Feb 23, 2013 at 5pm UK at ​Estadio de La Romareda
ZaragozaReal Zaragoza
2-2
Valencia
Apono (5' pen.), Postiga (32')
Mari (40'), Postiga (51'), Oriol (86'), Alcolea (88'), Álvaro (90')
Franco (77')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Jonas (36', 69')
Costa (4'), Albelda (24'), Cissokho (37'), Banega (85')

Live Commentary: Real Zaragoza 2-2 Valencia - as it happened

Estadio de La Romareda
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of Saturday's La Liga clash at Estadio de la Romareda as Real Sociedad and Valencia draw 2-2.

Valencia travelled to Real Zaragoza on Saturday knowing that a point would have moved them back into fifth position in the table.

The away side were 2-0 down after 32 minutes, however, following goals from Apono and Helder Postiga.

Valencia did have one back before the interval when Jonas converted from close range, but there was a hint of offside about the finish.

The away side continued to push in the second period, with Jonas scoring his second 20 minutes from time to secure a share of the spoils.

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


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4.31pmEvening all! The first of three back-to-back live commentaries in La Liga comes from the Estadio de la Romareda as Real Zaragoza welcome Valencia. Both sides are in desperate need of the points as the latter stages of the season approaches, but for very different reasons. Zaragoza find themselves in deep relegation trouble as things stand.

4.34pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, both have won two of the last five matches, with the other ending in a draw. Zaragoza will enter the match with confidence, however, having secured a 2-1 win over Valencia in the Mestalla last season. That said, much has changed at both clubs since then.

4.37pmAs mentioned, Zaragoza enter the match just one spot above the relegation zone in La Liga. They have taken 24 points from 24 games, leaving them four points above Celta Vigo, who sit in 18th. That said, victory in this match would move them into 14th position, which is a clear indicator of just how close things are at the bottom of the table.

4.40pmZaragoza, however, have the worst home record in the division. They have won just three of their 11 matches on the road, scoring 12 times and conceding 14 in the process. Even Deportivo, who sit rock bottom, have taken more points during the same amount of games. That is in contrast to their away form, which is among the best in the division.

4.43pmIt is easy to see where they have struggled this season when assessing the numbers. They have conceded 34 goals in 24 matches which is far from disastrous, but they have scored just 23 times, which is the third-worst record in the division. That is in contrast to Valencia who have conceded 35, but scored 34. Right, the team news is just filtering in.

4.46pmTEAMS:

ZARAGOZA: Franco; Loovens, Abraham, Fernandez, Alvaro; Movilla, Apono, Montanes, Mari; Postiga, Rochina

VALENCIA: Alves; Costa, Pereira, Cissokho, Ruiz; Albelda, Feghouli, Parejo, Canales; Soldado, Jonas


4.49pmSo there we have it. The home side recall Helder Postiga to their starting side, with the Portuguese named in attack alongside Ruben Rochina. Apono and Paco Montanes also start for Zaragoza. Valencia, meanwhile, recall Cissokho at the expense of Guardado, with Soldado and Jones continuing in attack.

4.52pmValencia suffered a 2-1 home defeat in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, but they do enter this match on the back of a strong run of form in the league. They have taken 13 points from their last six matches to sit in sixth position, just two points outside of the top four.

4.55pmThey have impressed at home this season with eight wins from their 12 matches, taking 26 points in the process. Their away form has also been strong, however, with four wins from 11 matches, which is just one less than Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

4.58pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. Valencia have been impressive in recent weeks, therefore I expect them to continue their winning run this evening. I am backing a 2-0 away victory.

0 minThe referee for this particular match is Carlos del Cerro, while his assistants are Teodoro Sobrino and Abraham Alvarez. The fourth official is Alberto Villoria. Let's hope that we are discussing the football and not the officials come the end of the match. The home side get the action underway on this mild evening in Spain.

2 minNot a full house inside the stadium for this match, but there is a good atmosphere nonetheless. An early mistake from Loovens almost allows Soldado a chance on goal, but the referee intervenes to bring play back for a goal kick. You just get the feeling that Zaragoza need to keep things tight early on.

4 minIt must be said that it is wonderful to see Sergio Canales back in the Valencia team this evening. Should the midfielder gain a run of matches, then he will surely force his way into the Spain squad. He is a wonderfully talented football player. Half-chance for the home side here as Postiga wins a free kick outside the box.

