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Celta Vigo - The Return of Makélélé

Started on 13 January 2016 by MeanGreenKillingMachine
Latest Reply on 24 March 2016 by Griffo

Celta 2 - 1 Barcelona
Sergio - Mallo Cabral (c) Fontas Wass (Planas '54) - A. Lopez Hernandez - Hupperts (Bongonda '59) Lopez (Gomez '71) Sarabia - Guidetti
Goals: Bongonda ('60, '83), Suarez ('77)
MoM: Theo Bongonda

A quite incredible victory for Celta at the beginning of the month, as they managed a first ever victory over Barcelona under Claude Makélélé. Having lost every previous match against los Cules, including in last season's Copa del Rey final, Celta's fans finally earned the bragging rights over Manuel Pellegrini's team. The first half passed with very little excitement, Neymar drawing a routine save from Sergio Alvarez about the only goal action of the first 45 minutes. Fifteen minutes into the second half, Celta managed to draw first blood through Theo Bongonda, who had only been on the pitch a minute. A pass from Nicolas Lopez found Guidetti, who held up the ball superbly, drawing in Barça's centre backs before laying the ball to Bongonda. The Belgian found himself in plenty of space and unleashed a wicked shot that bounced in off the underside of the bar. Some fifteen minutes after the goal, Barcelona managed to level the scores, former Liverpool striker Suarez striking a beautiful free kick over the wall for his twelfth goal of the season. With the game nearing its end, some excellent passing from Celta allowed Hugo Mallo to burst down the right flank. He crossed into the box, where a mistimed header from Alves sent the ball towards his own goal. A save from ter Stegen kept the ball out, but his failure to catch it allowed Bongonda to tap it in, giving Celta the lead and ultimately all three points in a famous victory.

Real Madrid 2 - 1 Celta
Sergio - Mallo (Wass '58) Costas Alende Jonny (Planas '85) - A. Lopez Augusto (c) - Hupperts Lopez Sarabia (Bongonda '58) - Guidetti
Goals: Ronaldo (pen '16), Hupperts ('43), Bale ('53)
MoM: Isco

After their excellent win at Balaidos, Celta traveled to the capital to face another of Spain's top teams. Thanks to numerous small injuries and suspensions, Makélélé had no choice but to play youth prospect Diego Alende at the back with Costas, however the young centre back partnership played very well considering the strength of the opposition. The game started poorly for Celta, Cristiano Ronaldo making the most Costas leaving his leg out to win a penalty, which he then easily converted. Madrid continued to press, but some good defending and excellent goalkeeping managed to keep the score at 1-0. Celta finally got a much deserved goal right before half time, Dutch winger Guus Hupperts firing home from just outside the box on the volley, and the teams went into the tunnel with the scores level. It didn't take long for Real Madrid to retake their lead however, Gareth Bale picking up a wonderful pass from Isco and sidefooting the ball past Alvarez just ten minutes into the second half. The rest of the game passed without much incident, and Celta will be disappointed not to have been able to hang on to the draw.

Europa League Group L
Olympique Marseille 2 - 1 Celta
Blanco - Mallo Cabral (c) Costas Planas - B. Fernandez (Wass '59) A. Lopez (Señe '88) - Sandro Hupperts '75) Hernandez Sarabia - Lopez
Goals: Ocampos ('21), Lopez ('38), Adebayor ('61)
MoM: Lucas Ocampos

A disappointing first loss for Celta in Europe, as they fell to their main rivals for group qualification. The first goal came midway through the second half, a goal kick from Ruben Blanco being intercepted by Pablo Armero, who nodded the ball on to Ocampos. The young winger then embarked on a fantastic run, going past three defenders before sprinting into the box and curling the ball round Celta's 'keeper. A quite incredible solo goal, and Celta's defenders had to deal with a berating from their manager on the touchline. Fired up and eager to level the scores, Celta did just that when Pablo Hernandez knocked the ball forward first time for Nicolas Lopez. The striker didn't hesitate and easily buried the ball past Mandanda for his third goal of the season. The first half finished with the score at 1-1. Fifteen minutes into the second half, France goalkeeper Mandanda showed fantastic awareness to make two quickfire saves, first from goalscorer Lopez, and then again from Pablo Sarabia who had pounced on the rebound. While los Celestes seemed to be getting back into the game, l'OM hit back with another good goal. Remy Cabella hit a wonderful pass over the defence for former Tottenham striker Adebayor to chase, and the Togo international had no problem firing past Blanco. An unfortunate loss for Celta that sees Olympique Marseille overtake them at the top of Group L.

