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Primera División

  • December 18, 2011
  • • 20:30
  • • Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
  • Referee: Ignacio Iglesias
  • • Attendance: 39000
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Valencia 2-0 Malaga: Soldado at the double as Unai Emery's men go four points clear in third spot in La Liga

Valencia 2-0 Malaga: Soldado at the double as Unai Emery's men go four points clear in third spot in La Liga

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After suffering during a three-game streak with no victories, the home side managed to get back on track with a convincing performance that saw their star striker net twice

A clinical brace from Roberto Soldado helped Valencia end a stretch of three games without a win, defeating Malaga 2-0 at Mestalla in Sunday's La Liga encounter.

In an open contest with several chances and a fast pace, the former Real Madrid striker found the net either side of half-time to allow the club to solidify their third place standing, where they currently sit four points above Levante.

Things got off to a fast start with each team controlling the ball deep in the attacking area, despite no real threat early on.

The visitors managed to terrorize Valencia down the wings, though the central defenders of Unai Emery's side were at their best, repelling attacks well, leaving Malaga with nothing to show for their endeavours.

After poor efforts by Ever Banega and Miguel, Manuel Pellegrini's men responded to the home attack via Joaquin, who is in his first season with the ambitious club after a spell with the home side.

The former Spain international had two golden opportunities in the space of a few minutes midway through the first half, seeing a cross from the left fielded by Diego Alves, only to see the Brazilian custodian deny him again within inches of the front post after breezing past Jeremy Mathieu and Jordi Alba on the right a minute later.

With the visitors in control, Valencia's star striker gave his side the lead in the 36th minute against the run of play. Jonas split the Malaga defence with a diagonal pass to Soldado, who skipped past Willy Caballero before firing into the open net, allowing Los Che to enter the break with the slimmest of advantages.

In the second half, it took Soldado 17 minutes to double the lead after Jordi Alba humiliated Martin Demichelis on the left, knocking the ball between the former Bayern Munich man's legs before sending in a curling effort to the back post where the striker volleyed home in stunning fashion to secure all three points.

Various opportunities before the conclusion of the game from both sides failed to see an addition to the score, as Emery's men left the pitch to a standing ovation.

Valencia will play in the Copa del Rey on Thursday when they host Cadiz in the second leg of the Round of 32 clash. Malaga will face Getafe on Wednesday in their second leg of the same competition, holding a 1-0 advantage.

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