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Deportivo La Coruña
3 December 2011
• Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
• Attendance: 41500
A. Costa 6'
H. Moreno 69'
Valencia 2-1 Espanyol from Mestalla. Great victory for Emery's men as super sub Roberto Soldado nets the winner. Valencia remain in third place and now have 30 points. Espanyol sit in ninth with 17. I'm Roger Gonzalez, and it's been a pleasure. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to stick with us for the match report and player ratings from this contest.
90' + 4'
Valencia gain control of the ball and attack down the left, but it's simply to waste time as Soldado heads towards the corner. This one is over.
90' + 3'
Espanyol lose the ball in attack as Valencia go on the counter, but Mathieu loses the ball as well marching towards goal. Last chance for the visitors here.
90' + 2'
Forlin and Weiss control the ball down the right side, but Valencia regain control as Jordi Alba wins a throw in after solid defensive marking.
90' + 1'
Four added minutes in this one.
Great job by Rami in the back to evade an attacker and advance up the field with the ball. Will be a stellar three points for Valencia if they hold on.
Not much time left for Espanyol. They can't find a way through the Valencia defence.
Yellow Card Raúl Rodríguez
Soldado appears to be fine. Only minutes left now.
Oh no. Soldado is down and isn't getting up. The medical staff is attending to him.
Yellow Card Jordi Alba
Cross flies in by Weiss, but Alves skies for the ball to grab it.
Just under 10 minutes remaining as Valencia look to hold on. Tense action at Mestalla! Corner to Espanyol.
Assist Tino Costa
Goal Roberto Soldado
GOAL VALENCIA! Can you guess who it was? SOLDADO! The super sub comes on and makes his mark off a corner kick. Checking to the front post on the cross, the former Real Madrid man redirected Tino Costa's cross into the left side of the net. What a goal!
The game has transformed from a decent one into a great one. Tense moments at Mestalla as little time remains. Valencia are looking for Soldado, as they should be.
Corner to Espanyol. Weiss sends in a cross that Mathieu heads out. Valencia are reeling. The visitors have completed control.
Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia
Soldado comes on for Aduriz as Jonas nearly finds the net from outside the box, seconds after sending a gorgeous ball into the area that his teammates couldn't capitalise on.
Valencia's intentions are obvious. They are looking to go on the counter with their horses. Will it work?
The game is all even now. Espanyol are very comfortable at the moment, and they are on the verge of earning a well-deserved point. With that said, it could have potentially been three as Weiss fires from inside the box, sending his effort past the right post.
Assist Thievy Bifoum
Goal H. Moreno
GOAL ESPANYOL! 1-1! Hector Moreno grabs the goal from a metre out. The Mexican finishes past Alves after a cross from Thievy goes under the legs of Fonte, who made a move to confuse defenders. Game on!
Igbinola Olabode on Twitter writes: I hope Emery's men with this [because] I'm tired of the two-horse race.
Piatti comes off. Not a great game, but solid. The Valencia fans are still looking for his breakout performance. Jonas comes on for a little cameo.
Yellow Card Pablo Hernández
Fans are starting to get a little restless as another foul results in a free kick at the corner of the box. Weiss' effort is cleared quickly though.
Real poor effort by Galan, aiming for the left post where Alves was. Had the Brazilian dove, he might not have even touched it. It was that far off.
Foul! Great chance from a free kick here at the top of the box as Dealbert takes down Verdu.
Yellow Card Mehmet Topal
Piatti fails to control a long, high ball in the box, slipping and ultimately falling.
Yellow to Galan for a tough foul on Piatti. The fans wanted a red card. Could argue that it was at least orange. Right in the middle there, could have gone either way.
Yellow Card Ernesto Galán
Looks like Datolo will come to add some more pace to the midfield. Several players are warming up for Valencia at the moment. Dani Parejo looks set to come on shortly.
Valencia are attacking well, playing through Mathieu on the left and Bruno on the right. Emery is ordering his team to attack. But it's Espanyol who have a great chance now as a foul at the top of the on Verdu leads to a free kick.
The second half has begun, and there is one change. Barragan comes off for Bruno.
Second half is moments away. Can Valencia punish Espanyol or will the visitors rebound?