Celta 1 - 0 Levante
Sergio - Jonny Cabral Costas Planas (Wass '69) - B. Fernandez Augusto (c) (A. Lopez '84) - Sandro Señe Bongonda - Lopez (Guidetti '62)
Goals: Señe ('73)
MoM: Fede Vico

A rather drab game for Celta that nevertheless saw them come away with a good result. With the Europa League game against Olympique Marseille having been played just two days before, Makélélé fielded a squad with a few fringe players, such as Planas, Borja Fernandez and Señe, who all started. The first half passed with no goals, mostly thanks to a great half from Celta's defenders, and several fantastic saves from Sergio Alvarez. Sandro nearly scored his first goal for the club on 38 minutes, a cross from Planas finding the on loan Barcelona forward, whose first time volley was somehow saved by Mariño. Despite no lack of trying from both teams, the first half finished goalless. The deadlock was finally broken well into the second half by Josep Señe. The midfielder rushed forward into the box to meet a cross from Daniel Wass and easily sidefooted the ball into a pretty much empty net to give his team the advantage. In a game of few chances, his goal proved to be decisive and gave los Celestes all three points.

Eibar 0 - 2 Celta
Sergio - Mallo (Planas '62) Cabral Costas Jonny - Wass Augusto (c) - Hupperts (Sandro '71) Lopez Sarabia - Guidetti (Señe '54)
Goals: Hupperts ('7), Sandro ('79)
MoM: Daniel Wass

Another game, and another victory for Claude Makélélé's team, this time away against relegation threatened Eibar. Guus Hupperts got Celta off to a flying start less than ten minutes in, sidefooting in a Sarabia cross from a very tight angle for his fifth goal of the season. The Dutchman nearly had another goal in the match just twenty minutes later, nodding home a cross from John Guidetti, only for it to be called offside. Despite continual pressing, Celta couldn't add another in the first half, and the whistle blew for half time with Celta in the lead by one goal. The second half was much the same as the first, with the team from Vigo pushing up into the final third, and Eibar's defenders putting in a fantastic shift to deny them. Celta's second goal finally game towards the end of the match, Wass swinging in a corner that was cleared by Eibar midfielder Jon Toral, but only as far as Sandro. The young forward, on the edge of the box, took a touch before unleashing a powerful shot that crashed into the back of the net, his first goal for the club. The second goal proved decisive, and Makélélé will doubtless be pleased at such an impressive away victory.

Celta 0 - 0 Villareal
Sergio - Jonny (Wass '86) Costas Gomez Planas - A. Lopez Augusto (c) (B. Fernandez '75) - Sarabia (Sandro '59) Hernandez Bongonda - Lopez
Goals: None
MoM: Bruno

A drab draw at the end of the month for Celta against mid table Villareal. Makélélé clearly had one eye on the Europa League match with Olympique Marseille at Balaidos that was set to be played in a couple of days, and so rested a number of his key players, including Hugo Mallo, Guus Hupperts and John Guidetti. Both teams squandered chances throughout the game, however a draw did seem to be the fairest result, with neither team able to quite gain the advantage over the other in what was quite a boring 0-0 draw.

Player of the Month

Young defender David Costas picks up the player of the month award for October, having played a great deal more games this month due to injuries and suspensions to Celta's other centre backs. His average rating has only dropped below 7.0 once in the last few games (vs Real Madrid), and Makélélé will have to rethink what his first choice centre back partnership is, with Gustavo Cabral and Sergi Gomez also playing well.
Good month considering the strength of the opposition, I hope you can put a good run together from here!
Griffo: Thanks again, you seem to be the only one reading this at the minute hahaha

Europa League Group L
Celta 1 - 0 Olympique Marseille
Blanco - Wass Cabral Fontas Planas - A. Lopez (Jonny '45) Augusto (c) (B. Fernandez '59) - Sandro Lopez (Cheikh '86) Sarabia - Guidetti
Goals: Fontas ('50)
MoM: Ruben Blanco

