Radomir Antic urged his Celta Vigo side to "start from scratch" against Arsenal in their Champions' League second-leg tie on Wednesday after a 5-1 thrashing in front of their home fans by their relegation rivals Espanyol on Saturday.
Antic admits that any thoughts of overturning a 3-2 first-leg deficit with the high-flying Gunners - 5-1 winners on Saturday - are being replaced with concerns about whether the Galicians can stay in the top flight. The result leaves third-bottom Celta two points from safety while Espanyol, who began the match second from bottom, have now closed to within one point.
"We are showing ourselves the way to the Second Division," Antic said. "We didn't perform as a team and nobody can escape criticism. I would like to think it was just a one-off.
"It is the first time that anything like this has ever happened to me and it is very hard to take. What we have to do now is go back and start from scratch. I know it is hard to forget a 5-1 defeat, but we have to look for a way out of this crisis."
Raul Tamudo and Mustapha Hadji put Espanyol 2-0 up before half-time and a Tamudo penalty put the game beyond Celta's reach on 65 minutes. Sergio's own goal and a volley from Gregory Vignal made it 5-0, before Edu struck late for Celta.
Vicente scored twice to lead Valencia to an important 3-0 win over Deportivo La Coruña and complete a bad night for the leaders, Real Madrid, who drew at Racing Santander and also lost Ronaldo to injury. Valencia moved to within six points of Madrid with the victory which all but ended the title hopes of Depor who fell 10 points behind.
Santiago Solari put Madrid ahead on 28 minutes at the El Sardinero stadium, but Yossi Benayoun hit back to earn the hosts a welcome point after losing four of their past five matches. Madrid were without Raul because of an ankle problem, and Ronaldo limped off in the second half with a thigh injury and will not play on Wednesday against Bayern Munich.Reuse content