Real Madrid lose even more ground on Barca with Celta draw

Catalans are now 16 points clear of Real after entertaining draw at the Balaidos stadium

Celta Vigo 2 Real Madrid 2

Maxi Gomez headed a late equaliser to earn Celta Vigo a 2-2 draw against Real Madrid at Balaidos, where Gareth Bale had scored twice in as many first-half minutes.

The home side had taken the lead on 33 minutes through a fine chip by Daniel Wass, only for Wales forward Bale — fit again following a calf problem — to swiftly draw Real level.

Bale then swept in another on 38 minutes to complete the turnaround. Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas then saved a second-half penalty from Iago Aspas before, with only eight minutes left, Gomez nodded in a deserved equaliser.


Fourth-placed Real now trail leaders Barcelona, who earlier beat Levante 3-0 at the Nou Camp, by 16 points, albeit with a match in hand.

Celta, who had held Barca to a 1-1 draw in their Copa del Rey last-16 first-leg tie on Thursday, were denied an early goal by the woodwork.

Aspas met a cross from Hugo Mallo at the near post on 13 minutes, but his volley struck the post.

At the other end, Vigo keeper Ruben Blanco tipped a dipping effort from Casemiro over.

The home side swept into the lead with a fine goal from Wass on 33 minutes.

Real were caught upfield and Vigo broke quickly as Aspas laid the ball off to Wass, who sprinted into space down the right. The Swiss midfielder waited for Navas to come out of his goal before dispatching a perfectly weighted chip over the goalkeeper and into the net.

The hosts’ joy was short-lived, though, as Real levelled after 36 minutes following a swift counter of their own.

Toni Kroos laid the ball through to Bale on the left side of the penalty area, and the former Tottenham man — making his first LaLiga start since September 20 - guided a low shot into the far corner.

Before the home side could mount a recovery, they were behind.

Isco played the ball in from the right, and Bale benefited from a borderline onside call just inside the home box to knock the ball in with the outside of his boot.

Celta had the chance to equalise when they were awarded a penalty on 70 minutes.

Aspas was played into the area and, as he tried to take the ball around the goalkeeper, the former Liverpool frontman was pushed to the floor. Referee Jaime Latre pointed to the spot, before brandishing a yellow card for Navas, who had defender Raphael Varane covering on the line.

The Real Madrid keeper — albeit a couple of yards off his line — then produced a fine save, diving low to his right to beat away Aspas’ spot-kick.

The hosts, though, finally got their equaliser when Wass floated the ball through the penalty area from the right and Gomez powered a header past Navas.

There was still time for Cristiano Ronaldo to lash an angled drive into the side-netting — and for Aspas to see what looked a strong shout for another penalty waved away after a clumsy challenge by Marcelo.