All four Spanish clubs playing in the Champions League will be playing today as they have games on either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. Valencia stands at 14th in La Liga with 8 points, the same as Bilbao and both teams are already 11 points behind league leaders FC Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid.
From Valencia CF:Saturday night was a happy night for Valencia CF fans, one that will live long in the memory as the team defeated Athletic Club in a gutsy performance. The team was able to overcome adversity, battling back to answer Aritz Aduriz’s brace with three goals: Soldado put away the first equaliser from the spot, followed by Tino Costa with the second, then Nelson Valdez taking the winner. The fans went crazy on a great night for the team, which also saw a return from injury for Éver Banega.
The game was exciting from the start. Amorebieta had a big chance to put Athletic ahead at Mestalla, but on the next move it was VCF who almost took the lead. Juan Bernat started the play, followed by Jonas placing a perfect pass for Soldado, who hit the post with the goalkeeper beaten. Bernat, Viera, Gago and Víctor Ruiz all put Iraizoz to the test in a flood of offence. So, of course, it was a cruel twist of fate when former VCF player Aritz Aduriz put Athletic in front against the run of play.
Tino Costa wanted to score, and Iraizoz had to make a save to prevent it from a great shot from the midfielder. Finally, in the 26th minute things were levelled out, as Viera went into the box and referee Undiano Mallenco called handball against Ekiza. Soldado made it 1-1 from the penalty spot after he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way. Unfortunately, Aduriz was to score again before the break.
On the restart, VCF again looked to turn things around. Soldado only just missed getting on the end of a Barragán cross, then Bernat blasted a shot that was stopped on the line by Iraola. Iraizoz was by far the more active of the two goalkeepers, and VCF went a man up after Ander Herrera was shown a straight red.
In search of goals, Pellegrino’s men went all out and took it right to the limit. The strikes came in the 88 th and 90 th minute, thanks to Tino Costa firing a clearance back in with his right foot (through the legs of San José) and a stellar finale: Valdez hit a great header in the last moment to make it 3-2 and end a fantastic game for Valencianistas.