After two bizarre goals and a fantastic display from Tino Costa, the visitors were able to become the first side to defeat their spirited opposition at home this season
With a Javi Venta own goal and a set piece strike from Tino Costa, Valencia was able to earn the difficult 2-0 victory over Levante on Saturday night and surpass its opposition in the league standings.
The home side began the game looking to prove that its high position on the league table wass no mistake. For the first time since the 1964-65 season, Levante found itself ahead of Valencia in the league table before an encounter between the two sides.
After Barkero skipped his way into the 18-yard box, his cross found an open Juanlu, who struck a threatening shot at Guaita’s goal to force the first save out of the keeper.
The visitors, playing without star midfielder Ever Banega, were close to responding when Jeremy Mathieu whipped in a swinging cross which was centimeters away from connecting with the lunging head of an unmarked Roberto Soldado.
After an eventful start, the match became a cagey affair as both teams struggled for position in the other’s midfield and the physicality rose because of it. In the 31st minute, a magical pass from Banega’s replacement, Costa, changed the game.
Los Che showed its class in the midfield with some tiki-taka passing which eventually found Costa. The playmaker sent in a wonderful pass from deep in his own midfield which split Levante's defense in two and found a running Alba, whose shot was deflected by Venta and around goalkeeper Gustavo Munua into his own net to open scoring.
Costa made the difference again in the second half. From a free kick in the 49th minute, he struck a swinging ball from the left into the back of Munua’s goal when the keeper was fooled by the trajectory of the shot and dived the wrong way. The goal was a magnificent strike but the blame clearly rested on the shoulders of Munua after an avoidable mistake.
Later on, Arouna Kone wasted a chance to reduce the deficit when he found himself isolated, along with Aranda, in front of Guaita's goal. Instead of passing, the Ivorian selfishly chose to attempt to beat Guaita himself and shot well over his opposition's goal.
Aranda was able to get the chance for goal that was not given to him before as the substitute forward struck a hard, left-footed shot from about 20 yards to force a sprawling save from Guaita. The opportunity would be the home side's last chance to find a consolation goal as they were it was easily handled by Valencia for the rest of the game.
With the win, Valencia rises to third in the league table and is now even on 24 points with Barcelona. After two straight losses, Levante falls to fourth and seems to already be losing its early season magic.