Guardado ends scoring drought, helps Valencia into Champions League place

The Mexican attacker ended a personal slump and played a vital role in Los Che's victory at Rayo Vallecano, which temporarily places the club in fourth place in La Liga.
Andres Guardado's lengthy scoring drought is over, and the end could not have come at a better time for Valencia.

Guardado scored his first goal of the season and set up Roberto Soldado for another as part of Los Che's 4-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Sunday that lifted the club into fourth place and La Liga's final Champions League spot with three games remaining in the season.

Guardado, who had not scored in any competition since tallying in a World Cup qualifier for Mexico against Guyana in October, played helper first. He tallied his assist in the 34th minute, setting up Soldado with a cross through the box to the far post, where the Spaniard tapped in for his second goal of the match and one that gave Valencia a 2-0 lead.

The long-awaited goal came for Guardado in the 62nd minute. He was played into the center of the box, where his initial shot was saved by Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Ruben. He pounced on the rebound, though, took a touch to his right to round the helpless keeper and slotted home Valencia's third goal. Nelson Valdez capped the rout in stoppage time.

With the win, Valencia leads Carlos Vela's Real Sociedad by one point but has also played one more game. Sociedad will have a chance to reclaim fourth place Monday when it hosts 16th-place Granada.

Follow GOAL.COM on