Celta Vigo swipe a point from Athletico Bilbao to stay sixth in La Liga

Nolito's 73rd minute effort salvaged a 1-1 draw for Celta who were keen to respond to their 3-1 home defeat to Villarreal in their last match prior to the international break.

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Celta Vigo striker Nolito scored midway through the second half to end Athletic Club’s hopes of halting a winless run which now stretches to seven games.

Ernesto Valverde’s Primera Division strugglers had made a dream start when Aritz Aduriz put them in front from the penalty spot with just six minutes on the clock.

But Nolito’s 73rd minute effort salvaged a 1-1 draw for Celta who were keen to respond to their 3-1 home defeat to Villarreal in their last match prior to the international break.

The home side did not need to wait long to edge in front after Sergi Gomez handled in the box and referee David Fernandez pointed to the spot.

Aduriz stepped up to fire the penalty past Sergio Alvarez in the Celta goal and Athletic could have doubled their lead when Markel Susaeta shot just wide six minutes later.

LA LIGA RESULTS

Alvarez kept his side in the game as he made a fine save from Susaeta on 15 minutes then five minutes later tipped an Aymeric Laporte header round the post.

The visitors failed to pose any kind of threat to Gorka Iraizoz’s goal in the first period and Athletic stayed on top in the second half as an Oscar De Marcos header drifted just wide.

Aduriz shot just wide again before the hosts were made to pay for their missed chances as Celta drew level midway through the second period.

Nolito pounced to fire home a right-foot effort from 12 yards after being played in by Fabian Orellana on the left.

The same player fired over the bar with six minutes left while Athletic’s best late chance came from an Ibai free-kick which sailed into the arms of the impressive Alvarez.