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Deportivo La Coruña
18 December 2011
• Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
Referee: Ignacio Iglesias
• Attendance: 39000
Soldado 36', 62'
Full time in Valencia. Unai Emery's men comfortably defeat Malaga 2-0 thanks to a superb brace from Roberto Soldado. Thank you for joining us on Goal.com!
Quiet end to the match at the Mestalla. Valencia are stroking the ball around patiently to run down the clock. Malaga know they are beaten now.
Yellow Card Pablo Hernández
Last change of the match for Valencia as Jonas comes off to be replaced by former Almeria player Pablo Piatti.
Dani Parejo replaces the excellent Ever Banega in midfield and takes up his mantle almost immediately by sending a pin point pass through the centre of the defence to Soldado, who loses concentration for a second and allows the ball to slip away.
Joaquin gets down the right again and slips a neat pass into the centre for Van Nistelrooy who turns and shoots quickly but Diego Alves remains big to block the shot at the near post.
What a chance for Soldado! Banega clips a ball over the Malaga defence to his team-mate, who attempts to lob Caballero but hits the ball wide! That was the easiest chance of the game for Soldado!
Soldado finds space in the box and lays the ball off for Pablo and the edge of the box but the winger's first touch of the match is a blast over the crossbar from 20 yards.
Valencia follow suit as Feghouli comes off for Pablo Hernandez. Valencia perhaps looking to sit back and hit Malaga on the counter attack.
Malaga make a double substitution as Sebastian Fernandez and Duda come on to replace Rondon and Isco.
Malaga look down heartened after conceding the second goal, they have certainly been in the match but two moments of magic from Valencia look to have took the game beyond them.
Yellow Card Martín Demichelis
Demichelis is shown a yellow card for a high and very late challenge on Jordi Alba. The Argentine perhaps hoping to extract some revenge for the nutmeg a few minutes ago.
Pacey counter attack from Valencia. Banega slides a ball out to Miguel on the right who swings a deep cross to the far post for Feghouli who volleys back into the box but Mathijsen and Demichelis combine to get the ball away.
Valencia are playing with swagger now after scoring their second goal. Confidence is oozing throughout the side and they look definitely the better side now.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy
Malaga make their first change of the match and it is not a bad player to bring on. Ruud Van Nistelrooy comes on to replace Juanmi up front.
Isco goes on a neat run down the left wing and cuts inside before attempting to curl a shot on goal but it goes straight into the arms of Diego Alves. Unlucky from the young Malaga man.
Assist Jordi Alba
Goal Roberto Soldado
GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR VALENCIA!! What a goal from the home side!! Jordi Alba nutmegs Demichelis on the left and whips a fantastic cross to the back post and Roberto Soldado volleys home first time! 2-0 Valencia!
Yellow Card Miguel Brito
Fantastic wing play again from Joaquin, this time from the right flank. The former Valencia man took on Matthieu and managed to slip past him into the area but Ruiz managed to block the cross at the near post.
Juanmi breaks off to the right-hand side just inside the box and slips a pass along the six yard to Rondon but Miguel comes over to cover brilliantly and clears the ball away from danger.
Santi Cazorla finds space just outside the Valencia box but fails to find a team-mate with a pass in the final third. Story of the match so far for Malaga.
Fantastic challenge from Toulalan to dispossess Mathieu as the Frenchman was looking to latch on to a lay off from Banega.
Malaga with a corner kick opportunity. Cazorla whips the ball in again but Alves punches the ball to safety, the ball finds it way to Joaquin who drives into the box and attempts to curl the ball into the far corner but the Valencia goalkeeper makes a comfortable save.
Quiet start to the second half, both sides struggling to keep the ball but more space has been awarded as the game has went on.
Valencia kick off the second half. The first period was very even so it is up to Malaga to get back into the match or Valencia to capitalise on their lead.
Half time in Valencia. An excellent goal from Roberto Soldado is the difference between the hosts and Malaga as we enter the break. Join us in 15 minutes for the second period!
Malaga on the front foot in the last few seconds. Cazorla whips a deep corner kick to the back post but Diego Alves bravely claims the ball out of the air.
