Valencia climbs out of relegation zone with Guerra’s stoppage-time winner
Valencia had a crucial win against Real Valladolid, 2-1, thanks to Javi Guerra’s stoppage-time winner. The youngster drove forward and fired into the top right corner, securing three points for his team and climbing out of La Liga’s relegation zone. 19th placed Espanyol continued to sink deeper into the mire with a 4-2 defeat against Villarreal.
Canadian striker Cyle Larin got Valladolid ahead in the sixth minute after a lapse in concentration from Valencia defender Mouctar Diakhaby, giving the ball away in his own half. However, Diakhaby redeemed himself at the hour mark with a header that Valladolid’s goalkeeper thought was going wide. Unfortunately for him, it crept in for a bizarre equalizer.
As the clock ticked down, Valencia looked like it was going to be held to a draw by Valladolid, who is still not yet safe themselves. But Guerra’s vital stoppage-time winner saved them from dropping points.
Guerra, who spoke after the game, said he thought of his whole family and the team: “I’m from Valencia, and to see Mestalla like this is so nice. This win is for the whole team.” Villarreal moved fifth with their entertaining victory over Espanyol.
Etienne Capoue scored twice for the Yellow Submarine, who kept Espanyol submerged, now four points from safety. Javi Puado sent the visitors ahead in Spain’s east coast, but Capoue leveled the game before Dani Parejo sent Villarreal ahead. Joselu evened the score for Espanyol, but Nicolas Jackson scored in the 80th minute, and Capoue made the game safe in stoppage time.
Edu Exposito was sent off, adding to Espanyol’s misery ahead of their key clash with Getafe on Sunday. In other results, Lucas Ocampos won and converted a late penalty for Sevilla to triumph 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao.
The Andalusians are now 10 points clear of the drop zone and unbeaten in seven games, making their new coach, Jose Luis Mendilibar, feel like a success. The coach helped the team pass Manchester United in the Europa League quarter-finals with a 3-0 win last week before following it up with league wins over Villarreal and now Athletic Bilbao.
The loss at San Mames was a painful blow to Athletic’s hopes of wrestling their way into the battle for Europa League football next season, and Ernesto Valverde’s side is seventh, three points behind Betis in sixth.