Valencia squeeze out win


Valencia moved back into the Primera Division top four after an uninspiring 1-0 victory over Getafe. Alvaro Negredo's 72nd-minute penalty gave Los Che the points which move them back above Sevilla and just three points behind third-placed Atletico Madrid, who play at Celta Vigo later on Sunday. It was not a performance to strike fear into the hearts of their rivals, though, as the home side were for large spells thwarted by their opponents, who remain 15th following the defeat. Despite Valencia's far superior league position, they struggled to break down their lowly opponents in a tepid opening half. Rodrigo De Paul's blast from distance went narrowly wide but they would not fashion another opening until just before half-time, when De Paul's outswinging corner found Javi Fuego, whose header went wide. Getafe, for their part, showed little interest in pushing forward and seemed content to try and hang on for a draw. Nuno Espirito Santo's men stepped up their efforts in the second half and only a point-blank save from Getafe goalkeeper Jonathan Lopez prevented Negredo from scoring with a header. Enzo Perez and Sofiane Feghouli both squandered decent openings before the hosts were given a golden chance to break the deadlock when Negredo was fouled in the area by Juan Rodriguez. Spain international forward Negredo picked himself up and slammed his spot-kick straight down the middle of the goal to leave Lopez no chance. After falling behind, Getafe made more of an effort going forward but Valencia's defence held firm. The Iberian outfit came closest to scoring again as Rodrigo's strike from a decent position missed the target while the former Benfica midfielder also headed over in the closing stages.