Two new LaLiga coaches went head to head as Rubi’s Espanyol traveled to Vigo to face Antonio Mohamed’s Celta Vigo but neither left entirely satisfied as they were forced to share the spoils after a balanced tie.
Mario Hermoso broke the deadlock in the first half as he peeled off his marker at a corner to find a yard of space and rifle his effort beyond Sergio Alvarez into the back of the net just before the break.
It was his defensive partner who would have less luck just minutes into the second half as David Lopez got his studs onto Hugo Mallo’s cross into the box, only to turn it onto his own post and across the line with Iago Aspas there to ensure that the whole ball crossed the line.
Maxi Gomez looked to have given his side a lead just after the hour mark with a powerful volley, but his effort was ruled out for a clear offside which was confirmed by VAR.
VAR again came into play in another controversy as Pablo Piatti appeared to handle on the edge of the box in what looked to be a penalty, yet referee Santiago Jaime Latre did not consult the television screen.
Despite that frustration, Celta continued to dominate with several chances late on but it was not enough for either side to take the three points with both being forced to settle for a point apiece.
Celta Vigo: Alvarez; Mallo, Cabral, Araujo, Alonso; Beltran, Lobotka, Mendez (Boufal, 77); Sisto (Mor, 52), Aspas, Gomez (Eckert, 90+1). Unused subs: Villar, Costas, Mazan, Yokuslu.
RCD Espanyol: Diego Lopez; J. Lopez, David Lopez, Hermoso, Vila; Sanchez, Roca, Darder; Baptistao (Perez, 71), Piatti (Puado, 81), Iglesias (Garcia, 71). Unused subs: Roberto, Duarte, Melendo, A. Lopez.
Referee: Santiago Jaime Latre (Yellow card: Mendez (43), Aspas (70), Roca (73), Alonso (90+1), Vila (90+5)).
Stadium: Estadio Municipal de Balaidos