Veiga lives his dream to save childhood club: Moment of the Weekend

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It's the final day of the season. Your club, your childhood club, are in very real relegation trouble. They're a point above the drop zone and they face the runaway champions on the final day. It's taking place at your home stadium, a place not 20 km away from the place you were born. Come crunch-time, what happens?

You score a brace in front of your home fans, your team wins, relegation is avoided.

As footballing dreams go, this kind of scenario is right up there with the most euphoria-inducing... and it's a dream that 21-year-old Gabri Veiga is living right now.

Veiga, who had joined Celta Vigo as an 11-year-old, starred at the Balaidos as Celta beat champions Barcelona 2-1 to go from 17th in the table to a remarkable 13th on the final day of LaLiga 2022/23. His two goals also combine to give us the final moment of the weekend from Europe's top 5 leagues this season.

The goals themselves were superbly taken. The first came as a sort of pressure-release valve. Barcelona had been Barcelona-ing their way around Balaidos for most of the first half when suddenly Celta upped the ante. They simply had to - at 0-0 they were still 17th while 18th placed Real Valladolid continued to pile on the pressure against fellow-relegation threatened side Getafe. Celta couldn't afford to simply draw and pray.

Around the 41-minute mark, a concentrated press in midfield worked. Barcelona were dispossessed in midfield (a rarity in the league this season) and the ball was rapidly moved on to Haris Seferovic. The Swiss striker gathered the ball, turned, and took three small touches as he waited for runners before finding Veiga in the inside-right channel, making the perfect run.

Cutting across Marcos Alonso (who couldn't touch him in the box) and racing past Andreas Christensen, Veiga took one touch and passed it brilliantly into the bottom far corner. With his weaker right foot. As the ball rolled just past Marc Andre Ter-Stegen's right leg, the tears started to flow down Veiga's face.

For a relegation-threatened side, though, a 1-0 is never going to be enough to calm things down. As so it was at the Balaidos, where the tension grew till a 65th-minute counter. It started with Ansu Fati being brushed off the ball deep inside the Celta half. Carles Perez then beat a diving Frenkie de Jong to the loose ball and set off on a run that took him past three defenders and into the Barcelona defensive third. Turning, to avoid Franck Kessie's attentions, he looked up and played it out wide to Veiga; who had peeled off his usual central position and into space.

Taking a touch to set himself, Veiga shaped to cross deep into the far post area... but the ball ballooned over a diving Inaki Pena (Ter Stegen had been taken off a couple of minutes before) and right into the net. It's a terribly hit cross (look at Veiga's body position in slow-mo replay) but when it's your dream, things just work out.

Fati scored a goal in the 78th minute to jangle nerves further but the Celta team saw the champions off before the whole place exploded in joy and relief. And the man they had to thank for it all was one of their own.

P.S. There was a lovely touch in the Rayo Vallecano vs Mallorca match when, after the match, the two teams lined up to give referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz (who is retiring) a full guard of honour.

He may have had a rather controversial career but as he broke down in tears, the overwhelming appreciation showed to him by fans and players alike stood in stark contrast to the scenes in Budapest - where English referee Anthony Taylor was first accosted by Roma coach Jose Mourinho outside the stadium after his team lost the Conference League final and was then abused and harassed by Roma fans at the airport.