Rafael Benitez has been sacked by Celta Vigo with the club lying 17th in the LaLiga table.

The 63-year-old former Liverpool, Newcastle and Real Madrid boss took charge at Celta last summer, having been out of management since being sacked by Everton in January 2022.

The team have won only five of their 24 league games so far this season, with Sunday’s 4-0 loss at Real Madrid the 14th defeat, and they are currently two points above the relegation zone.

A statement from the club on Tuesday said: “Rafa Benitez and his coaching staff are leaving RC Celta after eight months of absolute commitment and dedication, but in which the team has not obtained the results expected by the club.

“The club would like to express its sincere gratitude to Rafa Benítez and his assistants for the involvement, honesty and professionalism they have shown since their arrival and the tireless work they have done.

“RC Celta would also like to wish them the best of luck and success in the future.”

Robert Lewandowski scored an injury-time penalty at the second time of asking as Barcelona secured a nail-biting late win over Celta Vigo to stay in touch with the LaLiga title race.

Lewandowski had already given his side the lead with an emphatic finish on the stroke of half-time but Iago Aspas put his struggling side on course for a draw with a deflected effort soon after the restart.

Lewandowski eventually won it from the spot in the seventh minute of added time, but only after the referee ordered a retake when his first attempt was saved by an encroaching Vicente Guaita. The result leaves them two points behind Girona in second and seven shy of rivals and leaders Real Madrid, having played one game more than both.

At the Metropolitano Stadium, fourth-placed Atletico Madrid ran out 5-0 winners over Las Palmas. Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa scored two apiece and Memphis Depay rounded things out in a one-sided contest.

Osasuna beat Cadiz 2-0 and Sevilla took a goalless draw from Valencia on their visit to the Mestalla.

In Ligue 1, departing Paris St Germain striker Kylian Mbappe found himself left out of the starting XI against Nantes only to step off the bench and bury a penalty.

Having announced his summer departure from PSG, Mbappe had to wait until the 62nd minute to see action but was ready to slot home from the spot to put the finishing touch to a 2-0 win. Lucas Hernandez had earlier put the runaway league leaders ahead on the hour.

Elsewhere, Lille moved back into third on goal difference as hat-trick hero Jonathan David put away Le Havre 3-0.

In Germany, Bundesliga’s relentless leaders Bayer Leverkusen banked another three points with a 2-1 away win at Heidenheim.

Xabi Alonso’s title-chasers have now won seven of their last eight matches, with Jeremie Frimpong and Amine Adli on target this time. Tim Kleindienst set up some late tension with an 87th-minute reply but the hosts could not force a second.

Third-placed Stuttgart fought for a 2-1 win at bottom club Darmstadt despite Pascal Stenzel’s red card at the end of the first half. They now sit five points above Borussia Dortmund, with the latter held 1-1 at Wolfsburg after substitute Yannick Gerhardt responded to Niclas Fullkrug’s early effort.

RB Leipzig won 2-0 against Borussia Monchengladbach, Union Berlin scored the only goal away to Hoffenheim and strugglers Mainz recorded a 1-0 win over Augsburg.

Juventus’ hopes of chipping away at Inter’s Serie A lead were stifled as they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at Verona. Juve twice dragged themselves back from a goal down, Dusan Vlahovic’s penalty and Adrien Rabiot’s second-half strike squaring efforts from Michael Folorunsho and Tijjani Noslin.

A point left Massimiliano Allegri’s men nine points behind the Nerazurri, who have a game in hand.

Napoli’s disappointing season continued to underwhelm as they were held 1-1 at home by Genoa. Morten Frendrup put the away side in front and it was not until the 90th minute that substitute Cyril Ngonge grabbed an equaliser.

Mario Pasalic, Teun Koopmeiners and Mitchel Bakker all found the target as Atalanta strengthened their grip on fourth spot at the expense of Sassuolo.

Robert Lewandowski snatched a dramatic late victory for Barcelona at Celta Vigo, converting a retaken penalty deep in injury-time for a 2-1 win.

