Two precise strikes from Hernandez gave Valencia all three points as an early penalty from Ramis was not enough for the home side
Valencia had to come from behind to leave the Iberostar Stadium with all three points after a 2-1 victory over Mallorca.
Two clinically dispatched efforts from Pablo Hernandez cancelled out an opener from the penalty spot by Ivan Ramis for Mallorca in a game where the away side merely went through the motions before edging out the hosts.
The first chance of the game fell to Pierre Webo in the 5th minute. Latching onto a misguided defensive header, his poor first touch let Ricardo Costa apply sufficient pressure and the chance evaporated when the striker lashed his left footed effort horribly wide. Protracted periods of passing from Valencia barely penetrated Mallorca's defence as they were content at keeping the visitors at arm's length.
Pablo Hernandez shone out of an attacking midfield trio accompanied by Banega and Mata as his intermittent cunning runs and clever passing gave his team an attacking outlet which earned them several corners in the first half an hour. Although Los Bermellones were starved of possession for periods, they remained well organised and maintained their concentration the few times Valencia looked to carve out an opening.
However, Valencia were made to pay for their relaxed attitude to the game and a scarce Mallorca attack proved fruitful when Webo won a penalty. David Navarro fouled the Cameroon international just inside the box. Ramis stepped up to the spot and slammed the penalty in the top left corner, out of reach for the goalkeeper, Guaita to give the home side a 1-0 lead after the 30th minute.
In spite of that setback, Los Che wasted no time in making amends for their lax opening. Less than 4 minutes after conceding, Hernandez swept in a well-struck right footed volley precisely into the bottom corner from Aduriz's knock-down.
Valencia continued to dominate proceedings in the manner before the goals were scored but they didn't try to capitalise on this period when Mallorca's defence showed it's first nervy moments. As the teams headed into the fressing room for half-time, the two coaches would have had strong words for both sets of players as neither side impressed.
As the second half kick off, both teams emerged with positivity and attacked more. However, it was Valencia, who had the greater purpose and intent, who scored their second of the game, personified by their star player, Hernandez. Some neat passing around midfield was suddenly turned into a goal-scoring chance by Ever Banega's sumptuously weighed through ball and Hernandez applied a cool finish for turn the game on it's head in the 56th minute, doubling his own tally in the process.
After the goal, Los Che assumed control of the game and Banega and Mata dictated the tempo, slowing it right down with their opponent's growing more visibly frustrated. Being restricted to long balls mainly, Michael Laudrup's men almost won a penalty of their own. A lull in the game meant Valencia's unconvincing defence taking their foot off the gas, where Nsue meandered past several players. Finding himself through on goal, Guaita raced off his line to prevent another goal and the ball was hacked behind for a corner.
Sloppiness was never fully eradicated from Los Che's play in this game and seven minutes from time, they were almost made to pay for it. Some chaotic defending nearly allowed the home side to steal a late point but they were denied as every dangerous ball was just about booted to safety.
Despite some more nervy moments, Unai Emery's team managed to close out the game and claim all three points against the unfortunate hosts. The win consolidates Valencia's position in third place while Mallorca stay 10th in mid-table security after an exasperating match.