A goal in the second half by Argentine striker Darío ‘Pipa’ Benedetto, his first in the Spanish competition, allowed Elche to achieve their first home win of the season and cut Celta’s mini-winning streak.
After a thick and even first part, both the attacker and shareholder of the Elche club did justice to the merits of Elche, far superior to a Celta who disappointed and who only at the end touched the tie with a goal from Aspas, in the 89th minute , which the referee canceled at the request of the VAR by the forward’s hand. The Vigo team started the game monopolizing possession of the ball against a retracted Elche that recovered the defensive line of four to close the offensive game of its rival.
Elche knew how to close all the paths to their goal and wait for a steal of the ball to go out on the counterattack, like those that Josan and Benedetto starred in the first minutes, both without a shot.
As the minutes passed, the balance of forces was total and both teams managed to cancel out completely in the midfield. Aspas, Nolito and Santi Mina were little less than spectators of the game, while Elche never found Mojica and Fidel, their great agitators, in the bands.
Only in the final stretch of the first half did Elche, led by Josan, take a step forward in attack, but the individual actions of the crevillentino only had as a reward a couple of corners on the Galician goal.
The passage through the changing rooms woke up both teams. Elche threatened first with a center from Barragán, but Celta responded quickly with a high shot from Tapia and another centered from Murillo that Casilla saved.
Immediately afterwards, a defensive imbalance by Celta, after a rejection by Barragán, allowed Fidel to control the ball in the front of the area and combine with Benedetto, who beat Dituro with a powerful shot. The Argentine’s goal forced Celta to take a step forward against Elche that was even more withdrawn, who lost Gonzalo Verdú and Diego González, his relief, through injury in just five minutes. Coudet gave entry to Denis Suárez and Cervi to wake up his team, but the one who was closest to the goal was Elche.
Lucas Boyé brushed the second after a great personal action, but his shot from the thread came out brushing the post. Shortly after, it was Raúl Guti, after assistance from Fidel, who could not overcome Dituro after a new counterattack from Elche. Celta also had their chance after a counterattack by Denis that Mojica, risking the most, managed to abort when the Galician was already preparing the shot.
Despite Celta’s offensive bet, Elche felt more and more comfortable against their rival, increasingly imprecise and exposed in defense. Darío Benedetto, after assistance from Piatti, had the second almost to an empty goal, but Hugo Mallo saved the goal with his knee under the sticks. A semi-volley by Hugo Mallo that bounced off the crossbar and a start by Casilla at the feet of Santi Mina were the best chances for Celta, already completely overturned.
Elche, who had several cons to sentence, was about to pay dearly for his lack of aim in the last moments after Iago Aspas’s goal, but the referee, at the request of the VAR, annulled the goal by the attacker’s hand, who He barely left any signs of his quality in Elche.
You can follow EL PAÍS DEPORTES in Facebook and Twitter, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.