Celta kicked off November with a hard fought win at Balaidos against Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille. After falling to defeat at the Velodrome, los Celestes were keen to get their revenge in the reverse fixture. The game seemed to have started badly for Celta, centre back Doria poking the ball over the line after three minutes after an Ocampos header was saved by Ruben Blanco, but fortunately for the Galicians, the assistant referee raised his flag and the scores remained level. Olympique Marseille definitely had the better of the first half, Celta's young 'keeper coming to his side's rescue several times to keep out shots from Adebayor, Alessandrini and Ocampos. Thanks to Blanco's superb goalkeeping, the half time whistle went with the scores at 0-0. Celta managed to take a surprise lead ten minutes into the second half, after Lassana Diarra fouled Sarabia on the left hand side of the box. Daniel Wass delivered the ball in, where Spain international Fontas was able to rise above his marker and send a bullet header past Mandanda, sending Balaidos into raptures. Marseille then had midielder Diarra sent off five minutes later, after he collected his second yellow card for fouling Guidetti. Neither side really came close to scoring afterwards, and Makélélé will be pleased at the grit and determination his players have showed to climb back into first place in their group.

Celta 2 - 1 Real Sociedad
Sergio - Jonny (Wass '70) Cabral Gomez Planas - A. Lopez Augusto (c) - Sandro (Bongonda '60) Hernandez (B. Fernandez '82) Sarabia - Lopez
Goals: Markel ('42), Rulli OG ('64), Sarabia ('76)
MoM: Markel

Another good result for Celta, who see their unbeaten streak stretch to five games, this time against a very good Real Sociedad side. Los Txuri-Urdin had the better of a relatively boring first half, taking the lead following a fantastic counter attack. Markel fired the ball past Alvarez to give the away fans something to cheer about, and the teams went into the tunnel with the score at 1-0. Los Celestes came out after the break determined to get something out of the match, and got just that some twenty minutes into the half. Celta created a great counter attack of their own, Planas intercepting a corner and laying it off to Sarabia. The winger put in a cross that Bongonda met with his foot, but hit it straight at Rulli. However, the goalkeeper made a calamitous error, dropping the ball and had to see it roll over the line to the jeers of the Celta fans. Getting one back put the fire back into Makélélé's men, and ten minutes later they took the lead for the first time in the game. Bongonda and Sarabia combined again, with the latter scoring this time. Bongonda broke through Sociedad's defence, drew the 'keeper out before masterfully chipping the ball over him for Sarabia. The winger had nothing else to do but simply pass the ball into the empty net to cap off a good comeback from Celta, and give the team a good home victory

Cordoba 0 - 4 Celta
Blanco - Jonny Costas Gomez Planas - B. Fernandez Augusto (c) - Sandro Señe (Guidetti '66) Bongonda (Hupperts '82) - Lopez
Goals: Sandro ('35, pen '45, '82), Guidetti ('87)
MoM: Sandro Ramirez

A good win on the road for los Celestes to extend their run, and a game which witnessed a striking masterclass from on loan Barcelona player Sandro. Due to Sergio Alvarez coming down with a cold, Ruben Blanco, who played so well in the Europa League match against Marseille, got another chance to impress between the sticks. Young starlet Sandro opened the scoring in the second half, capping off a fine counter attack and sliding the ball underneath the onrushing Cordoba 'keeper. He added a penalty not ten minutes later, after Cordoba defender Hector Rodas slid in on Bongonda. The first half ended with Celta firmly in control, but the home side came back out with added steel, and managed to hold off los Celestes' forwards until the last ten minutes, when Sandro managed to complete a fine hat trick. An interception from Borja Fernandez found its way to the forward, who glided past Cordoba's defence and coolly slotted the ball home. John Guidetti then scored with a simple header from Jonny's cross to seal a solid victory for Celta.

