Primera Division: Celta Vigo claim battling 3-2 win over Espanyol
Last Updated: 23/05/15 9:17pm
Ten-man Celta Vigo twice came from behind to claim a 3-2 victory over Espanyol and finish the season in eighth in the Primera Division.
Sergio Garcia gave the Catalans the lead from the penalty spot midway through the first half after Celta goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez was sent off but Hugo Mallo levelled shortly before the break.
Christian Stuani put the visitors ahead again early in the second period, only for Gustavo Cabral to level and for Nolito to hit a late winner.
The win sees Eduardo Berizzo's side move up from 11th in the table to eighth, finishing above Espanyol and improving on last year's ninth-place finish under Luis Enrique.
Sergio Gonzalez's side went into the game with slim hopes of grabbing the final Europa League spot, needing to win themselves and hope that Athletic Bilbao and Malaga both lost their matches.
Celta wasted a couple of chances to take an early lead but fell behind as Garcia scored from 12 yards after he was floored by Alvarez, who was shown a straight red card.
With a goal and an extra man in their favour, Espanyol really should have put the game to bed and could have done so when Stuani found himself unmarked in the area, but the Uruguayan's shot was saved by substitute goalkeeper Ruben Garcia.
A few minutes later Celta got themselves back into the game as Mallo headed in the loose ball after Kiko Casilla had parried Fabian Orellana's shot.
The defender dedicated his goal to club captain Borja Oubina, who announced his retirement from football last week as a result of a severe knee injury.
Stuani did manage to score just a few minutes into the second half, latching onto Sergio Garcia's pass to lob Blanco. But Celta refused to wilt, and levelled again when Cabral arrived in the box to head home Nolito's excellent cross.
The hosts then took the lead for the first time in the game in a dramatic move.
Espanyol defender Hector Moreno came ever so close to scoring Espanyol's third but he hit the woodwork, and Celta got the ball forward quickly through Orellana, and the Chilean's cross was controlled and turned in by Nolito, completing the most incredible of turnarounds.