Elche loses to Celta Vigo, remains winless in Spanish league
MADRID (AP) — New year, same struggles for Elche in Spain.
The modest club lost to Celta Vigo 1-0 at home in the Spanish league on Friday to remain the only team without a win after 16 league matches.
The loss came after it opened the year by being eliminated in the Copa del Rey following a 1-0 defeat at third-division club Ceuta.
It was the team’s third match since debuting new coach Pablo Machín. His first game was a 2-0 loss at Atlético Madrid before the end of the year.
Elche, based in the city by the same name in southeastern Spain, has lost 12 of its first 16 league games, including the last five.
Celta, which got the winner with a goal by veteran striker Iago Aspas in the fifth minute, ended an eight-game winless streak in the league. Its last victory came in October against Real Betis. It also had been eliminated in the Copa del Rey midweek.
The result lifted the Vigo club to 16th place, three points clear of the relegation zone.
Elche, playing in the first division for the third straight season, sits eight points behind second-to-last Sevilla, which hosts Getafe on Sunday.
Cádiz won at Valencia 1-0 to end a three-game winless streak in the league and move out of the relegation zone. It hadn’t won since October against Atlético Madrid. Rubén Alcaraz scored the winner at Mestalla Stadium in the ninth minute.
Valencia stayed in mid-table.
Defending champion Real Madrid on Saturday will try to take sole possession of the lead when it visits Villarreal. Madrid enters the weekend tied on points with Barcelona, but trails the Catalan club on goal difference. Barcelona has a difficult match at fourth-place Atlético Madrid on Sunday.
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