Valencia Edge Past Valladolid

A thundering drive from Manuel Fernandes proved sufficient to put Valencia past Valladolid - the only side to do so at the José Zorilla this season...

Real Valladolid 0-1 Valencia
A showstopping performance and goal from Manuel Fernandes gave Valencia all three points in a game that did not go entirely their way. Nonetheless, they finish the evening top of the table.

Valladolid showed at times w hy they'd won both of their previous home games, but in the end they could not find the finish against Los Che, who can be said to have rode their luck at spells.

First Half

The opening stages offered relatively little by way of goalmouth action, although it did showcase a bit of defensive frailty for Valencia, Renan Brito not having yet won the confidence of Moretti (and perhaps vice versa) in this match.

However, Los Che gradually began to find a rhythm, and 25 minutes in the first decent chance of the game emerged. Villa, charging down the right, chipped the ball over the onrushing Asenjo for Angulo, but some deep defending saved the hosts' blushes.

Despite this chance Valladolid were perhaps still on top, with no end of midfield possession for the Pucela, but clear-cut chances were hard to come by. In holding the ball, though, they denied Mata and Villa too much of a chance to make an impact.

In fact, despite some more good work from Villa just towards the end of the half, there was not even another shot on target worthy of the name.

Second Half

Valencia changed tack a bit for the second period, relying on an advanced role for Manuel Fernandes a bit more. On the one hand this was a risky gambit as it left Albelda alone in a defensive role, but on another it almost paid dividends as he looped a shot wide five minutes after the restart.

A further five minutes later his effort was to be rewarded with a goal after a stunning drive from the edge of the box. Villa flicked the ball his way on the border of the area, and the Portuguese international drove it way into the bottom-right corner with his left foot: a superb goal to cap what was overall an excellent performance.

This single goal lead, though, was precarious as Valladolid continued to hold possession, and perhaps due to going behind they quickly upped their game. The rapidly-improving Renan Brito had to look likely to deny Sesma the chance to play the ball across goal just after Fernandes' strike.

Still, the Pucela were their own worst enemy: with substitute Escudero unmarked on the edge of the box the chance was ripe for a long-range effort, but the Argentine inexplicably blasted his shot over the bar.

Long-range shots were indeed the order of the day, for despite Sesma's good runs up the flank the likes of Fernandes were willing to track back and deny him a chance.

As the final ten minutes wore on the hosts' faith noticably drifted away as Fernandes' energy continued, and 0-1 it ended.

0-1 Fernandes 54'

Valladolid: Sergio Asenjo; Pedro López, Prieto, Javier Baraja (Goitom 88), Marcos; Pedro León, Álvaro Rubio, Vivar Dorado (Escudero 64), Sesma; Ogbeche, Víctor (Medunjanin 76).

Valencia: Renan Brito; Miguel, Helguera, Alexis, Moretti (Del Horno 46); Joaquín, Albelda, Manuel Fernandes, Mata (Vicente 80); Angulo (Rubén Baraja 87); Villa.

Yellow Cards: Pedro León 27' - Miguel 35', Renan Brito 86'

Referee: Muñíz Fernández