2 - 1 CELTA
- Iraola og
- MotM - Adrian Aduriz
0 - 0 VILLAREAL
- MotM - Nikos Karabelas
2 - 1 CELTA
- MotM - Mehdi Lacen
1 - 2 ELCHE
- MotM - Jose Angel
Another disappointing month for us, as we failed to win a single game. It has also been a bad month for injuries, with captain Borja Oubiña joining veteran striker Mario Bermejo and defender Samuel on the injury list. A catalogue of minor injuries also marred the team, with Charles and Michael Krohn-Dehli suffering training injuries, which meant they were out for the first two games of the month.
The team that ran out against Atheltic Club Bilbao was definitely a second string team, with two youth players coming into the substitutes bench, goalkeeper Ivan Villar, who played for the first team during pre-season, and uncapped striker Fernan Ferroira. The match started positively enough, with backup striker David Rodriguez and wingers Nolito and Orellana putting heavy pressure on the Basque back line. A cross from right-back Hugo Mallo missed the head of Rodriguez, but instead found the outstretched foot of Andoni Iraola, who in an attempt to clear it accidentally put it past his own 'keeper and into the Athletic net. However it didn't take long for them to respond, as playmaker Ander Herrera whipped a free-kick into the Celta box, which Iturraspe latched onto and blasted past Sergio Alvarez to equalise just before the break. A similar free kick, just ten minutes into the second half was enough to win the game for Athletic and deny us any points.
The game against Villareal, while finishing 0 - 0, was nonetheless and exciting match to watch, with both teams having numerous attempts on goal. However, due to a groin strain suffered by David Rodriguez in the last match which added him to the long term injury list, Charles was required to play half-fit, which significantly affected his goal-scoring. Twice in the first half he found himself one-on-one with the Villareal goalkeeper, only to put the ball wide of the post both times. He was eventually replaced by youngster Ferroira in the final quarter of the game, who rattled the crossbar with a fierce shot just before the game ended, but other than that did not do much to impress. Villareal also had a number of attempts, however some poor finishing coupled with some excellent saves from goalkeeper Alvarez denied them a goal, and both teams came away with a point.
Celta have taken just 4 points from 7 matches so far this season.
The Getafe game was especially disappointing, as I felt we were on the front foot for the game, only to lose it at the death due to lapses in concentration from the Celta defenders. A goal half an hour into the match from Danish international Michael Krohn-Dehli put us in front, and the veteran winger continued his return from injury by almost scoring again, putting a header from a corner just above the crossbar on 45 minutes. With the clock showing 86 minutes, I was confident we would be coming away with 3 points, until a long ball from Getafe's left back put Venezuelan international Miku in a prime position, outmaneuvering Sergio Alvarez and dribbling the ball into the empty net. Even worse, on 90 minutes a floated ball froma corner connected with the head of Getafe's defensive midfielder Mehdi Lacen, which then bounced off the back of Hugo Mallo and dribbled across the line to deny Celta just their second win of the season.
The last game of this month, against newly-promoted Elche, should have been a chance to grab three points. However this proved not to be the case. Despite taking the lead going into the second half, thanks to a powerful header from Charles, it did not take long for the cracks to show and for the opposition to start taking advantage. A well struck long range effort from Richmond Boakye put los Franjiverdes on equal terms on 70 minutes, and central defender Jose Angel gave them the lead with a header from a corner with three minutes to go.
All in all this has been a very poor start to Karpin's career at Celta, with only one win in two months. If los Celestes' fortunes don't improve, a meeting with the board may prove imminent...
Player of the Month
Despite only playing in two of the four matches this month due to injury, the Brazilian born striker has played very well this past month, managing to get on the score sheet against Elche. His recent form has earned him a call up for the Portuguese team, who he qualifies to play for. Hopefully this experience at international level will do his club some good.