Jan 26, 2013 at 5pm UK at ​Estadi Ciutat de Valencia
Levante
2-1
Real Valladolid
Barkero (43'), Rukavina (90' og.)
Martins (28'), Juanfran (40'), Iborra de la Fuente (82')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Baraja (8')
Valiente (26')

Live Commentary: Levante 2-1 Real Valladolid - as it happened

Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martinez Jimenez on the touchline on December 6, 2012
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of Saturday's La Liga clash from the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia as Levante record a 2-1 win over Real Valladolid.

Levante welcomed Real Valladolid on Saturday with both teams enjoying a spot in the upper regions of the La Liga table.

The away side took the lead with a fine effort from Javier Baraja after eight minutes, but a free kick from Jose Barkero levelled the scores at the interval.

Both teams had chances in the second period, but it was Levante that secured all three points with a late own goal from Antonio Rukavina.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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4.31pmLate afternoon all! Our La Liga coverage gets underway this weekend with a clash between Levante and Real Valladolid. Both teams have a top-half finish of their minds, but Levante could move into fifth position should they pick up all three points this evening. Meanwhile, Valladolid would move into sixth with three points.

4.34pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Valladolid have certainly enjoyed the better of proceedings. They overcame Levante on their own patch earlier in the season, while they were also victorious last time they visited this ground in April 2008. However, both teams enter this match in a similar run of form.

4.37pmLevante have taken just nine points from the last 18 on offer, while Valladolid have taken seven in the same period. To put that into context with the rest of the division, Barcelona are currently the form team with 15 points from their last six matches, while Getafe sit bottom with just four. We are just awaiting the team news for this evening, but I can assure you that it is not too far away.

4.40pmThe proximity of these two teams in the league table is also demonstrated by the goals conceded and goals scored numbers. Levante have conceded 29 goals in their 20 matches, while Valladolid have conceded 25 in the same amount of games. The away side’s scoring record also makes better reading with 29 strikes to Levante’s 24.

4.43pmLevante will enter the match full of confidence, however, having lost just twice on their home patch in the league. They have won six of their nine matches on their own turf, taking 19 points in the process. Valladolid’s away form is hardly disastrous, however, with three wins from their nine matches on the road. All the facts point to a close encounter.

4.46pmThe closeness of the league table is demonstrated perfectly by this particular encounter. The top two are some way ahead of the rest, but there is just four points from 10th to fifth. It would probably be fair to assume that the current top three will remain that way until the end of the season, but fourth place is very much up for grabs with a number of sides in the picture.

4.49pmJust a quick note on what we have to come this evening on Sports Mole. Following the completion of this match we have action from Real Zaragoza against Espanyol. However, the action is not finished there with Deportivo La Coruna hosting Valencia in the final Spanish match of the evening. Be sure to remain with us for the entirety. You will not want to miss it.

4.52pmTEAMS:

LEVANTE: Munua; Lell, Navarro, Juanfran, Ballesteros; Diop, Iborra, Barkero, Garcia; Martins, El Zhar

VALLADOLID: Hernandez; Sereno, Baraja, Rukavina, Valiente; Pena, Rubio, Oscar, Omar; Larsson, Guerra


4.56pmSo there we have it. The home side name a strong team with Martins and El Zhar playing as the advanced two once more. Meanwhile, Ruben Garcia and Barkero take their places in midfield. Valladolid have been hit with injury in recent weeks, but Javi Guerra does come back into the team to lead the line. Here we go then, both teams join us on the pitch.

0 minHere we go then. Far from a full house inside the stadium this evening, but a decent crowd nonetheless. You just get the feeling that the opening goal in this match – if there indeed is one – will have a huge say on the final result. The home side get us underway in the first three back-to-back fixtures in Spain’s leading division.

2 minStrong start from the home side with Iborra combining with Barkero before firing a long pass towards Martins, but it is just too long for the Nigerian and Hernandez is out to collect. Martins was strangely not selected for the Africa Cup of Nations by his country, not that Levante will be complaining. Bright opening couple of minutes from Martins & Co.

