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Played
April 28, 2013 8:00 PM BST
Estadio Municipal de Anoeta — Donostia-San Sebastián
Referee:‬ David Fernández‎
Attendance:‬ 28097‎
 
Top of the Match
Imanol Agirretxe
Imanol Agirretxe
Real Sociedad
Imanol Agirretxe
Imanol Agirretxe
Real Sociedad
Flop of the Match
Aly Cissokho
Aly Cissokho
Valencia CF
Jérémy Mathieu
Jérémy Mathieu
Valencia CF

Real Sociedad 4-2 Valencia: Basque side move into pole position for Champions League spot

A double from Imanol Agirretxe saw the Phillipe Montanier's side on their way to a sensational win over Los Che in a six-goal thriller at the Anoeta

By Martin Macdonald

Liga BBVA Imanol Agirretxe - Real Sociedad
Getty
The race for the final Champions League spot in La Liga saw Real Sociedad create a five-point gap between themselves and their nearest rivals as the Basque outfit came out 4-2 winners over Valencia at the Anoeta on Sunday evening.

Roberto Soldado had given Ernesto Valverde's men the lead in the first half, but a terrific volley from Inigo Martinez, a neat finish from Chori Castro, and a double from Imanol Agirretxe  saw the hosts walk out with all three points, despite receiving a late fright from Jonas.

Carlos Vela almost gave his side the perfect start after just two minutes. The hosts typically counterattacked at pace down the left and the ball eventually came to the Mexican on the right-hand side, but his whipped strike towards the far corner went just the wrong side of the post.

Valencia responded with a decent chance of their own four minutes later, though. Jeremy Mathieu curled an accurate 25-yard free kick over the wall which looked destined to nestle in the corner, but goalkeeper Claudio Bravo managed to get across goal to beat the set-piece away from danger.

Both sides looked more than capable of opening the scoring, but it was the visitors who struck the first blow 25 minutes in. Aly Cissokho skipped past a couple of challenges down the left flank and got to the bye line before curling a superb cross to the front post, and the predatory Soldado got in front of his marker to glance a header into the bottom corner.

Things could have got so much worse for Sociedad four minutes later when Bravo rushed off his line and appeared to touch the ball with his hand outside the box. But the goalkeeper was saved from a potential red card when the referee waved play on, having missed the offence.

The home side looked buoyed from their slice of luck, and got back on level terms 10 minutes before the end of the first half. A quick corner kick saw Castro pick up the ball on the left flank and float a cross to the back post for Martinez.  The 21-year-old shook off the attention of Ricardo Costa and wonderfully side-footed the ball on the volley into the top right corner.

In the second half it was Valencia who benefited from the lenience of referee, Fernandez Borbalan. A cross came in from the right-hand side and Cissokho appeared to bat the ball away with both hands inside the area, but the official inexplicably failed to award Sociedad the penalty.

The Basque side were not downheartened, though, and edged ahead with 18 minutes remaining through a sublime counterattack.

An Ever Banega free kick was cleared out of the box, and Agirretxe burst out his own half before exchanging a scintillating one-two with Castro. The 26-year-old then galloped down the right wing before sliding a perfect pass back to the Uruguayan, who slotted in past the static Diego Alves.

The match looked to have been put to bed five minutes from time when Xabi Prieto clipped a lovely cross to the back post for Agirretxe, who made no mistake and smashed a volley past Alves in the Valencia goal.However, Jonas pounced on a mistake from Bravo to head home from close range to make it 3-2, setting up a scintillating climax.

It was to be Sociedad's night though, and they made it 4-2 in the last minute when Agirretxe ran through on goal and wonderfully chipped Alves, sending the Anoeta faithful into raptures. Sociedad now move five points clear of Malaga and Valencia in fifth and sixth place in the league respectively, with the prospect of Champions League football looking more likely as the weeks progress.



Real Sociedad

1
Claudio Bravo
Goalkeeper
3.50
2
3.00
3
3.00
6
3.50
24
3.00
5
Markel Bergara
Midfielder
72′
3.00
24
Asier Illarramendi
Midfielder
81′ 88′
3.00
10
Xabi Prieto
Midfielder
87′ 89′
4.00
18
Chory Castro
Striker
35′ 73′ 77′
3.50
9
5.00
11
Carlos Vela
Striker
3.00

Valencia CF

3.00
1
Diego Alves
Goalkeeper
2.50
20
3.00
12
2.50
20
2.50
22
3.00
-
Albelda
Midfielder
66′ 76′
2.50
8
2.50
-
Ever Banega
Midfielder
46′
3.00
21
Parejo
Midfielder
3.00
7
Jonas
Striker
90′
3.50
9

Substitutes

13
Zubikarai
Goalkeeper
 - 
15
 - 
19
Cadamuro
Defender
 - 
22
Dani Estrada
Midfielder
 - 
17
Zurutuza
Midfielder
77′
 - 
14
Rubén Pardo
Midfielder
88′
 - 
21
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
13
Guaita
Goalkeeper
 - 
19
Barragán
Defender
2.50
18
 - 
5
 - 
17
 - 
-
Jonathan Viera
Midfielder
 - 
18

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

2.50
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
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  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0