Valencia miss out on fourth

Sergio Garcia's last-gasp equaliser gives Espanyol a 3-3 home draw against Valencia in Spain's Primera Division.

    Valencia miss out on fourth
    Elsewhere Deportivo La Coruna rolled to a 4-0 victory at Levante to move out of the relegation zone for the first time in 18 weeks [EPA]

    Valencia missed the chance to move into fourth place in Spain’s Primera Division as Sergio Garcia's stoppage time goal salvaged a 3-3 draw for Espanyol in a crazy finale at Cornella El-Prat.

    Mubarak Wakaso had given the hosts a deserved lead in first-half stoppage time, but Valencia improved greatly after the break and were level eight minutes after the restart when Ever Banega released Sergio Canales to score his first goal of the season.

    Joan Verdu then restored Espanyol's advantage nine minutes from time, but Valencia had appeared to have snatched all three points when two goals in four minutes from Jonas and Roberto Soldado handed them the lead for the first time in stoppage time.

    However, with the last kick of the game Garcia outmuscled Victor Ruiz and lifted the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle to secure the hosts a point.

    Thriller

    With Real Sociedad not in action until Sunday lunchtime against Rayo Vallecano, a victory for Ernesto Valverde's men would have moved them into the final Champions League place, but they didn't get going in the first-half and were lucky not to be more than one behind.

    Cristian Stuani had a good claim for a penalty waved away on 15 minutes before the Uruguayan was denied by a good stop from Vicente Guaita.

    Hector Moreno then hooked a shot inches wide as Espanyol continued to press and they were eventually rewarded when Garcia's fine cross was bulleted home at the back post by Wakaso.

    Valencia were level after the break though thanks to a brilliant pass from Banega that picked out Canales and he finished neatly between the legs of Kiko Casilla.

    Soldado then struck the post from a corner as Valencia began to control the game, but they were forced to come from behind again when Espanyol constructed a fine second goal on 81 minutes.

    Again a Garcia cross picked out Wakaso, but this time he headed the ball back for Verdu to volley into the top corner.

    Espanyol's lead only lasted five minutes as Valencia struck back with a similar goal when Soldado headed into the path of Jonas who drilled the ball low into the net.

    And Soldado thought he had won it in the first minute of stoppage time when he took advantage of another clever pass from Banega to slot calmly past Casilla.

    However, Espanyol didn't give up and rescued the point their performance deserved when poor defending from Ruiz allowed Garcia to get goal side and he made no mistake from barely two yards out.

    SOURCE: AFP


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