Valencia boss hails high-flyers for fine run

Valencia, who are owned by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, have risen to second in the standings on 18 points after eight games.
Valencia, who are owned by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, have risen to second in the standings on 18 points after eight games. PHOTO: AFP

MADRID • Valencia coach Marcel-ino Garcia Toral has praised his team for "playing really well", after they continued their excellent start to the Spanish LaLiga season by beating Real Betis 6-3 away on Sunday.

The result also means that Valencia, who are owned by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, have risen to second in the standings on 18 points after eight games.

Leaders Barcelona are four points ahead, while champions Real Madrid are third with 17 points.

"We were up against a great team that were unbeaten at home and we played extraordinarily well in the first half," said Marcelino.

"We thought the game was over at 4-0 but we need to erase what happened between the 79th and 84th minutes.

"If we can learn anything from this, it's that nothing is certain until the game is over."

Geoffrey Kondogbia headed Valencia into a deserved lead 10 minutes before half-time after the visitors had missed a glut of chances.

Portuguese midfielder Goncalo Guedes stretched their lead on the stroke of half-time with a long-range strike, just after Betis had wasted two clear chances to level.

The Andalusians were awarded a penalty early in the second half but Sergio Leon struck straight down the middle and saw his shot repelled by Valencia goalkeeper Neto.

Spain international Rodrigo Moreno headed in the third goal in the 64th minute from a corner while Santi Mina scored 10 minutes later.

Valencia risked throwing away the win when they let in three goals in the space of five minutes. But they seized all the points with an 88th-minute strike from top scorer Simone Zaza, who notched up his seventh goal of the campaign.

Manchester United loanee Andreas Perreira thumped in the ninth goal in injury time, closing out the highest scoring game of the season in Spain's top flight.

Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on Saturday, while Real Madrid beat Getafe 2-1 away.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2017, with the headline 'Valencia boss hails high-flyers for fine run'. Print Edition | Subscribe