Valencia scored twice in the last five minutes through Carlos Soler and Goncalo Guedes to beat visiting neighbours Villarreal 2-1 in La Liga and claim a much-needed three points for under-pressure coach Javi Gracia on Friday.
It seemed that Gerard Moreno’s 39th minute penalty, awarded for handball following a VAR intervention, would be enough to secure the points – but Valencia’s late show means it is now eight league games without a win for Unai Emery’s side.
Villarreal should have doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime as defender Hugo Guillamon’s error left former Valencia striker Paco Alcacer one-on-one with Jasper Cillessen.
However the Dutch goalkeeper’s excellent save proved vital and kept his side in the contest.
Valencia were much improved after the break and pushed on in search of an equaliser. Daniel Wass saw a header bounce off the bar as it appeared to be one of those nights for the hosts, who had 25 shots – but just four on target — over the 90 minutes.
But Soler equalised with a penalty four minutes from time after VAR deemed Maxi Gomez had been felled in the box, before substitute Guedes rifled home the winner in stoppage time.
The victory lifts Valencia to 11th on 30 points from 26 games, while Villarreal remain seventh with 37.