Valencia remain four points behind Barcelona with win vs. Espanyol
Espanyol 0 - 2 Valencia

Valencia remain four points behind Barcelona with win vs. Espanyol

19/11/2017

Valencia kept pace with Spanish leaders Barcelona on Sunday by beating Espanyol 2-0 for an eighth straight league win despite having coach Marcelino Garcia Toral sent off.

In his first season, Garcia Toral has transformed Valencia from a team that had struggled to compete with the league's best into Barcelona's top challenger.

Undefeated Valencia continued their best ever start to the league through 12 rounds. At four points behind Barcelona, the win set up a critical match next week when Barca visit the Mestalla.

Both of Valencia's goals came after the referee expelled Garcia Toral, which appeared to be for arguing, in the 65th minute. Espanyol had dominated the scoring opportunities until then.

Geoffrey Kondogbia turned the match in the visitors' favor with a long-range strike in the 67th. The French midfielder, who joined Valencia on loan from Inter Milan this season, controlled a clearance before letting loose a curling left-footed shot that slipped between goalkeeper Pau Lopez and his post.

Santi Mina poached a second goal in the 83rd when Espanyol defender Victor Sanchez used his chest to attempt to knock a cross back to Lopez, only to leave the ball in perfect position for the Valencia striker to slip past him and drive it home.

Garcia Toral left regular starters Simone Zaza, Carlos Soler and Goncalo Guedes on his bench for the away match.

Their absence showed through the first hour, as Valencia were fortunate to reach half-time without conceding.

Espanyol's David Lopez, Sergio Garcia and Pablo Piatti all forced saves from Valencia goalkeeper Neto before Gerard Moreno and Sergi Darder both hit the woodwork.

Related news

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup

Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager after the World Cup, the Spanish club announced on Tuesday, just two days before the tournament begins in Russia.

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title

Zinedine Zidane has shocked the football world by resigning as Real Madrid coach just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League with the La Liga giants.

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Andres Iniesta's final Barcelona appearance ended in victory on an emotional evening at the Nou Camp.

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scored twice on his final appearance for 10-man Atletico Madrid in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Eibar.

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Real Madrid blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Villarreal in their final La Liga match ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest for an unbeaten La Liga season came to a shocking end with a 5-4 defeat away to Levante on Sunday.

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale scored twice to lead Real Madrid to a 6-0 rout over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid warmed up for the Europa League final by taking a big step towards securing second spot in LaLiga with a 1-0 success at Getafe.

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla remain in the hunt for a Europa League spot as Joaquin Caparros secured his first win since taking temporary charge with a 3-2 win over Real Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.

RELATED NEWS

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup
Real Madrid news

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup

Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager after the World Cup, the Spanish club announced on Tuesday, just two days before the tournament begins in Russia.

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title
Real Madrid news

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title

Zinedine Zidane has shocked the football world by resigning as Real Madrid coach just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League with the La Liga giants.

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club
Barcelona 1 - 0 Real Sociedad

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Andres Iniesta's final Barcelona appearance ended in victory on an emotional evening at the Nou Camp.

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell
Atletico Madrid 2-2 Eibar

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scored twice on his final appearance for 10-man Atletico Madrid in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Eibar.

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw
Villarreal 2 - 2 Real Madrid

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Real Madrid blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Villarreal in their final La Liga match ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss
Levante 5 - 4 Barcelona

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest for an unbeaten La Liga season came to a shocking end with a 5-4 defeat away to Levante on Sunday.

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise
Real Madrid 6 - 0 Celta Vigo

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale scored twice to lead Real Madrid to a 6-0 rout over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place
Getafe 0 - 1 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid warmed up for the Europa League final by taking a big step towards securing second spot in LaLiga with a 1-0 success at Getafe.

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun
Sevilla 3 - 2 Real Madrid

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla remain in the hunt for a Europa League spot as Joaquin Caparros secured his first win since taking temporary charge with a 3-2 win over Real Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.