|Valencia (0)||Athletic Club (2)|
|Raul Garcia 13′, 47′|
Zero goals in three games. Zero points in three games. One undefeated streak at home gone. Voro Gonzalez’s sixth coming was supposed to resurrect the club, but there was no salvation at our hallowed ground.
In the wake of Albert Celades’ departure two days ago, club legend Voro – so often Valencia’s emergency crutch this decade – was parachuted in once again to steer the team back on track towards European qualification. Instead, we gifted visitors Athletic Bilbao a 2-0 win at the Mestalla to lose three in a row.
To the players’ credit, they started strong with their first shots on target in three games, peppering Unai Simon’s goal and attacking with verve.
It seemed that Voro’s impact was instantaneous. But looks flattered to deceive.
While the attack was busy picking Bilbao’s miserly defence – the league’s third best after Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid – Geoffrey Kondogbia gave away a pass in the 13th minute that found its way to their top scorer Raul Garcia, who slotted home easily.
The goal rocked Valencia, and Bilbao, smelling blood, went on the offensive but miraculously did not add to their tally before half-time.
We were in shambles by the break and were caught sleeping again just two minutes after the restart when Jaume Costa’s misplaced pass was intercepted and the ball fell to Garcia once more, who fired in a rocket that beat a fully stretched Jasper Cillessen. Game over.
Meanwhile, our top scorer Maxi Gomez headed wide on three occasions – two of them with just the keeper to beat.
After slipping to 10th, Rodrigo Moreno outlined the grim reality: “We were going through a difficult time before the league’s break, and the first match against Levante really hurt our morale. Right now we need to focus on recovering and try to win the next game, which will help our confidence.”