Villarreal 4th in Spain after 1-1 draw at Celta

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Villarreal got the point it needed to edge into fourth place in the Spanish league after hanging on at Celta Vigo to draw 1-1 on Friday.

Villarreal was in control when Gerard Moreno scored from outside the area in the 15th minute.

But Celta responded and only the saves of Pepe Reina kept the visitors in the game.

The 40-year-old former Liverpool goalkeeper closed quickly to get enough of Iago Aspas’ shot and send it wide in Celta's best effort before halftime.

Shortly after Villarreal’s José Morales clipped the crossbar, Reina was unable to stop substitute Jorgen Larsen from equalizing in the 68th for the Norwegian’s first goal in 13 league games since joining Celta last summer.

But Reina, who has become Villarreal’s starter following the exit of Gerónimo Rulli, turned back shots by Unai Nuñez and Carles Pérez towards the end.

Quique Setién’s team, which beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the last round, moved into the Champions League spots with the draw.

“We are on a good run,” Moreno said. “It was important not to lose. After our start to the game we were looking at taking the full three points, but after that second half we have to be happy with just one.”

Celta climbed into 15th place at two points above the relegation zone. It has gone four rounds without a loss under new coach Carlos Carvalhal.


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Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press