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Celta Vigo chief: Real Madrid were 'desperate' over delayed game

Celta Vigo president Carlos Mourino has said Real Madrid were "desperate" to push through the teams' scheduled meeting in February after it was postponed amid safety risks caused by bad weather.

Madrid's visit was called off when high winds damaged part of the the Balaidos stadium roof, but Vigo mayor Abel Caballero claimed they had "arrogantly" applied pressure for the match to go ahead in order to avoid fixture congestion.

Madrid said those comments were "inappropriate" and "totally inaccurate."

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As the teams prepare to play the rearranged game on Wednesday, Mourino told AS: "It was a bit desperate.

"They believed they had a series of advantages if the game was played that day. They tried to use the media to get the game played, with quite strange proposals like moving to another stadium to play.

"We believe it was never going to happen, but also that it is normal that each club defends their own interests -- Celta do the same.

High winds damaged the Balaidos stadium roof in February.

"They were a bit stubborn, as it was impossible, but they were within their rights to try."

Madrid had been keen to play as scheduled because they expected to have no free midweek dates while they were involved in the Champions League knockout stages.

Celta, meanwhile, had Copa del Rey and Europa League commitments, but Mourino said that it was "absurd" to think they had deliberately wanted to postpone the game.

"Our line has been very clear all season," he said. "Whenever the coach picks the team, he does not think about who is the opponent or how it affects La Liga.

"Celta does not look at how it might benefit one team or another. In this case it [safety] was an issue for the mayor, and we had no preference either way."

Madrid are level on points with Barcelona at the top of the table but have a game in hand, and four points from the Celta game and a trip to Malaga on Sunday will ensure the trophy.

Vigo-born Mourino said he had always had a fondness for Barca as his second side but stressed: "I have never denied a sympathy for Barcelona for their style of play. Nothing more than that."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan

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