Europa League Group L
Lokomotiv Moscow 2 - 1 Celta
Blanco - Mallo Cabral (c) Fontas Planas - B. Fernandez Wass (A. Lopez '60) - Sandro Lopez Bongonda (Hupperts '70) - Guidetti (Señe '26)
Goals: Guidetti ('2), Yatabare ('62, '67)
MoM: Mustapha Yatabare

Celta's unbeaten run finally came to an end in Moscow at the hands of their Europa League rivals. Makélélé's team started well, John Guidetti volleying home Sandro's cross just two minutes in. Unfortunately, the Swedish striker had to be taken off twenty four minutes later after suffering a dead leg following a hard tackle. Other than that, the first half was uneventful and the whistle blew at 1-0. The home side began to impose themselves after the break, and this culminated in a great counter attack following a Celta corner. A fantastic cross from Russian right back Yanbaev was met by the head of Yatabare, and the ball flew into the net to level the score. The Mali winger added a second just minutes later, receiving a pass on the edge of the box, then taking a touch and unleashing a curling shot that bulged the back of the net. The Galician team couldn't get back in the game, and had to suffer the ignominy of being replaced at the top of Group L by Olympique Marseille, who had beaten Braga 3-0.

Athletic 2 - 1 Celta
Sergio - Mallo Cabral Fontas Jonny - Wass (A. Lopez '74) Augusto (c) - Hupperts Señe (Hernandez '61) Bongonda (Sandro '61) - Lopez
Goals: Susaeta ('14), Aduriz ('65), Augusto ('86)
MoM: Sergio Alvarez

Los Celestes had to suffer another defeat at the end of the month, this time against Athletic Bilbao. Ernesto Valverde's team went in front early, winger Markel Susaeta finishing from a tight angle after being played through by Beñat. Celta had plenty of chances, but wasted them all, Bongonda, Lopez and Wass all firing wide from good positions, and Athletic managed to hold onto their lead until half time. Striker Aduriz then added his team's second not long after the restart, scoring with a bullet header that sent San Mames into cheers. Celta did seem to get back into the game, Arrizabalaga having to make two diving saves to keep out efforts from Hupperts and Lopez, but couldn't get on the scoreboard until the end of the game, when captain Augusto Fernandez robbed Aymeric Laporte and smashed the ball past a stunned Arrizabalaga who stayed rooted to the goal line. A disappointing defeat for los Celestes and they will hope to recreate the form the showed at the beginning of the month into December.

Player of the Month

Sandro Ramirez has been in good form in November, with his hat trick against Cordoba being an especially good highlight. Backup 'keeper Ruben Blanco also deserves a mention, having played very well in the two games he started in this month.
Mixed month of results mate but still loving this story!
Good results, keep working away!
mgriffin2012 and Griffo: Cheers guys, next update will be up later today.

Europa League Group L
Celta 3 - 1 Braga
Sergio - Mallo Costas Gomez Jonny (Wass '62) - A. Lopez Augusto (c) (Señe '86) - Hupperts Hernandez (B. Fernandez '67) Bongonda - Lopez
Goals: Hernandez ('36), Hupperts ('40), Lopez (pen '47), Tanaka ('62)
MoM: Nicolas Lopez

Celta finished their last game of the group stage on a high, beating Portuguese opposition Braga comprehensively at Balaidos. Los Celestes almost scored midway through the first half, Hupperts being played through, but the Dutch winger fired just wide of the left post. The Galicians did take the lead with ten minutes of the half remaining, a fantastic counter attack allowing Theo Bongonda to break away down the left wing. The Belgian winger looked up from the edge of the box, before drilling a low cross for Pablo Hernandez to turn in. The team's second goal wasn't long in coming either, as Hupperts atoned for his earlier miss by slotting the ball under the onrushing Braga goalkeeper after a great ball from Nicolas Lopez. The Uruguayan then showed good composure to score from the spot in the second half, after Braga defender Andre Pinto clattered Hugo Mallo in the box. The Primeira Liga side did claw one back on the hour mark through Japanese striker Tanaka to give their fans hope of an unlikely comeback, but Celta never gave up control of the match, and it finished 3-1. This great result also means that Celta finish the group stage at the top of Group L, as Olympique Marseille fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Lokomotiv Moscow.

Getafe 1 - 0 Celta
Sergio - Jonny Cabral (c) Gomez Planas - B. Fernandez A. Lopez (Señe '67) - Sandro Hernandez Sarabia (Wass '38) - Lopez
Goals: Rodri ('90+1)
MoM: Rodri

A hard loss for Celta and their fans to stomach, especially after their European success. A game of very few chances (only 5 shots on target in the whole game), Celta seemed to have the best of the first half, advanced playmaker Hernandez nearly scoring from close range following a corner, only to see his shot saved by Guaita, and Getafe defender Damian Suarez picking up two yellow cards just half an hour in. Celta lost on their own players to injury, Pablo Sarabia going down clutching his foot nearly forty minutes in. On loan AC Milan forward M'Baye Niang saw his shot saved by Alvarez with just minutes to go, and the first half ended goalless. Celta knew they had a chance to win thanks to their numerical advantage, but the Getafe defence played superbly to shore up and keep the away side out. With the game nearly over, Getafe midfielder Rodri received the ball some 25 yards out. The former Villareal player then unleashed a cannon of a shot that flew into the Celta goal, much to the disappointment of the travelling fans.

