|Valencia (4)||Osasuna (1)|
|Maxi Gomez 26′|
Aridane 50′ (OG)
Goncalo Guedes 55′
Omar Alderete 73′
|Jon Moncayola 8′|
The view is beautiful. Some fans may even shed a tear. In all honesty, who wouldn’t? Valencia have been to hell and are now back sitting pretty atop LaLiga (at press time). This is the Jose Bordalas effect, where spirit and skills combine to deliver scintillating results. It is still early days but hope is slowly building.
El Sadar has not been a happy visiting ground for Los Che – we last won there in 2012. And with only 2 wins in our last 31 away games, not even the most optimistic Valencianistas could have predicted a 4-1 victory against Osasuna.
Both teams came into the match unbeaten, and for a period, it seemed that Valencia were in danger of losing that streak. Within 5 minutes, Hugo Guillamon appeared to have clipped Ruben Garcia in the box and a penalty was awarded – until a lengthy VAR check let the Bats off the hook.
But Osasuna, roared on by a partisan crowd, were not about to be denied. Just 3 minutes later, midfielder Jon Moncayola lashed in a shot from outside the 18-yard box that left 1.99m-tall Giorgi Mamardashvili grasping thin air at full stretch.
The old Valencia would have slowly crumbled. Not Bordalas’ team. This is a group of fighters defined by aggression and accurate passes. Carlos Soler exemplified those traits in the 26th minute, releasing a smart pass under pressure to the near post for Maxi Gomez to guide in his 1st goal of the season.
A frantic energy soon began to emanate around the stadium as Valencia and Osasuna vied for supremacy. Players dove into challenges and others fell in a heap on the turf. With the game in a deadlock, it was time for the Goncalo Guedes show.
The Portuguese winger was the star against Alaves in the previous match, and he proved to be the difference here again. Determination met drive as he gained possession in the 51st minute before charging to the byline to release a cross – one that deflected off the boot of defender Aridane, then off the far post into the net.
Guedes was not done. Four minutes later, he was wheeling off in celebration once more, having rifled the ball into the bottom corner after collecting Daniel Wass’ cross-field pass.
Soler, whose excellent Spain debut ended with 2 goals in 2 games, refused to be outshined. His pinpoint corner in the 73rd minute found Omar Alderete, who generated power and accuracy to head in his maiden Valencia goal.
“I think we played excellently. We didn’t start as we wanted but we turned the game around,” said Guedes. “We’re focused and trying to make everything function in the best possible way, and I believe in Bordalas and the team.”
And so Bordalas’ men keep marching on. That’s 10 points out of 12. Belief is surging through the veins of Los Che. Real Madrid, you’re next.