Tue, Sep 30, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Unbeaten Valencia return to second place after draw

AFP, MADRID

Valencia moved back into second place in La Liga as they extended their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-1 draw away at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Carles Gil’s early volley had Los Che on target to join Barcelona at the top of the table, but Erreala deservedly leveled before halftime when Sergio Canales’ cross found the far corner.

Still without star summer signing Alvaro Negredo due to a foot injury, Valencia lacked the firepower to find a way through after the break.

However, a point was still enough to see them edge Atletico Madrid on goal-difference ahead of their meeting with the champions at the Estadio Mestalla.

Valencia had won four consecutive games since an opening-day draw against Sevilla to move top of the league before Barcelona’s 6-0 thrashing of Granada on Saturday last week.

The visitors were reliant on goalkeeper Diego Alves early on as the Brazilian produced two stunning saves to deny Carlos Vela and Imanol Agirretxe.

Yet, it was Valencia who went in front against the run of play with a fine team goal on 15 minutes as Paco Alcacer headed Rodrigo’s cross back into the heart of the area for Gil to volley home at the Estadio Anoeta.

The home side were not discouraged and their dominance was eventually rewarded with an equalizer nine minutes before halftime.

Inigo Martinez thought his header had crossed the line when Jose Gaya cleared from underneath his own crossbar, but the hosts were not to be denied seconds later as former Valencia playmaker Canales’ cross avoided everyone on its way into the far corner.

Sociedad continued to enjoy the majority of possession after halftime, but were thankful to goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai for keeping them level two minutes from time as he flew to his right to make a fine save from Nicolas Otamendi.

The home side still went close to winning the game twice in stoppage-time as Shkodran Mustafi headed Canales’ goalbound effort over his own bar before Esteban Granero nodded the resultant corner centimeters wide.

Earlier, RC Deportivo de la Coruna failed to move out of the relegation zone as they were beaten at home 1-0 by UD Almeria thanks to Edgar Mendez’s stoppage-time strike.

However, Getafe did move out of the bottom three as they were also 1-0 victors over Malaga.

In Sunday’s other match, Cordoba and RCD Espanyol played out a goalless draw.

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