The Catalan giants were on course for a second straight draw after old foe Iago Aspas cancelled out Lewandowksi’s first goal with a deflected effort just after half-time, his 200th career strike.

But with almost 97 minutes on the clock, the tension ramped up as the veteran striker stood over a last-gasp spot-kick and missed.

Lewandowski held his head in his hands but was offered a lifeline when the referee judged that goalkeeper Vicente Guaita had stepped off his line and ordered it to be taken again.

Unfazed, the 35-year-old repeated the same stuttering run-up as before and slotted it home to secure the points for his side and his 50th goal in Barca colours.

It was a much-needed result for Xavi’s men, who have endured a difficult campaign and would have been disappointed to let another result slip through their fingers after being held 3-3 by Granada last time out.

For Celta it was a harsh blow, denying them a hard-earned share of the spoils and leaving them just three points above the relegation zone.

Barca dominated the ball in the first half, but struggled to generate clearcut chances to make the possession count. Lamine Yamal was first to try his luck but could not beat Guaita, while Joao Cancelo screwed a shot wide.

Despite Aspas’ best efforts the hosts were unable to find a foothold and kept absorbing pressure, Andreas Christensen heading wide at a corner and and Ronald Araujo failing to get an effort away.

The dam broke with the interval approaching, Jules Kounde feeding the ball upfield and Yamal playing in Lewandowksi from the wing. The Poland star’s first touch was an instinctive flick off the outside of the boot, taking the ball away from his marker in an instant, and his second was a rifled finish from the edge of the penalty area.

That should have settled Barca but instead they held their lead less than two minutes after the restart. It was Celta’s smoothest move of the match, Jorgen Strand Larsen and and Oscar Mingueza both producing back-heeled touches to play in Aspas as he ran through on goal.

His shot left Marc-Andre ter Stegan with no chance, but only after a hefty deflection off Kounde. Aspas has been a nuisance for Barcelona’s teams for over a decade and took his tally against them to 11 goals in 19 games.

The 36-year-old looked to have settled the draw, with substitutes Raphina and Ilkay Gundogan unable to rally a winner for the visitors and Carl Starfelt marshalling a solid defensive response.

Added time was already well under way when Fran Beltran fouled Yamal in the box, ushering in the penalty drama that offered Lewandowski two bites at the cherry from 12 yards.

Girona reclaimed top spot in La Liga after Portu’s first-half strike was enough to lift them to 1-0 win over struggling Celta Vigo.

The visitors were looking to bounce back from their disappointing Copa Del Rey quarter-final loss to 10-man Mallorca and quickly found themselves on the front foot at Estadio de Balaidos.

While Celta keeper Vicente Guaita had produced some fine saves to prevent his side from falling behind early, there was little he could do when Portu fired home in the 20th minute.

The hosts looked brighter as the break approached, but created little after half-time as their side slumped to another worrying defeat in their relegation battle.

Girona had a chance to take an early lead when Yangel Herrera fired into the side-netting from the edge of the area seconds before the 10-minute mark.

Artem Dovbyk tried next, forcing Celta keeper Guaita to tip over when his nodded effort from Savio’s cross looked destined to dip under the crossbar, and the former Palace stopper was almost immediately called back into action, denying the hosts with a fine save from a corner.

The visitors capitalised on their hosts’ defensive lapses, Renato Tapia struggling to track as Girona carved space deep inside his side’s half and Unai Nunez found himself outsmarted by Miguel Gutierrez, who slipped the ball to Portu.

The winger obliged, patiently edging forward before firing low past Guaita from just outside the six-yard box, and might have doubled the lead had Dovbyk’s cross soon after not narrowly evaded his slide at the far post.

Viktor Tsygankov fired over before Celta finally enjoyed a brief attacking spell, but were denied an equaliser when Paulo Gazzaniga picked a free-kick out of the air, then tipped Jorgen Strand Larsen’s header over the crossbar to preserve the lead.

