Zaragoza were worthy winners as they thumped 10-man Valencia to boost their chances of survival...
Zaragoza were in top form as they thrashed 10-man Valencia 4-0 to ease their relegation worries.
The home side were a goal up on five minutes through Jiri Jarosik's header before doubling their lead with Ander Herrera's nutmeg. Marius Stankevicius received his marching orders on 64 minutes for a second yellow card with Gabi converting the resulting penalty. The Zaragoza captain scored his second from the spot after David Albelda hauled down Braulio in the box 10 minutes later.
The result moves Javier Aguirre's men upto 15th in the table while Valencia remain in third. However Villarreal can close the gap to one point if they defeat Sporting Gijon on Sunday evening.
Los Manos made the perfect start when they opened the scoring on five minutes. Javier Paredes' curling set-piece into the box evaded every Valencia player before Jarosik headed the ball past the out-stretched Guaita from six-yards out, the Czech midfielder's third goal of the season.
On 25 minutes Zaragoza came close to doubling their lead, again causing Unai Emery's side trouble from a set-piece. Ander Herrera delivered a floating ball which Carlos Diogo headed into the path of Nicolas Bertolo who blazed over from 15 yards, a poor miss from the Argentinian.
The on-loan Palermo midfielder nearly made amends for his miss with a stunning run down the wing. However, Ikechukwu Uche failed to connect with Bertolo's low cross despite being at full stretch six yards out.
Los Blanquillos continued to dominate Valenica and doubled their lead on 40 minutes. Herrera did well to break the away side's offside trap before latching onto Uche's clever chipped pass and sliding the ball through the legs of the on-rushing 'keeper.
Los Che showed more attacking intent in the early stages of the second half yet despite their improvement they still struggled to create chances.
It was to be game over for the away side on 64 minutes when Marius Stankevicius brought down Bertolo inside the box with the referee having no choice but to award the Lithuanian defender his second yellow card. Captain Gabi stepped up to calmly dispatch the penalty past Guaita, sending the 'keeper the wrong way.
It was nearly four on 72 minutes when substiture Braulio used his pace to break into the Valencia box before unleashing a powerful low drive which Guaita had to be at full-stretch to tip around the post.
A nightmare evening for Emery's men was complete on 75 minutes when substitute David Albelda brought down Braulio in the box and a second penalty was awarded. Gabi stepped up again and just like he did with his first penalty, he confidently sent the 'keeper the wrong way to the delight of home supporters.
Zaragoza travel to Mallorca next weekend while Valencia entertain Sevilla.
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