4 minThe resulting free kick is taken by Rochina, but his effort is straight into the wall. The Spaniard joined Zaragoza on loan from Blackburn Rovers last month. Another decent opportunity arrives for the home side as Postiga collects possession before striking towards goal, but his effort was always moving far of the post.

4 minPENALTY! The home side are awarded an early penalty as Victor Ruiz fells Postiga in the penalty area. Zaragoza want a red card, but the Valencia man is awarded a yellow. It appears that Apono will take the penalty.

5 minGOAL! Zaragoza 1-0 Valencia (Apono)

6 minI have said it before and I will say it again, the quality of penalties in La Liga are quite sensational. Apono does indeed step up before thumping his effort into the back of the net. Just what the doctor ordered for the home side.

8 minThe home supporters are creating a stunning atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment as their side just come under a slight bit of pressure from Valencia. Canales creates a chance as he whips a dangerous cross into the box, but Postiga is on hand to clear for a corner, which is also cleared by the Portuguese striker.

10 minSlightly scrappy couple of moments with neither side taking too much care in possession of the ball. The home supporters are having some party at the moment as they continue to raise the volume inside the stadium. However, there is such a thing as scoring too early. Valencia will chance chances. I have no doubt about that.

12 minDecent spell for the away side in the last few moments with Jonas and Soldado combining outside the box, eventually the latter strikes a low effort from close range, but it was always moving wide of the post. Postiga causes problems down the other end, but he had just moved too early, with the linesman waving his flag.

14 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of handing possession away with relative ease. Zaragoza have certainly been better on the ball than they have in recent weeks, however, while Postiga has just given them a clear target in the final third. It remains 1-0 with 14 minutes on the clock.

16 minNeither team is really in control of proceedings at the moment with both sides exchanging spells of possession. A half-chance does arrive for the home side as Soldado collects a pass from Jonas before driving into the box, but Abraham is across to clear. Not too much to report as things stand.

18 minJust about the best chance of the match for the away side as Soldado collects a pass from Jonas before driving into the box, but Leo Franco is out to clear at the vital moment. You do get the feeling that the Zaragoza keeper needs to play well in this match. Little under 18 minutes on the clock and Zaragoza lead courtesy of that early penalty from Apono.

20 minThe referee has been called into action in the last few moments with both sides guilty of giving away a couple of free kicks. Canales has started to get on the ball for Valencia, but he has been unable to find the runs of Soldado and Jonas thus far. Slightly off-colour Valencia performance in the opening 20 minutes of the match.

22 minJust a reminder of what we have to come this evening. Following the completion of this match we have action from La Coruna as Deportivo welcome Real Madrid, before Barcelona host Sevilla in the final match of the evening. Be sure to remain with us for the entirety. Back to this match, it remains slightly scrappy with neither team in control of proceedings.

24 minA half-chance comes to the away side as Soldado collects a pass from Jonas before firing from distance, but it was always moving wide of the post. A similar opportunity comes down the other end for Zaragoza, but Montanes strikes wide having stolen possession from Albelda.

26 minAlbelda becomes the latest player to have his name taken for a high challenge on Rochina. There is just a danger that this match could become ever so untidy with passions running high. However, thus far Zaragoza's gameplan has worked with Valencia struggling for any sort of inspiration in the final third.

28 minIt's good work from Apono as the Zaragoza midfielder collects possession before driving a low cross into the box, but Ruiz is across to clear for a corner. The resulting set piece is taken by Montanes, but once more the danger is thumped clear. Another goal for the home side would really give themselves some breathing space as the 30-minute mark approaches.

30 minHalf-chance for the away side on the break as Canales combines with Jonas before sliding a low pass towards Soldado, but the striker just takes one touch too many, allowing Abraham across to clear. It just hasn't quite happened for the away side in attack thus far. However, there is still a lot of football to be played in this match. Little over 15 minutes of the half remaining.

32 minFrustration for Jonas once more as the Brazilian drives down the left before attempting to win a corner, but the referee points for a goal kick. In truth, there is not much excitement in this match at the moment as both sides exchange possession of the ball. It really needs another goal to spice things up.

32 minGOAL! Zaragoza 2-0 Valencia (Postiga)

33 minThe home side have their second of the match as Postiga meets a cross from Montanes before thumping his header into the back of the net. You cannot say that it had been coming, but they have looked the side more likely to add to the scoring. It is a long way back for Valencia from this position.

35 minValencia just have not started in this match. It appears that they are still suffering from their defeat to PSG in the Champions League. The likes of Jonas and Parejo have not been able to support Soldado, with the Spanish striker ever so isolated. What a huge result it would be for Zaragoza.