Copa del Rey 4th Round 1st Leg
Racing 0 - 2 Celta
Blanco - Jonny (Wass '45) Costas Fontas (c) Planas - B. Fernandez A. Lopez (Augusto '71) - Sandro Señe Bongonda - Guidetti (Andres '83)
Goals: Guidetti ('10), Señe ('18)
MoM: Josep Señe

A game that Celta were always confident they were going to win, Makélélé took the opportunity to call up some B team players to the subs bench, including goalkeeper Ivan Villar, centre back David Goldar and Celta B's top scorer, striker Guille Andres. The away side got going pretty quickly through John Guidetti, who marked his comeback from injury with a well taken goal, a powerful effort from just inside the box that the 'keeper had no chance of saving. The Sweden international quickly turned from scorer to provider, playing a fine ball into the box for Josep Señe to tap home for his second goal of the season. The rest of the game passed with Celta seemingly happy to hold onto their two away goals, focusing on keeping a clean sheet to take back to Balaidos, which they managed to do, and Makélélé and his team will feel confident of progressing to the next round on the back of this performance.

Celta 1 - 0 Sevilla
Sergio - Mallo Cabral Fontas Jonny - Wass Augusto (c) (Gomez '84) - Hupperts Lopez Bongonda (Sandro '45) - Guidetti (Hernandez '73)
Goals: Lopez ('83)
MoM: Hugo Mallo

Another good win for Claude Makélélé's team, as they recorded a first ever win over Sevilla under his tenure. The game itself was quite a drab affair, with neither side managing to impose themselves on the match. The Andalusian side did have chances, but poor finishing or good defending from Celta kept the score at 0-0, Fernando Llorente having a goal bound shot from just two yards out saved by the excellent Sergio Alvarez on 80 minutes. The breakthrough finally came for los Celestes in the last five minutes, as Nicolas Lopez gathered a defence splitting pass from Hernandez. The former Udinese striker surged forward, skipping past the tackle of Carriço and curling the ball round Rico to give the home side the lead late in the game. Lopez's goal proved to be the winner, and los Celestes managed to take all three points.

Copa del Rey 4th Round 2nd Leg
Celta 5 - 0 Racing
Blanco - Mallo (c) Costas Gomez Planas - B. Fernandez A. Lopez - Wass (Lopez '81) Señe (Hernandez '62) Bongonda (Delgado '62) - Sandro
Goals: Bongonda ('7, '9, '14, '16, '56)
MoM: Theo Bongonda

A comfortable cup win for los Celestes, and one in which young winger Theo Bongonda absolutely shone. Celta's number 7 opened the scoring by turning in a cross from Josep Señe just seven minutes in, and added another two minutes later, Alex Lopez nodding the ball down for him to turn and fire the ball under Racing's 'keeper. The former Zulte Waregem player then completed his hat trick, firing in the rebound after Sandro's shot was parried. Bongonda was far from finished however, as he then added another goal just minutes after his third, this time a close range finish from a corner. Despite no lack of trying, the home side couldn't score again, and the half time whistle went with Makélélé's team firmly in control. Fifteen minutes into second half, Bongonda completed his master class by scoring a fifth, a Daniel Wass cross finding him unmarked, and the winger easily headed the ball into the net to make the score 7-0 on aggregate. Celta's defence also played magnificently, keeping their opponents to only 3 shots on target. A great win for Celta, but they will have to be at their best in the next round where they face their cup final opponents from last season, Barcelona.

