Valencia win but coach in pain

Valencia's Nacho Vidal lifting the ball over Real Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli for his side's second goal. They remain unbeaten in six LaLiga games.
Valencia's Nacho Vidal lifting the ball over Real Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli for his side's second goal. They remain unbeaten in six LaLiga games.PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Valencia's Nacho Vidal lifting the ball over Real Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli for his side's second goal. They remain unbeaten in six LaLiga games.
Valencia's Nacho Vidal lifting the ball over Real Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli for his side's second goal. They remain unbeaten in six LaLiga games.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Marcelino tweaks hamstring in celebrating late winner as they go above Real Madrid

MADRID • Valencia's unbeaten start to the Spanish LaLiga season continued at a "cost", with manager Marcelino pulling his hamstring while celebrating his side's winner at Real Sociedad.

Valencia moved ahead of champions Real Madrid into fourth in the Spanish top flight after six games after a thrilling 3-2 win on Sunday.

Simone Zaza's winner from a counter-attack five minutes from time edged the thriller that saw both sides reduced to 10 men in the second half, and Marcelino could not contain himself.

"I'm a bit older, there are certain situations in which I must control myself," the 52-year-old joked with reporters, after cameras caught him limping gingerly back to the dugout in obvious pain.

"I'm a bit injured, but I'd rather be injured myself than have an injured player. I can handle it. I'll try to avoid similar situations in the future."

Three times Valencia took the lead in San Sebastian. Rodrigo's early tap-in was cancelled out by Aritz Elustondo's header before half-time.

Nacho Vidal put Valencia back in front, but Sociedad, who have now lost three games in a week, battled back through Mikel Oyarzabal's fine finish.

SWEPT UP IN THE EMOTION

I'm a bit injured, but I'd rather be injured myself than have an injured player. I can handle it. I'll try to avoid similar situations in the future.

MARCELINO , Valencia coach, admits he got carried away by Italian striker Simone Zaza's winner at Real Sociedad which gave his side their first win there since 2010.

Both Sociedad's Igor Zubeldia and Valencia's Geoffrey Kondogbia then saw red for second bookable offences to set up a tense finish.

And a game of high quality got the ending it deserved as Goncalo Guedes showed excellent vision to pick out Zaza to smash home his fifth goal of the season.

"This was a significant victory," Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay told the club's official website.

"We knew it was going to be a really tough game but we were coming from a positive run of results. We're a really competitive side and we always come out to get the win.

"We continue to be high up the table which is where Valencia have always deserved to be."

Valencia - owned by Singapore billionaire Peter Lim - remain unbeaten in six games since Marcelino took charge after two seasons in the doldrums littered with managerial changes.

Victory finally ended the club's winless run at the Anoeta Stadium dating back to 2010 and took them up to 12 points in the league.

Goalkeeper Jaume Domenech told the club's official website: "We're really happy because it's been a long time without a win here. We're showing that the team are coming together."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2017, with the headline 'Valencia win but coach in pain'. Print Edition | Subscribe