36 minDecent response from the away side as Cissokho drives down the left before firing a low cross into the box, but Franco is across to claim at the vital moment. The home side attempt to add to their tally down the other end moments later, but Postiga can only head at Alves from close range.

36 minGOAL! Zaragoza 2-1 Valencia (Jonas)

37 minThe away side are back into this match as Cissokho drives a low cross into the penalty area, with Jonas on hand to tap home from close range. He simply could not miss. Game on! What an opening 37 minutes of football we have had this evening.

39 minThe La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad last night was some match, but this has also been sensational. What an opening to the Spanish football this weekend. Little over five minutes of the half remaining and Zaragoza lead 2-1. However, I am predicting more goals.

41 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side to add a third as Postiga collects possession in the box before rounding Alves, but somehow the Brazilian goalkeeper makes a stunning save at the vital moment to quell the danger. End-to-end football in the latter stages of the half.

43 minHalf-chance for the away side to level proceedings before the interval as Jonas strikes a free kick from outside the box, but it never had enough power to really trouble the home side's goalkeeper. The atmosphere continues in this stadium as the challenges fly in from both sides. Stunning excitement.

45 minThe challenges continue to be made in the latter stages of the half, much to the delight of the home supporters, who are enjoying some party this evening. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute of football at the end of the half.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Real Zaragoza 2-1 Valencia

5.50pmSo there we have it. An enthralling opening 45 minutes of action is brought to a close with Zaragoza leading 2-1. The home side were 2-0 ahead after 32 minutes, but a Jonas strike 10 minutes before the interval has given Valencia some hope ahead of the second period.

5.54pmLet's take a look at some statistics from the opening half of football. The away side have dominated possession with 62%, but they have had just three attempts to Zaragoza's six. The actual football has not been too impressive, but the excitement has been just stunning thus far.

5.58pmWhat about the benches for this evening? The home side have a host of attacking options with Victor Rodriguez and Henri Bienvenu on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Pablo Piatti, Nelson Valdez and Andres Guardado all occupy the Valencia bench. There are certainly some goals in that list.

6.02pmAs it stands, Valencia would remain in sixth position in the table, but Zaragoza would move into 14th, which would certainly ease some of their relegation troubles. Just a reminder that we have Real Madrid and Barcelona both to come this evening. Be sure to remain with us.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the second period. No changes for either side at the break, which is not all that surprising based on the events in the first period. You just get the feeling that there are more goals to come in this match. Valencia get the half underway.

48 minDecent start to the half from the away side as Parejo collects possession from Canalas before finding Soldado, but the striker just cannot sort out his feet in time, with Fernandez on hand to clear the danger. The next goal in this match - if there indeed is one - could be vital in terms of the final result.

50 minIt's good work from Montanes as the Zaragoza midfielder beats two challenges before cutting inside, but Parejo is on hand to make the challenge. Montanes takes the resulting free kick, but Ruiz is on hand to clear before Valencia attempt to break down the other end. No sign that the break has dropped the tempo of the match.

52 minEnd-to-end football at the moment as Feghouli collects possession from Soldado before driving into the box, but Fernandez comes across to clear at the vital moment. Good work from Rochina comes close to creating a chance for the home side down the other end, but he just cannot evade the challenge of Pereira.

54 minSlightly bitty period to the match in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of giving away a host of free kicks in the opposing half. Meanwhile, Postiga picks up a yellow card for his troubles. There really is an underlying ill-feeling between the two sets of players, which is making for an explosive contest.

56 minStill no movement on either bench, which I expect will change if the score remains the same in the next 10 minutes or so. Not too much to report in terms of clear chances, but Rochina does have an opportunity as he strikes wide from a difficult angle. Just as I say that, it appears that Valencia are ready to make a change.

58 minThe change is indeed made as Ever Banega replaces Canales, who is simply not capable of playing the whole match having just returned from injury. Plenty of positive signs from the Spaniard, however. Little over 30 minutes of football to play and the home side remain 2-1 ahead.

60 minHalf-chance for the home side as Postiga dances into the penalty area before finding Rochina, but the on-loan Blackburn striker can only fire wide of the post from close range. Not too much quality on display at the moment, rather both teams attempting to attack with pace and numbers. Surely there is another goal on the way.

62 minAnother half-chance comes to Postiga as the striker fires an effort from the edge of the box, but it was always moving high of the crossbar. The Portuguese has been such a threat to Valencia this evening. Postiga is again involved moments later, but his shot is pushed wide by Alves.