Espanyol 2 - 2 Celta
Sergio - Mallo Cabral Fontas Planas - B. Fernandez Augusto (c) - Hupperts Lopez Bongonda (Sandro '62) - Guidetti (Hernandez '62)
Goals: Rochina ('43), Hupperts ('50), Sevilla ('61), Sandro ('68)
MoM: Ruben Rochina

Celta finished December with a tough away match against Espanyol, who sit in the middle of the table. The Galicians were unlucky not to take the lead just two minutes in, as Guidetti header crashed off the bar and back into play. Espanyol's goalkeeper came to their rescue 25 minutes in, pushing a close range Guus Hupperts shot onto the right post. Against the run of play, the Catalonians managed to take the lead, Ruben Rochina finishing easily past Alvarez after a fantastic counter attack. Los Celestes managed to level the scores just after the restart through Hupperts. The winger collected Mallo's pass into the box, and calmly turned and fired past Gabulov in the Espanyol goal. It didn't take long for the home side to get back in front however, former Betis player Salva Sevilla scoring from a rebound after Sergio Alvarez knocked a Felipe Caicedo shot away. Determined to at least get a point, Makélélé urged his players to push forward, and this tactic paid off when Sandro hammered home an equaliser to cap off a wonderful team move. Not the best of games for Celta, but Makélélé will take a draw against a good team at their home ground.

Player of the Month

Summer signing Nicolas Lopez has been Celta's best player in December, scoring and assisting twice. His overall contribution has been fantastic, with his rating only dropping below a 7.0 against Getafe. While he has played a great deal of this month's games up front due to Guidetti's injury, the ex-Udinese and Roma striker's passing and vision will allow Makélélé to slot him into the number 10 role now that the Swede is back.
Dimitri Foulquier completes Celta switch

- Granada's French full back joins los Celestes for €6,000,000.

- Foulquier will be on €20,500 a week and has been assigned the number 15 shirt.
The former Stade Rennais player joined Granada in 2013, initially on loan.

Celta manager Claude Makélélé's first foray into the January transfer window has resulted in Dimitri Foulquier, 23, parting company with his Andalusian employers, to join last year's Copa del Rey finalists. The full back joins compatriot Makélélé at the club, who had this to say on the transfer.

"With the number of injuries we've had to Hugo [Mallo], Jonny and Carles [Planas], it was obvious that we needed to strengthen that area of our squad. Dimitri is just what any manager looks for in a full back; pacey, a good tackler and with good crossing abilities. The fact that he can play on the right or left is also a huge asset, as it allows us to deal with any injuries or suspensions that may arise."

Foulquier, who has 8 Under-21 caps for France to his name, described himself as "overjoyed" to be a part of Celta's squad, who qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League last month. "Claude [Makélélé] is doing great things here, that much is obvious." Foulquier told our reporter. "Being able to learn from a manager who had such a distinguished playing career, both at club level and internationally for my home country, is amazing for me, and I can only see joining Celta as being good for my development as a footballer."

Beginning his career at Stade Rennais FC, where he played 18 times across five seasons, Foulquier then moved on loan to Granada in 2013, where he played 24 times. His performances earned him a €2,000,000 transfer to the Andalusian side, and he would go on to appear in 74 league games and score once. Now a part of fellow Frenchman Makélélé's Celta, he is reportedly looking forward to competing regularly in Europe with his new club.
Shame about the result against Getafe... I hope Foulquier is a good signing for you, I will be scouting him to see what he is all about!
Griffo: He's been awesome since signing, plus he's worth a good €3 million more than I paid for him :D
Great update, hope your guy make wonders work!
Celta draw Wolfsburg in Europa League Round of 32

Having finished top of their group, Celta will now play against Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in the next round. The Saxony team finished second in Group I, being pipped to the top by Sporting Lisbon on goal difference. Los Celestes will be optimistic, having drawn a team of similar calibre to themselves and will hope to advance to the next stage of the competition. The first leg of the tie will take place at Wolfsburg's Volkswagen Arena in February.

Celta manager Claude Makélélé said of the tie: "There's no reason we can't win these games. Wolfsburg are a good team, there's no denying that, but I have the utmost confidence in my players to produce a result. While the away leg will be a challenge, in front of our fans we always play at our best, and I know the team will push forward and achieve a fantastic result."
Makélélé led Celta to a sixth placed finish last season, as well as the Copa del Rey final, and is managing Celta in their first European campaign since 2006.

