|Valencia (2)||Granada (1)|
|Daniel Wass 4′|
Alex Blanco 66′
|Roberto Soldado 90′|
Goncalo Guedes pounced and did what Goncalo Guedes did best, almost stumbling but somehow still standing, using his low centre of gravity and muscular frame to hold off two Granada players.
The Portuguese spied Alex Blanco unmarked to the left and slipped him a simple pass. It was just the La Cantera graduate against Granada keeper Rui Silva now, and Blanco was not going to be denied his little footnote in Valencia history.
The 22-year-old slammed it into the bottom-right corner, scoring his first goal in the top flight with Valencia, and pushing Los Che into a 2-0 advantage.
While Granada edged back through a Roberto Soldado effort in the 90th minute, Blanco’s maiden goal was enough to win three points for the hosts.
Oh how priceless this victory could prove come end of this turbulent Covid-disrupted season. Valencia are now on 33 points, 10 more than the relegation spots and safety ought to be more or less secured by now.
The home side certainly lived up to manager Javi Gracia’s promise before the match: “We will go for the win against Granada from the opening minute.” No kidding boss.
Captain Jose Gaya’s beautiful run up the left wing ended with an unstoppable cross into the box at the 4th minute. Winger Daniel Wass, who had ghosted past the defence from the opposite wing, was there to flick the ball in with the outside of his right foot. It could not be simpler for the Dane as he scored his 3rd league goal of the season.
It was misery for Granada, which have the worst away record in LaLiga. The hosts would give the Andalusian side no breaks as we continued to knock on their door, threatening Silva’s goal with no less than 18 shots, 9 of which were on target.
Uruguayan striker Maxi Gomez grabbed the majority of the shots and could easily have had a hat-trick if he had been a tad more clinical.
Even when he had beat the keeper, his tame shot took an unfortunate bounce off the field, slowing the ball just enough to be cleared off the line by Victor Diaz in the 82nd minute. Gomez’s frustration was palpable.
Sadly, he remained goalless since the first week of January, and the sooner he finds that elusive goal, the faster Valencia would move up the table.
But for now, the team would have to be content with goals from other, less likely sources, such as Wass and Blanco.
As long as the players continue to play with as much vigour as today, there is no reason why Valencia cannot record its first back-to-back wins this season.
Cadiz are up next after the international break.