Javi Gracia ‘hurt’ by Celta defeat

Malaga boss Javi Gracia said he was ‘hurt’ at the way in which his team were beaten by the only goal of the game at Celta Vigo.

Nolito struck late on at Balaidos to give the Galicians a last-gasp win and breathe fresh life into their hopes of qualifying of Europe.

Celta made it a third win in four games to move two points behind Malaga and Athletic Bilbao but Gracia thought the result was cruel on the Andalusians, who have now gone seven games without winning.

“We are hurt because I didn’t think we deserved this defeat, especially how it came about, and we are really disappointed,” he told reporters post-match.

“We had a difficult start to the game as Celta didn’t allow us to get out of our own half, but we gradually began to be dangerous and we created some of the best chances of the opening 45 minutes.

“After the break we were better and had more possession, while we again had chances, but they didn’t materialise and in tight games like this you pay for it.

“Against Celta, a team that demands so much from you defensively, every mistake is punished and it hurts so much to lose,” he conceded.

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