paper but still showed greater intensity on Saturday.
The home side repeatedly threatened the opposing goal in the first half, with defender Diego Rico sending a shot over the crossbar and Guerrero getting off a strike that barely missed the woodwork.
Celta Vigo net minder Sergio Alvarez did his best to keep the game scoreless, stopping a powerful header by Dimitris Siovas and deflecting a shot by Joseba Zaldua.
Celta Vigo head coach Juan Carlos Unzue sent on striker Maxi Gomez for midfielder Brais Mendes at the start of the second half, but the change did little to boost the visitors' attack.
Alvarez continued to make his presence felt after the intermission, making a save on a potent blast off the foot of Diego Rico.
But Leganes' pressure finally paid off with a goal in the 63rd minute.
Nabil El Zhar set up the score by receiving a pass from Ruben Perez and then firing a cross to Guerrero, who slid to beat two defenders to the ball and poke it past Alvarez.
Celta Vigo made two more late substitutions, bringing on Nemanja Radoja for Stanislav Lobotka and Emre Mor for Pione Sisto, but there was no notable improvement in the visitors' play.
The Celts remain stuck on 43 points with the loss, five behind Villarreal and nine behind Real Betis, the two La Liga teams currently on pace for spots in next season's Europa League.
Leganes (39 points), for its part, has now mathematically assured itself of finishing the season ahead of La Liga bottom dwellers Las Palmas and Malaga.
The one other La Liga team currently on track for relegation, Deportivo La Coruña, is 13 points behind Leganes after defeating Athletic Bilbao 3-2 on Saturday.