Celta were settling into the contest, however, and had a golden opportunity when Aleix Garcia lost the ball inside his own half, but Anastasios Douvikas’ resultant effort was disappointingly soft and made easy work for Gazzaniga.

There were few chances for either opponent as the second half got under way and Girona wasted a  promising drive into the area, pinging the ball between players before losing control, while the home support grew restless with the struggling outfit.

Miguel Rodriguez, one of four second-half substitutions for Rafael Benitez, provided a spark when he drove inside the 18-yard box and did well to control the ball under pressure, but was dispossessed before he could attempt a shot.

Guaita saved Garcia’s deflected effort to keep his side in the contest, and while Oscar Mingueza had a half-chance for the hosts it was duly denied by Daley Blind’s block before Gazzaniga was called into a stoppage-time save to seal the victory.

Joao Cancelo’s 89th-minute goal completed an amazing comeback by Barcelona as they scored three times in the final 10 minutes to beat Celta Vigo 3-2.

Rafael Benitez’s Celta put in an excellent display and looked home and hosed as they went 2-0 up after 76 minutes when Tasos Douvikas added to Jorgen Strand Larsen’s excellent first-half goal.

But they succumbed to an incredible late rally that no one saw coming as Robert Lewandowski scored twice in four minutes before former Manchester City defender Cancelo won it with one minute of normal time.

The comeback will paper over the cracks of what was a worrying display for Barca, who were cut open at will by a vibrant Celta side, but Xavi’s men go to the top of the table with the three points.

Benitez will be highly enthused by what he saw from his team, even if they are just one point above the drop zone.

They looked more like the team at the top of the table with an incisive first-half performance, which was rewarded with a 19th-minute lead.

Barca could not clear a corner properly and on the second phase Lucca De La Torre slipped in Larsen and the Norwegian produced a fine shot into the bottom corner with a finish his compatriot Erling Haaland would have been proud of.

They should have led 2-0 five minutes before the break but Marc-Andre Ter Stegen produced a one-handed save to deny Larsen. The rebound fell to Jonathan Bamba and he was primed to score until Oriol Romeu produced a fine block. The danger was still not over as the ball fell to De La Torre, but he blazed over with the goal at his mercy.

Celta thought they should have had a penalty early in the second half as their pace caused a constant threat on the break, but VAR ruled in the hosts’ favour.

There was no escape, though, in the 76th minute as the visitors got their deserved second, which at the time looked to have sealed the points.

They launched a quick counter-attack and Douvikas raced on to Iago Aspas’ perfect pass to convert with a bobbled finish.

But Barca showed, even playing away from the Nou Camp, they can have a fortress in Estadi Olímpic Lluis Companys as they produced a fine three-goal salvo in eight minutes.

Lewandowski started things off when he latched on to Joao Felix’s ball and hooked home in off the crossbar.

Three minutes later it was all square as the Poland striker tucked home from Cancelo’s cross.

Cancelo then took stage to win it in the 89th minute when he arrived in the box to convert Gavi’s cross and seal a sixth succesive win in all competitions.

Celtic have confirmed the departure of Carl Starfelt to Celta Vigo on a permanent transfer.

The Sweden centre-back made 87 appearances and won five trophies after joining from Rubin Kazan two years ago.

Manager Brendan Rodgers signalled on Saturday that Starfelt was on his way out after giving the defender a farewell appearance off the bench during the champions’ 4-2 win over Ross County.

The centre-half’s partner, Jacynta Galabadaarachchi, left Celtic for Sporting Lisbon this summer and Starfelt was keen to follow her out of Glasgow.

Rodgers said on Saturday: “He probably felt it was the time to move on.

“There are certain conditions there that has made him think he will be going to one of the top leagues, and economically it’s hard for us to compete on that side, and obviously his partner is no longer here and has moved on.”

A club statement read: “Everyone at Celtic wishes Carl Starfelt every success in his future career.”

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