Tue, Apr 03, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Valencia jeered off after Levante draw

BELOW PAR:Valencia have won just one game at home since late December, and are now just one point above fourth-placed Malaga as the season enters its final weeks

AFP, MADRID

Levante UD’s Ivorian forward Arouna Kone, left, vies for the ball with Valencia’s French -defender Adil Rami in their La Liga match at the Estadio Mestalla in Valencia, Spain, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

UEFA Champions League hopefuls Valencia’s poor home form continued as they drew 1-1 with local rivals Levante UD on Sunday and with the team jeered off the pitch, the pressure is growing on coach Unai Emery.

Having controlled the opening stages, Valencia went ahead from a neatly-worked move which was finished off by Jonas Goncalves.

However, Levante, whose resilience has been one of the reasons for their success this season, drew level after the break with Valdo Lopes heading down a cross for Arouna Kone to fire home.

Valencia pushed forward in search of the three points, but Jonas and Aritz Aduriz wasted good chances as did substitute Pablo Piatti late on, and Levante hung on for the draw to stay in fifth place.

That means Valencia have won just one game at home since Christmas and have gone from having a comfortable cushion in third place to being just one point above fourth-placed Malaga.

“We were on top in terms of openings, chances and possession, but we lacked a finishing touch to demonstrate the superiority that we had,” said Emery, who is believed to have met with club president Manuel Llorente after the match.

“At the moment it is very important that we keep the errors to a minimum as the results do not correspond to how well we are playing,” he said.

“The draw was poor and we are not happy. The fans have protested at the end, but during the game they have supported us. I’m not worried about the possibility of losing the Champions League place, but I do see the need to make changes and look for solutions,” Emery added.

Europa League quarter-finalists Atletico Madrid came out 3-0 winners in their derby with Getafe and Real Sociedad had a commanding 4-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, while Villarreal and RCD Espanyol drew 0-0.

At the top of the table, Real Madrid remain six points clear after they hammered CA Osasuna 5-1 on Saturday and Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0.

Cristiano Ronaldo took his league tally to 37 goals with a brace and Gonzalo Higuain also struck twice, bringing up his 100th goal for the club, while Karim Benzema got the other.

Real also notched up their 100th goal in the league this season.

Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, with his 36th league goal of the campaign, from the penalty spot, got the goals for Barcelona as they kept up the pressure in second place.

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