Crisis club Valencia beaten at home by high-flying Santander

April 13th, 2008 - 4:14 pm ICT by admin  

Madrid, April 13 (DPA) The 32nd round of the Spanish league programme kicked off with a 2-1 win for high-flying Racing Santander against crisis club Valencia. The tight win Saturday takes Santander - who have never qualified for Europe - up to joint fourth.

It was a poor way for Valencia to warm up for Wednesday’s King’s Cup final against Getafe.

The only good news for “Los Ches” was the return to action of Spain striker David Villa, who came off the bench and scored with a calm penalty.

Santander had deservedly gone ahead in the 61st minute through Gonzalo Colsa, who put away the rebound after Valencia keeper Timo Hildebrand had kept out his header with the help of the post.

Just two minutes later Valencia were given a clear penalty when Aldo Duscher clumsily pulled down veteran Fernando Morientes - and Villa made no mistake from the spot.

The equalizer animated Valencia and their long-suffering fans, and Morientes twice hit the woodwork in a frenetic finale.

However, Santander were not prepared to settle for a draw. Nine minutes from time, Pablo Alvarez centred from the right for Mohamed Tchite to make it, despite a strong suspicion of offside.

Santander and Atletico are five points ahead of sixth-placed Sevilla.

As usual, Valencia were jeered off by their long-suffering fans. They have won just one home game in five months, and remain seventh from bottom with just 39 points.

Only a cup final win can now save unpopular coach Ronald Koeman from the sack.

Barca are joint second with Villarreal, both of them seven points behind leaders Real Madrid.

Huelva, for their part, are fourth from bottom with 36 points.

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