MADRID — Italian forward Giuseppe Rossi scored a hat trick to lead Celta Vigo to a comfortable 3-1 win over Las Palmas in the Spanish league on Monday.
Rossi, who was born and brought up in America, scored twice in the first half and once in the second to give Celta its first win in three home games at Balaidos Stadium. Las Palmas’ goal was scored by Pedro Bigas near the end.
With the hat trick, his first in the Spanish league, Rossi matched his total of goals for the rest of the season.
"More than anything, the three points were important to keep our dream alive of making it to the European competitions," Rossi said. "We played a very good match."
The result moved the hosts to 10th place with 41 points from 28 matches. Celta still has a game in hand against league leader Real Madrid.
It was the second consecutive victory for Celta after a string of four straight league games without a win.
Las Palmas, which hasn’t won an away game since the first round against Valencia, stayed 12th in the 20-team standings with 35 points from 29 matches.
Las Palmas complained of a goal disallowed for offside that could have tied the game at 1-1 in the first half. Celta scored its second goal a few moments later.
Celta visits Valencia in the next round, while Las Palmas plays at Eibar.
On Wednesday, Madrid is at relegation-wary Leganes and second-place Barcelona hosts fourth-place Sevilla.
Third-place Atletico Madrid hosts fifth-place Real Sociedad on Tuesday.