The full round of 32 is as follows:

AEK Athens v Stuttgart

Real Betis v PSV

Genk v Zenit St Petersburg

Saint Etienne v Galatasaray

Zorya v Feyenoord

Olympique Marseille v Sporting Lisbon

Celta v Wolfsburg

CSKA Moscow v Lazio

Trabzonspor v Liverpool

Borussia Monchengladbach v Inter Milan

Viktoria Plzen v Olympique Lyonnais

Ajax v Newcastle

Celtic v Roma

FC Porto v Tottenham

Shakhtar Donetsk v Barcelona

FC Basel v Olympiakos
Tough draw but I think you can get through, poor ole Shakhtar Donetsk though.. wow

Celta 0 - 0 Rayo
Sergio - Mallo Costas Fontas Jonny - A. Lopez Augusto (c) - Hupperts (Wass '57) Lopez Bongonda (Sandro '84) - Guidetti
Goals: None
MoM: Augusto Fernandez

A second league draw for los Celestes, as relegation threatened Rayo Vallecano held the Galicians to share the spoils. Celta nearly took the lead fifteen minutes in, Theo Bongonda squandering two good chances, his second effort drawing a great save from Rayo 'keeper Juan Carlos. Centre back Andreu Fontas also saw the post deny his header from a corner, as Celta began to impose themselves on the match. Despite registering double the number of goal attempts their opponents, the team from Vigo couldn't find a goal, with poor finishing largely to blame. Rayo's defence also played well to keep out Celta's front line and a draw seems a fair result.

Copa del Rey 5th Round 1st Leg
Celta 0 - 3 Barcelona
Blanco - Mallo Costas Fontas (B. Fernandez '81) Planas - Wass Augusto (c) - Hupperts Lopez Bongonda (Sarabia '66) - Guidetti (Gomez '45)
Goals: Neymar ('16, '89), Pique ('80)
MoM: Lionel Messi

A disappointing first leg from Celta, as cup holders Barcelona thrashed them at Balaidos. Neymar got los Cules off to a great start, opening the scoring with a great goal, gliding past two defenders and firing the ball past Ruben Blanco. Barça nearly doubled their lead just minutes later, Ivan Rakitic having what looked like a goal bound shot parried away for a corner by Blanco. While Barcelona had the best of the half, the whistle blew at 1-0. Celta managed to keep Barça's talented front line out for most of the second half, but the Catalonians finally doubled their lead through Gerard Pique. The Spanish international leapt to meet a free kick from Messi and sending the away fans into cheers. Ten minutes later, Neymar added his second of the match less than nine minutes after, finishing into an empty net after Blanco knocked away Rakitic's header. Not a great way to begin their cup tie for Celta, and they will have to be at their very best to get anything out of the next match at the Camp Nou.

Valencia 1 - 1 Celta
Sergio (c) - Jonny ('43) Costas Fontas Planas - Wass A. Lopez - Hupperts Hernandez (Foulquier '43) Bongonda (Sarabia '76) - Guidetti (Lopez '59)
Goals: Rodrigo ('54), Wass ('90+2)
MoM: Enzo Perez

Celta faced another tough test after their cup defeat, facing high flying Valencia at the Mestalla. Los Celestes did come close a few times in the first half hour, but suffered a blow when left back Jonny picked up his second yellow card just two minutes from the break. The home side took advantage of the sending off ten minutes into the second half. Man of the match Perez put in a great cross, and Rodrigo managed to stick out a foot and glance the ball in. Celta managed to hold on admirably despite being a man down, and their perseverance was rewarded with a dramatic late equaliser when Daniel Wass got his head to a Planas cross. The Dane's header crashed onto the underside of the bar and over the line, delighting the travelling fans with his late contribution and giving the team a point.

Copa del Rey 5th Round 2nd Leg
Barcelona 1 - 3 Celta
Blanco - Jonny Costas Gomez Planas - B. Fernandez Augusto (c) - Hupperts Hernandez (A. Lopez '45) Bongonda (Sarabia '71) - Guidetti (Lopez '62)
Goals: Hupperts ('5), Suarez ('77), Mathieu OG ('81), Jonny ('86)
MoM: Lionel Messi