Tino Costa's penalty strike has Valencia up 1-0 at the half. The second half will be back shortly. What are your impressions of the game? Send your thoughts on Twitter to @RCGonzalez10
Halftime. Valencia can't find a late goal after a frantic moment in the attacking half as Los Che looked for a pass to send someone on goal.
Yellow Card Vladimir Weiss
Rodriguez denies Pablo in the box with fantastic defence. Then, Weiss receives a yellow after taking down Jordi Alba on the left side. Free kick for Valencia comes in but is cleared quickly.
Yellow Card Tino Costa
Five minutes to go before the break. Neither team can find a goal. Valencia have had the most chances, but Espanyol are using space well to get forward.
NEARLY A GOAL! Off a corner, Aduriz heads the ball to the back post, but it finds the wrong side. What an effort!
Tino Costa is taken down at the top of the box but no foul. Valencia recover the ball after a clearance, ultimately winning a corner.
Yellow card for Rami for a foul on Weiss.
Yellow Card Jordi Amat
Yellow Card Adil Rami
Two bookings so far with Barragan and Didac.
Nearly 30 minutes in. Valencia are in complete control, but they still can't find the second. Tide is turning a bit as Espanyol build up in attack. With that said, Jordi Alba falls in the box and screams for a penalty, but it is not awarded.
Another fine save by Cristian, who knocks Tino Costa's effort wide for a corner. On the ensuing kick, Forlin heads the ball out.
Two great chances from Valencia after Cristian denies Aduriz from inside the box on a powerful effort, then snatching Pablo's dangerous cross from the right.
Nearly a goal for Espanyol! What a save by Alves, who off the free kick, does well to react to his right and push out Alvaro's header.
Yellow Card Barragán
Foul and yellow card for Barragan. Free kick coming here from deep.
Lovely run by Jordi Alba down the left, but the Spaniard can't do much, circling around in the box before sending in a ball that was cleared fairly easily.
Espanyol are pushing a bit now after winning a free kick in the attacking half. A dangerous ball from the left wing by Verdu does not connect with a teammate. Valencia dodge a bullet there.
Valencia are in complete control in the early going after bagging the goal. Espanyol don't look too comfortable on the ball, but they do look sharp with their sharp uniforms. Los Che are looking to play down the wing, going for their second strike.
Emery is more than excited on the sideline after the goal. It was a great effort from Costa, who scores in his third consecutive game, including Champions League contests.
Penalty Goal Tino Costa
GOAL TINO COSTA! What a bullet! The Argentine fires home with his left foot into the right side of the net, leaving Cristian no chance! What a finish from the penalty spot! 1-0!
Yellow Card Dídac Vilà
Goal! Wait, no goal! What happened? Off a corner, Didac is handed a yellow card, and it is a penalty kick. He grabbed Dealbert in the box!
Pablo plays Dealbert down the right, and the defenders cross from the corner is pushed out by Cristian, leading to a corner for Valencia.
Best early chance as a pass from Piatti hits off an Espanyol defender, falling right to Pablo, who fires one time, but his effort is saved well by Cristian.
Here we go!
Mario 'El Matador' Kempes, Argentine legend who made quite an impact at Valencia back in the day, is being honoured on the pitch. Game to start in seconds.
As always, you can get involved on Twitter. Send your thoughts, feelings and predictions of the game to @RCGonzalez10
Aritz Aduriz starts, as does Pablo Piatti. No Jonas, no Soldado. No surprise. The match is moments away.
For Valencia: Diego Alves, Barragan, Rami, Dealbert, Mathieu, Topal, Tino Costa, Jordi Alba, Piatti, Pablo Hernandez and Aduriz.
The starting XI for Espanyol: Cristian, Galan, Raul Rodriguez, Hector Moreno, Didac, Gomez, Forlin, Weiss, Verdu, Thievy and Alvaro Vazquez.
Should be an interesting encounter. Valencia are just days away from their most important game. They will face Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday in London, winner take all. But today, it's league action. Will be interesting to see the starting XI for the home side, which will certainly have some lesser-used players as Emery looks to rest his stars.
Entering the contest, Unai Emery's men sit in third place with 27 points. The visitors are in ninth place with 17 points.
Welcome ladies and gentleman to Goal.com's LIVE text commentary of La Liga action. From Mestalla, Valencia host Espanyol. I'm Roger Gonzalez, and I'll be providing updates from the contest.
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