14 September 2014 23:33
New-look Valencia’s resurgence continued with a confident 3-1 win over Espanyol on Sunday, while Sevilla triumphed amid a goalkeeper crisis.
Valencia have invested heavily following a disappointing eighth-placed finish last season, with Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim set to complete a takeover of the club.
And new coach Nuno Espirito Santo saw his side make it seven points out of nine with a routine home success.
Valencia moved ahead after just seven minutes when Rodrigo – one of their close-season additions – cut a pass back from the byline for Pablo Piatti to sweep home.
Captain Dani Parejo added a second 18 minutes after the break, poking home from the edge of the area after breaking into space, and a third goal was not long in coming.
Paco Alcacer, fresh from earning his first Spain caps in the recent international break, tapped in from close range to put the result beyond doubt, with Sergio Garcia’s late penalty nothing more than a consolation for Espanyol.
Sevilla’s preparation for the visit of Getafe did not go to plan as coach Unai Emery was unable to choose either of his first-team goalkeepers.
Beto, one of the heroes of their triumphant Europa League campaign last season, was missing with a hamstring strain and his deputy Mariano Barbosa – a recent acquisition from Las Palmas – sat out with a thigh problem.
Nevertheless, Sevilla were able to record a 2-0 win, with Carlos Bacca netting a 44th-minute opener from the penalty spot after a foul by Vicente Guaita on Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Aleix Vidal grabbed a late second for Sevilla, but things could have been different as the goal came from a quick break after Sergio Rico had produced a fine save to deny Getafe an equaliser.
The day’s early kick-off saw Elche claim a commendable 3-2 victory against Rayo Vallecano at Estadio Vallecas.
Gael Kakuta, on loan at Rayo from Chelsea, cancelled out Edu Albacar’s opener just before the break, cutting into the area from the left and delivering a low finish past Przemyslaw Tyton.
However, goals from Jonathas and Pedro Mosquera put Elche back in charge and Alberto Bueno’s late reply was not enough for the hosts.
Granada were held to a 0-0 draw by visiting Villarreal in Sunday’s final game.
The hosts piled on the pressure in the latter stages and forced Sergio Asenjo into a string of good saves, but could not find a way through.