4 minFirst sign of Valladolid as an attacking force as Omar Ramos collects possession in the opposing half before turning and attacking Diop, but the midfielder is felled by Barkero. The resulting free kick is taken by Oscar, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Meanwhile, El Zhar wins a free kick down the other end as the former Liverpool winger demonstrates a fine turn of pace.

6 minThe resulting attack brings a half chance for Barkero as the Spaniard strikes an effort from outside the box, but it never had enough power to really trouble Hernandez. Valladolid attempt to break down the other end with Pena, but the winger is just crowded out at the vital moment. Early suggestions are that there will not be too many goals in this match.

8 minGOAL! Levante 0-1 Real Valladolid (Baraja)

9 minValladolid open the scoring in quite spectacular fashion as the Valladolid skipper Baraja thumps a powerful effort into the bottom corner. It was not the best header from Ballesteros, but even so, the defender had no right to find the back of the net from that distance. Eight minutes on the clock and the away side lead on the night.

11 minHalf-chance for the home side to get straight back into the match as Ruben collects possession outside the box before striking an effort towards goal, but it was straight into the arms of Hernandez. Martins has a second bite of the cherry as he picks up the loose ball, but Baraja is across to make a fine challenge. Some couple of minutes for the Spaniard.

13 minEnd-to-end match at the moment with both sides threatening in advanced areas. Martins comes close for the home side with an effort from outside the box, before Guerra meets a long pass down the other end. However, neither can add to the tally. It is the Valladolid supporters that can be heard with 12 minutes on the clock.

15 minValladolid create another half-chance as El Zhar fells Oscar outside the penalty area. The resulting set piece is taken by Omar, but the delivery was disappointing and it moves out for a throw. Levante attempt to make the most of Martins on the break, but once more the pass is just too long for the Nigerian and Sereno is across to clear the danger.

17 minNeither team has really taken control of the possession thus far with each guilty of exchanging spells of possession. The home side want a penalty as Ruben appears to be felled by Sereno inside the penalty area, but the referee is not interested and points for a goal kick. I have certainly seen them given, but this time around the official simply does not respond to the protests.

19 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for the home side to claw their way back into this match as Diop strikes an effort from outside the box, but Hernandez is across to make the save. That effort came from nowhere, but it was so close to bringing the equaliser. Levante have had chances to level as Martins strikes at the goalkeeper moments later.

21 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with both teams attempting to find space in the opposing half. Levante have improved since falling behind, but have thus far been unable to really test Hernandez, with the Valladolid goalkeeper. Meanwhile, Larsson and Guerra are causing problems down the other end with their sharp movement.

24 minAgain Levante threaten as El Zhar drives down the left before whipping a dangerous cross into the penalty area, but Diop can only head straight at the goalkeeper. Either side of Hernandez and that would certainly have been the leveller. It’s all one-way traffic at the moment, but Valladolid have defended well inside the opening 24 minutes.

26 minIt’s really bright work from Martins as the former Newcastle United striker gathers possession on the edge of the area before turning and driving towards the box, but he is just felled at the vital moment. The resulting free kick is taken by Barkero, but his effort is straight into the wall. He gets a second bite at the cherry, but once more cannot find the target.

29 minRight, little over 15 minutes of the half remaining and Valldolid lead by that Baraja strike after eight minutes and what a strike it was. Levante continue to force the issue as El Zhar drives a low cross into the box, but Martins just cannot make contact and Sereno is on hand to clear. Larsson threatens with a mazy run down the other end, but his cross is poor.

31 minBarkero again comes close for Levante as he strikes an effort from outside the box, but Hernandez is on hand to make the save. The goalkeeper sets up a counter attack for his team through Larsson, but the Swede’s pass towards Guerra is just too long and Munua is out to collect. Meanwhile, the home side are forced into an early change as Ballesteros is replaced by Rodas.

33 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with Valladolid dealing with the Levante threat. The away side force a an attack down the other end as Pena collects possession before driving a low cross into the box, but once more Lell is on hand to clear the danger. The resulting corner causes problems, but Munua manages to clear.

35 minBarkero remains the main threat for the home side as the Spaniard collects possession before darting past the challenge of two defenders, but the midfielder just loses his footing at the vital moment and the ball moves out of play. Martins gathers the ball from Rubio moments later before advancing into the box, but once more he cannot find the final pass under pressure.

38 minLittle over five minutes of the first period remaining and Levante continue to look the side most likely to add to the score. Again it’s good work from Ruben as he darts past the challenge of two defenders before whipping a dangerous cross into the box, but Pena comes back to make the clearance. Rubio brings it forward for Valladolid moments later, but decides to keep possession rather than feed Larsson.

41 minThe home side call for a penalty as Juanfran appears to be felled by Sereno in the penalty area, but the referee awards a yellow card to the Levante defender for barging into the Portuguese defender. It appeared to be a bit of a 50/50 with a free kick just about justifiable. The home supporters think that they have been given the rough end of the stick from the referee thus half.

43 minLevante’s frustrations continue as Navarro darts forward from defence, only to fell Sereno at the vital moment and Valladolid have a free kick inside their own half. The score just about reflects the opening period, but you get the feeling that there are more goals to come in the second period. Both look capable of scoring goals.

44 minGOAL! Levante 1-1 Real Valladolid (Barkero)

45 minOh my word! Sensational strike from Barkero as the midfielder rattles a free kick into the top corner. He shaped as if to cross into the box, but instead found the top corner. We have been treated to two wonderful goals in this half. Now it’s Levante on the attack as we end the half, with just one minute of stoppage time to play.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Levante 1-1 Real Valladolid

5.46pmSo there we have it. Sorry for any delays in the first period. We have been experiencing some technical problems but hopefully they are behind us now. We have been treated to two wonderful strikes in that first period, one from Baraja and one from Barkero. Both stunning efforts.

5.50pmValladolid have dominated the possession with 63%, but they have had four attempts to Levante’s five. It would be difficult to argue that the home side did not deserve to enter the break level. Both these sides have struggled for form in recent weeks, but look somewhere near their best form this evening.

5.54pmJust a reminder of what we have to come this evening. Following the completion of this match we have action from Real Zaragoza against Espanyol, before Deportivo La Coruna welcome Valencia in the late match. The current top three in Spain are all in action tomorrow, be sure to join us for that.

5.58pmLet's take a little look at both benches for this evening. The home side have got the likes of Pedro Rios and Pedro Lopez in reserve, but Roger Marti would be the most obvious chance. Valladolid, meanwhile, have Bueno and Ruben Pena on the sidelines. Both could influence proceedings from the bench.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side at the interval which is not all that surprising based on events in the first half. A reminder that victory for the home side would move them into fifth. Valladolid get us underway.

48 minStrong start to the second period from the home side as Barkero collects possession before feeding Martins in the box, but Baraja is on hand to clear the danger. Valladolid advance down the other end with Larsson moments later, but the powerful Diop is across to block the Swede's path. This match is so delicately poised as things stand.

50 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments with both teams just feeling their way into the second period. Valladolid are clearly concerned about the pace of Martins, that leaves room for El Zhar to have a strike, but his effort is straight at the goalkeeper.

52 minYou just get the feeling that the three points are there for the taking in this match. Both of these sides have enjoyed impressive seasons thus far, but three points at this stage can have such an effect on your league position. Another corner comes in from Levante, but the ever-impressive Valiente rises highest to head clear of the penalty box.

54 minAgain it's Martins that threatens as the Levante striker picks up possession before feeding a low pass into the penalty area, but it is just too long for El Zhar and Baraja is across to clear. Barkero continues the pressure as he probes outside the box, but once more the final pass is just short of what was required.

56 minOscar comes close down the other end for Valladolid as he picks up possession outside the box before striking a powerful effort on goal, but Munua is on hand to collect the danger. Neither side has really taken control of the midfield battle thus far with both enjoying decent spells with the ball.

58 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Juanfran finds El Zhar with a powerful cross, but the smallest man on the pitch can only head wide of the target. They would have wanted Martins to be on the end of that chance. Valladolid create an opening down the other end as Omar feeds Larsson, but Navarro is on the cover. Wonderful defending from the Spaniard.

60 minLittle over 30 minutes of football to play in this match and it really could go either way. Levante started the second period the better, but Valladolid have gained a period of control in the past few minutes. It is easy to see why these two sides are so close in the league table. There is not much between them. But you get the feeling that there is at least another goal in this match.

62 minValladolid continue to enjoy the better of the possession with Pena and Rubio combining well in midfield. The latter attempts to find Omar with a searching pass, but the Spaniard cannot collect with Diop breaking up play once more. He has been impressive in his role thus far. Still no movement on either bench which is a surprise at this stage of proceedings.

64 minJust about Levante's best chance of the second period as Ruben meets a cross from El Zhar in the penalty area, but he can only guide his effort wide of the goal. In fairness it was not the most pleasant of angles, but the Spaniard should be doing better. Meanwhile, the Valladolid threat has just dried up in the last couple of moments.

66 minValladolid continue to put numbers behind the ball as El Zhar and Barkero pass and probe outside the penalty area, but the home side just cannot find that elusive final pass. A dangerous cross is fired in by El Zhar, but Hernandez is on hand to clear. Valladolid break down the other end, but it comes to nothing.

68 minValladolid make their first change of the match as Omar is replaced by Alberto Bueno. Wouldn't it be just like football if the away side scored a late goal here? Levante have been much the better side for large periods of the second half. Valladolid do force a couple of corners in quick succession, but neither threatens Munua.

70 minAgain the home side attack with pace and numbers as Ruben combines with Martins before driving to the edge of the penalty area, but Sereno is across to clear the danger. Juanfran puts a long throw into the box moments later, but Martins can only volley over the crossbar. The Nigerian has had to feed off scraps in this second period. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining.

72 minA rare Valladolid attack threatens to create an opening as Bueno finds Pena on the right, but his effort was always moving wide of the target. That is just about as close as they have come in this second period which tells its own story. Meanwhile, the home side make their second change as Ruben is replaced by Valdo Lopez.

74 minDecent spell for the away side in the last couple of moments with Alvaro and Oscar dictating the midfield battle, something which they have struggled to achieve thus far. However, in terms of a goal threat, they are not offering too much with Larsson struggling to win his battle against Navarro.

76 minLevante just appear to have run out of ideas as we enter the final 15 minutes of the match. The threat continues with El Zhar probing outside the box, but once more the final pass is poor. Meanwhile, both sides make changes in the latter stages with Sastre replacing Baraja for the away side and Juanlu replacing Barkero for Levante.

79 minLittle over 10 minutes of football remaining and we are no closer to a winner here as Iborra strikes another effort wide of the target from just outside the box. Levante's threat continues with Martins and El Zhar combining, but the former just loses his footing at the vital moment and Hernandez is on hand to gather.

81 minCHANCE! Glorious opportunity for the away side to move into the lead as Rukavina finds Larsson in the penalty area, but the Swede strikes his effort into the back of Pena. But for the block it would have more than likely found the back of the net. You get the feeling that there is another goal in this match.

83 minSlightly scrappy period of the match in the last few moments with both sides giving away a host of free kicks in the opposing half. A point apiece would not be the worst result in the world for either of these teams, but Levante, as the home side, will surely feel that they need to push on in the final stages.

85 minValladolid threaten on the counter once more as Bueno collects possession outside the box before striking a powerful effort on goal, but Munua is on hand to palm wide for a corner. The resulting set piece is taken by Pena, but Juanlu rises highest to clear the danger.

87 minLittle over three minutes of normal time remaining and it has been end-to-end in the last few moments with both going in search of the victory. Finally the home supporters have found their voice as Martins weaves into the penalty area, but the ever-impressive Sereno is across to clear once more.

89 minCHANCE! Best chance of the match for the home side as El Zhar fires a wonderful cross into the box, but Diop can only turn his effort over the crossbar from close range. That is just about the best opening of the match. Little over one minute of normal time to play and the score remains 1-1.

90 minGOAL! Levante 2-1 Real Valladolid (Rukavina OG)

90 min+1The home side finally have their goal in the final moment as Rukavina can only turn El Zhar's cross into his own net. Martins was in close proximity and would have scored but for the defender's intervention. Some scenes here.

90 min+2The away side make their third and final change of the match as Oscar is replaced by Neida. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of added time and we are into the second of those.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Levante 2-1 Real Valladolid

6.50pmSo there we have it. Levante score in the final moments to secure a 2-1 win and move into fifth in the table. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to stay with us for action from Zaragoza. Until then!

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