Yellow Card Joris Mathijsen
Banega clips the ball into the penalty area but Demichelis rises high to head the ball away. Valencia pick up the ball again and continue to spray passes around the final third looking for an opening.
A Valencia set-piece opportunity now as Mathijsen tugs back Soldado and earns a booking. Banega will take the free kick.
Yellow Card Albelda
David Albelda brings down Joaquin with a late challenge and the resulting free kick sees Cazorla hit the Valencia wall again. Wasteful from the former Villarreal man.
That Valencia goal was certainly against the run of play, but a majestic pass from Jonas and masterful striking play from Soldado have gave the home side the lead.
Goal Roberto Soldado
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR VALENCIA!!! Jonas slides a fantastic pass through the middle of the Malaga defence and Soldado runs through before taking the ball around Caballero and slotting home! Excellent goal!
Valencia taking the sting out of the Malaga ascendancy by patiently passing the ball around. The home side are in no rush here as Manuel Pellegrini's side look dangerous at the moment.
Yellow Card Ever Banega
Joaquin smashes the ball straight off the solid Valencia wall and Unai Emery's side attempt to mount a counter attack.
Albelda is booked for a challenge on Rondon just outside the box. A very useful position for an attempt on goal for Malaga.
Joaquin finds space in the left of the Valencia box and drives inside before whipping a cross to the back post but Diego Alves and Ruiz combine to smuggle the ball away.
Miguel drives down the right wing and cuts inside. The Portuguese had a few options but opted to attempt at goal but it was a weak left-footed effort in the end.
Rami and Ruiz have been solid for Valencia so far. Rondon and Juanmi have been getting into useful positions but no joy as of yet for the Malaga attackers.
Another speculative shot at goal, this time from Ever Banega. A dipping shot from the edge of the box but again its just over the crossbar.
No clear cut chances for either side in the first twenty minutes of the match. An even contest so far but not too much action in the final third.
Great play from Isco just outside the box to slip a lovely pass through the centre to Joaquin but Rami makes another good interception. Good Malaga pressure at the moment.
Banega shows his passing range with a lovely clip over the top of the Malaga defence to Soldado, but the Valencia front man cannot manage to take the ball out of the air and its a Malaga goal kick.
The match is going through a slightly cagey period at the moment. It is very much a midfield battle at the moment but some space is starting to generate in the final third.
Valencia are playing the ball from the back. Diego Alves has seen a lot of the ball so far in the match and is acting as a makeshift sweeper somewhat.
Superb wig play from Feghouli to get to the byline and dig out a cross to the back post. The ball finds its way to Jonas but the Brazilian can only manage a weak half-volley at goal.
Joaquin drives down the right-hand side and reverses an excellent pass into the Valencia penalty area but Rami makes a solid interception and manages to clear the ball to safety.
Rondon picks up the ball just in front of the Valencia box and turns sharply before unleashing a left-footed shot at goal but it goes a few yards over the crossbar.
Valencia start the match well and are passing the ball around sharply. Most of their play is going through Ever Banega, who returns to the team tonight after a short spell out with injury.
The game is underway and we are in for a cracking match this evening. Both teams enjoy fluent attacking football so it should be a treat tonight!
The last match of the year in La Liga and it is Valencia v Malaga. The players have took the field now and we are moments from kick off. Hope you enjoy the action!
Valencia comfortably find themselves third place in La Liga on 30 points but if Malaga can win this evening, they will go three points behind Unai Emery's men. So all to play for tonight as both sides battle for a Champions League spot.
This is the first XI of Malaga: Caballero; Gámez, Demichelis, Mathijsen, Monreal; Joaquín, Toulalan, Cazorlal; Isco, Juanmi, Rondon.
The teams are in and this is how Valencia will be lining up tonight: Diego Alves; Miguel, Rami, Víctor Ruiz, Jordi Alba; Albelda, Éver Banega; Feghouli, Jonas, Mathieu; Soldado.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I will be reporting on the game this evening. You can follow me on Twitter at @MartinMac1 so don't forget to tweet your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match!
Good evening! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division encounter between Valencia and Malaga at the Mestalla.
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