64 minRight, we have just about 25 minutes of football remaining and the home side continue to lead 2-1. In truth, the second period has not been as enthralling as the first, but there are still signs that both teams are capable of finding the back of the net. Can Zaragoza hold on for what would be a vital three points?

66 minAgain it's good work from Montanes as the Zaragoza midfielder drives to the edge of the box, but Albelda is on hand to make the challenge. The resulting free kick is taken by Postiga, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. The rugby is tomorrow Helder.

68 minProblems for the away side as Costa is forced to depart the field with what seems like a back injury. They almost level moments later, however, as Soldado drives into the box, but his effort is straight at the goalkeeper. Valencia really need to make the change as soon as possible.

70 minThe change is indeed made as Mathieu replaces the injured Costa. Piatti had been readied to enter the field, but he has been forced to put his tracksuit back on. Safe to say, he does not look too happy about it! Little over 20 minutes of football remaining on this cold evening in Spain.

70 minThere is almost a sense of nervousness around the stadium at the moment as the away side start to dominate possession of the ball. If you had offered Zaragoza a draw at the start of play, they would have taken it, but not after being 2-0 ahead. Still no movement on the home side's bench as things stand.

70 minGOAL! Zaragoza 2-2 Valencia (Jonas)

71 minValencia level! It's horror defending from the home side as Jonas is allowed to sneak in at the far post before tapping home from close range. Where on earth was the challenge?! It is all Valencia at the moment.

73 minZaragoza have taken two points from their last seven matches, while Valencia have won their last three on the road. Does that point to just one result in the final stages of this match? What a 17 minutes in both teams' seasons.

75 minCHANCE! Glorious chance for Jonas to score his third of the match as he rises highest in the penalty box from a corner, but his header is saved by Franco. That was the opportunity to move into the lead. All one-way traffic at the moment.

77 minThe home side make their first change of the match as Edu Oriol replaces Rochina, who has just faded in the second period. A point for Zaragoza would not be the worst result in the world, but having been 2-0 ahead, it would be seen as dropped points. Little over 10 minutes of normal time remaining in this pulsating encounter.

77 minValencia again create a half-chance as Soldado combines with Jonas before striking a low effort towards the bottom corner, but it just moves wide of the post. Zaragoza are simply not interested in attacking at the moment as they continue to sit in and absorb the danger. Will he have late drama here?

77 minRED CARD! The home side been reduced to 10 men as Franco handballs outside the penalty area. The goalkeeper knows it as he turns away and walks straight towards the touchline. Sub goalkeeper Alcolea is introduced in place of Jose Mari.

80 minWell, it has all gone horribly wrong for the home side. They were 2-0 ahead and fairly comfortable, but now they are down to 10 men and drawing 2-2. The resulting free kick is taken by Parejo, but his effort is saved by the goalkeeper. All hands to the pump in the final stages of this match.

82 minThe referee is the busiest man on the pitch at the moment as he is forced into a number of decisions. Zaragoza gain some respite as Postiga is felled by Pereira, but the resulting free kick is wasted, allowing Valencia to advance down the other end.

84 minValencia are really going for this as Albelda is replaced by Nelson Valdez, who is always worth a goal. The home side just cannot get out of their own half at the moment as they continue to be suffocated by this searching Valencia team. Is the goal coming?

86 minThe home supporters want a penalty as Postiga is seemingly felled in the penalty area, but the referee is simply not interested, with Valencia wasting no time in launching an attack down the other end. This game has had absolutely everything that you would want as Soldado has another effort tipped over the crossbar.

88 minThe home side have another penalty shout as Oriol hits the ground under a challenge from Parejo, but the referee is simply not interested once more. Valencia continue to attack down the other end with Valdez involved, but it is a case of 'anywhere will do' for Zaragoza.

90 minThe pressure continues from the away side, but Zaragoza have defended well since falling down to 10 men. It appears that they may be able to hang on, but there will be chances in the latter stages. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of stoppage time.

90 min+3Not too much to report in stoppage time with Zaragoza fairly comfortable in dealing with the threat from Valencia. On the face of it, this result will not be too disastrous for the home side. That is if they can quell the danger in the remaining minute or so. Zaragoza currently hold possession.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Real Zaragoza 2-2 Valencia

6.52pmSo there we have it. Valencia recover from two goals behind to record a point against Zaragoza. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and remain with us for the clash between Deportivo and Real Madrid. Until then!

Isco
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