Irresistible Guedes takes Valencia to 7th heaven after 7-goal thriller

Match Report
Valencia (4)Levante (3)
Goncalo Guedes 44′, 85′
Carlos Soler 50′ (P), 72′
Jose Campana 21′
Roger Marti 24′
Enis Bardhi 90+1′

Well, that’s Christmas sorted then. And Valencia fans can thank Goncalo Guedes and Carlos Soler for the gifts. What a game of football this derby was. The best part? Those 3 points that took Los Che above Barcelona into 7th going into the festive season.

Crosstown rivals Levante may have been down in the dumps (and still) without a win in last place, but these games ignite a passion from deep within. Guedes and Soler, however, prevented an upset with 2 goals apiece to secure a 4-3 comeback win.

But before the cheers came the concern. By the 24th minute, Valencia were on the verge of being swallowed into the abyss as the hosts raced into a quickfire 2-goal lead. 

Mouctar Diakhaby gave away a penalty with his outstretched arm in the 21st minute and Jasper Cillessen’s impressive save from Jose Campana ended up futile as the Levante midfielder slammed home the rebound. Roger Marti then finished a superb counter 3 minutes later as Valencia’s leaden-footed players struggled to recover.

Jose Bordalas – credit to his stylist – was boiling on the touchline in his dapper turtleneck. Guedes must have recognised his coach’s fury, for he flicked a switch and that was it. The Portuguese winger played a beautiful one-two with the livewire Hugo Duro near the edge of the box in the 44th minute before firing past Daniel Cardenas. He could not have scored at a better time.

The goal may or may not have toned down Bordalas’ half-time team talk, but whatever he said definitely worked. Three minutes into the 2nd half, Duro’s excellent movement saw him taken out by former Valencia defender Ruben Vezo in the box. Up stepped Soler on his 200th appearance. The Bats’ Mr Penalty was never going to miss. Two all. Game on.

In one fell swoop, Valencia deflated Levante and were determined to leave them gasping for air. Guedes took a stab in the 72nd minute. From the right, he squared up to 3 defenders, who were too focused on him to track Soler in from behind. The Spaniard matched his teammate’s pass to perfection and blasted in to hand Los Che the lead for the first time.

Unfortunately for Levante, Guedes was not done. With 5 minutes to go, a swift break gave substitute Marcos Andre a chance to run at the defence and he found the No.7, who still had work to do. Valencia’s record signing drove into the box, sent Cardenas and Carlos Clerc for a hotdog with a piece of skill and nonchalantly rolled the ball home to send the away crowd into raptures.

There was still time for a nail-biting end as Enis Bardhi made it 4-3 in added time but it was too little, too late for the wooden spooners. What was also supposed to be a happy debut for Academy product Ruben Iranzo took a slight blemish as Uros Racic was sent off after full-time for aggravating Campana and provoking the Levante fans earlier.

But that’s 9 games unbeaten in all competitions now for Valencia and fans will surely enjoy their Christmas this year.

Said Bordalas: “We grew into the game, and after Guedes’ goal we were determined for the victory. We achieved it deservedly.”

Tweet 20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *