Valencia 2-1 Espanyol: Visitors denied by late penalty and red cards
A priceless point was denied Espanyol, as a penalty and a flurry of cards hands three points to Valencia
- By Staff Writer Follow @insidelaliga
In dire need of points, anything under-pressure Mauricio Pochettino and his team could get at Valencia, would be a blessing. For the home side though, the expectancy was a good performance and all three points.
Espanyol did little to help themselves in the opening exchanges of the game. Error prone in defence, wave after wave of pressure from Valencia kept them pegged in their own half. Soldado coming close on two occasions. After such sustained pressure though, the inevitable happened and Valencia took the lead. Poorly organised defending by the Espanyol defence left Jonathan Viera in free space and speed, two touches and a low shot past Cristian Álvarez, Valencia had a thoroughly deserved lead.
Key man Verdú couldn’t get Espanyol a quick reply, whilst Jonas spurned good opportunities that continued to arrive for Valencia. Cursing the missed chances, just past the half-hour mark, Espanyol got back on level terms. An excellent move down the left between Sergio García and Verdú, quick cross and Longo was on hand to score the equalizer.
Few chances came for either side in the remainder of the first-half and it was the visitors who looked for an early edge in the second-half, as they surged forward again and again. Espanyol showing a clear desire for the win, whilst Valencia couldn’t find any real momentum.
With the game drawing to a close though, controversy would have the final say in matters. A handball in the area by Héctor Moreno, saw Valencia win a penalty and chaos followed. Wakaso was booked for protesting and leaving little doubts as to his opinion, Héctor Moreno was given a straight red card for arguing with the linesman. For his part in the protests, Sergio García was also sent-off and Espanyol were down to nine. Meanwhile, up stepped Soldado to fire home from the spot. 2-1 to Valencia.
Four minutes of injury time and Valencia nearly pressed the self-destruct button. With a two man advantage, they failed to cover Tejera, but thanks to his lack of control, their blushes were spared and the victory secured.