Despite a good victory at the Camp Nou on the night, it wasn't enough to send Celta through in the cup. A strong lead from the first leg was enough for los Cules, and they progressed 4-3 on aggregate. Hupperts gave Celta's fans hope of a comeback with an early goal, poking home a Carles Planas cross for his eighth goal of the season. Barcelona soonBo began to turn up the pressure, Ruben Blanco having to make some great saves to deny Messi, Neymar and Rakitic, but the half finished with Celta leading the second leg game by one goal. Suarez scored what proved to be a decisive goal, knocking the ball past Blanco from a Lionel Messi free kick to make to aggregate score 4-1. Jeremy Mathieu then scored a calamitous own goal at a corner to give los Celestes some hope. Jonny then scored a rare goal just four minutes from time, picking up a great ball from Augusto, and they pushed hard for the last few minutes to try and score a potentially game winning fourth goal, but Barça tightened their grip on the match to hold onto their lead and progress at Celta's expense.

Celta 1 - 0 Real Betis
Sergio - Mallo Cabral Fontas Foulquier - A. Lopez Augusto (c) (B. Fernandez '70) - Sandro (Bongonda '45) Hernandez Sarabia - Guidetti (Lopez '80)
Goals: Adan OG ('45)
MoM: Dimitri Foulquier

Celta finally picked up their first league win of the month and their first in three league games. Both teams had good chances throughout the first half, with their defences coming to the rescue, but it was Celta that managed to get on the scoreboard first. A cross from Sarabia met the head of Sandro Ramirez, and while the Barcelona loanee headed straight at Betis 'keeper Antonio Adan, the away team goalkeeper only managed to parry the ball onto the post, and then roll over the line. Not the prettiest of goals but it meant that los Celestes went in to half time as the team in the lead. The second half proved to be quite dull, with neither team applying the finish when they got the opportunities. While it was not the most emphatic win, it gives Makélélé's team the three points and they will no doubt be happy with that.

Real Valladolid 0 - 1 Celta
Sergio - Mallo Cabral Fontas Jonny - Wass Augusto (c) - Hupperts Hernandez Sarabia (Bongonda '75) - Lopez (Guidetti '62)
Goals: Hernandez ('34)
MoM: Pablo Hernandez

Los Celestes racked up another win, this time on the road against bottom of the table Valladolid. Makélélé's team definitely had the best of the first forty five minutes, and this culminated just over the half hour mark, when Pablo Hernandez thumped the ball into the net after being played through by Hupperts. Both sides came close a few times, Celta more often than not, but neither could finish their chances and Celta's penultimate game of the month finished with another 1-0 win for the team from Vigo.

Granada 1 - 3 Celta
Sergio - Mallo Cabral Fontas Jonny - A. Lopez Augusto (c) (B. Fernandez '76) - Wass Hernandez Sarabia (Bongonda '25) - Guidetti (Lopez '63)
Goals: Wass ('22), Perez ('63), A. Lopez ('83), Lopez ('90)
MoM: Alex Lopez

Makélélé's side earned another away win, this time in a more emphatic manner against Granada. Daniel Wass scored Celta's first goal, intercepting a throw in from David Simon and sprinting past the defence before fantastically chipping the ball over Dimitrievski in the Granada goal. That was about the only action in the entire first half, but after the break the Andalusians managed to equalise. A Youssef El Arabi pass found Ruben Perez unmarked and the Spanish midfielder coolly finished past Sergio Alvarez. It took Celta until the last ten minutes of the game to retake their lead, and man of the match Alex Lopez was the scorer, a fantastic long range effort from the midfielder bulging the back of the net. €8,000,000 signing Nicolas Lopez then added a third to seal the game some seven minutes later, heading home a Mallo cross to round off a great victory in Celta's last game of the month.

League Table

1. Real Madrid (51pts)
2. Celta (42pts)
3. FC Barcelona (42pts)
4. Malaga (40pts)

5. Atletico (40pts)
6. Valencia (39pts)

16. Almeria (20pts)
17. Rayo (20pts)
18. Cordoba (19pts)
19. Real Valladolid (15pts)
20. Eibar (14pts)

Celta are 2nd placed in the league, but were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Barcelona this month. However they are through to the Round of 32 in the Europa League, where they face Wolfsburg.

Player of the Month

Celta captain Augusto Fernandez takes January's player of the month award, having played a vital part in keeping the team in the top places in the league, as well as playing very well in the Copa del Rey defeat against Barcelona, despite the result.

Danish midfielder Daniel Wass also deserves some praise, netting two goals this month and playing very well in the games he was selected in.

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