Espanyol got up in time at Mestalla to add their first away win it's from the season. Dry as a visitor, Vicente Moreno's eleven, key from the bench in the victory with his changes, broke the resistance of an exhausted Valencia with five minutes of fury in the final stretch of the game. Valencia, permeable to the plague of casualties that hits them day by day, leaves behind his streak of seven consecutive days undefeated (four wins and three draws) that had put him in the ring of Europe before facing a terrible January with duels followed by Real Madrid, Sevilla and Atlético de Madrid.
Running behind the ball made Valencia dizzy, although even the goals the clearest occasion was a shot off the post by Maxi. Those from Bordalás got stuck in the positional game when they couldn't break into running into space. Their arrivals generated a greater sense of danger, but Espanyol, when they had possession, always found a passing lane. The mobility of Embarba and Melamed, the tacticism of Darder and the intelligence from the left of Raúl De Tomás (RDT) choked the locals, handcuffed except when they escaped from their marks and could move quickly with Hélder Costa and Guedes.
Thierry reappeared on Valencia's right-back after a long absence and was constantly demanded by Adrià's climbs Pedrosa and the falls to the RDT band. His offensive exuberance was interrupted by the petite Pedrosa and it cost him a card as soon as the duel started. He was injured again. On the other side, Jesús Vázquez, the latest product of Paterna's left-back furnace, was defending himself against another skilled and dynamic player like Embarba. The youth squad's football, until he left exhausted, was so sober that Vicente Moreno chose to switch to Embarba and give entry to Víctor Puado to strike on that side, blind to Espanyol. The appearance of Puado was decisive.
Local reaction on the discount
The marker key was kept in Hélder Costa's pocket. The Angolan, who drives with the ball sewn to his foot, used to take off the straitjacket that Pedrosa tried to put on him, winner in the duels with Thierry but with problems against him eleven local. Costa won a rebound on the left and centered a delicious ball so that Omar Alderete, in an acrobatic jump, headed violently to the bottom of Diego López's goal. The central one appeared on the scene with a roar, like a meteorite, to mark. However, that goal was not enough for the locals.
The greater aggressiveness of Valencia at the start of the second act was decisive, but his step back when Alderete scored and Vicente Moreno's reaction from the bench paid off in front of Cillessen. Also the injuries of Jesús Vázquez and Thierry, which forced Bordalás to patch the defensive line again. The expulsion for a double yellow of Hugo Duro, who knocked down Jofre Carreras inside the area, left Valencia knocked out. Raúl De Tomás scored the equalizer and led the way to the first away win. Minutes later, Jofre crossed and Víctor Puado headed the winning goal. Between the two they undid the diminished local defense.
With one less, the boy from Paterna, Rubén Iranzo, crashed the ball on the crossbar. Valencia got up in the discount and Maxi wasted a ball inside the area to equalize the game. The ball passed in front of the Uruguayan, but he did not see it. Espanyol resisted and closed the year with a creditable 26 points.
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