Nov 17, 2012 at 5pm UK at ​Mestalla
Valencia
2-1
Espanyol
Viera (16'), Soldado (89' pen.)
Albelda (25'), Jonas (31'), Soldado (38'), Ruiz (43'), Costa (57'), Guardado (60'), Barragan (77')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Longo (31')
Alvarez (65'), Rodríguez (66'), Forlin (70'), Moreno (86'), Wakaso (86'), Verdú (87'), Tejera (87')
Moreno (88'), García (88')

Live Commentary: Valencia 2-1 Espanyol - as it happened

Live Commentary: Valencia 2-1 Espanyol - as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash between Valencia and Espanyol at the Mestalla.

Espanyol travelled to Valencia on Saturday having dropped into bottom spot in the league following Osasuna's draw with Malaga earlier in the day.

It was the home side that took the lead after 16 minutes when Jonathan Viera converted from close range, but Samuele Longo levelled the scores just past the 30-minute mark.

Espanyol were the better side for large periods of the second half, but it was the home side who won it late on with a Roberto Soldado penalty.

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


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4.32pmAfternoon all! Well it hasn't been the best of starts from either of these two teams, but Valencia have won three of their last five games in all competitions and there have been signs that they are just starting to find their feet.

4.35pmTeams:

Valencia: Alves; Rami, Barragan, Ruiz, Albelda; Feghouli, Viera, Guardado, Costa; Jonas, Soldado

Espanyol: Alvarez; Rodriguez, Forlin, Moreno, Delgado; Mata, Verdy, Wakaso, Gomez; Garcia, Longo


4.38pmEspanyol, as mentioned, currently sit in the relegation zone and could drop to bottom spot if Osasuna secure a point against Malaga - that match is entering the latter stages at 0-0. However, they have won two of their last five matches in La Liga and are the type of side that could pull off the unexpected.

4.41pmValencia began their league season with back-to-back draws before losing to Barcelona and it has been a mixed bag since then, although they did end Atletico Madrid's long unbeaten run at the beginning of November.

4.44pmThe home side have also impressed in the Champions League this season, winning three of their four matches in the competition and they beat Llagostera in the Copa del Rey at the end of October. It could yet be a successful season.

4.47pmEspanyol, meanwhile, lost five of their opening seven league matches and did not pick up a single win until October 21 with a 3-2 success over Rayo Vallecano. They have also beaten Real Sociedad in the league, but that has been their only two victories all season.

4.50pmPerhaps their biggest disappointment of the season came last time out when they were beaten 3-0 at home by fellow strugglers Osasuna. You just get the feeling that they need to put a run of wins together as the pressure continues to rise on boss Mauricio Pochettino.

4.53pmThe home side have key players missing in the shape of Pablo Piatti and Sergio Canales. However, Espanyol are without key midfielder Javi Lopez and Cristhian Curbelo through suspension. That has not affected my pre-match prediction, however, and I am backing a 3-1 home win.

4.55pmFull-time: Osasuna 0-0 Malaga. The result means that Espanyol have dropped to bottom spot ahead of kickoff. Not the best of news for the away side.

4.58pmHere we go then. Both sets of players are on the pitch ahead of kickoff on this mild evening in Spain. Can the home side make it an unhappy Saturday for Espanyol? Meanwhile, just a reminder that we will be covering Barcelona and Real Madrid this evening. Be sure to stay with us for those.

1 minValencia get us underway at the Mestalla. They will look to Jonas and Roberto Soldado for goals this evening, while Espanyol will hope that Verdu produces his top form. I just have a feeling that this could be a match full of goals.

3 minThe home side have taken control of the possession in the early stages of the match. It appears that Espanyol will remain tight in midfield and rely on their pace on the counter. Decent tempo to the opening moments.

5 minEspanyol demonstrate their attacking threat as Verdu attempts to find the run of Sergio Garcia, but Adil Rami is on hand to quell the danger. Meanwhile, Diego Alves collects a searching ball from Wakaso with ease.

7 minCHANCE! Best opening of the match thus far as Jonas collects a searching ball before crossing towards Soldado, but Moreno clears the danger for a corner. That has certainly lifted the home supporters.

8 minHalf-chance for Espanyol this time as Longo attempts to collect a loose ball inside the box, but Alves once more quells the threat. Both sides are demonstrating a threat in the opening stages of the match as Soldado fires high down the other end.

10 minAgain Valencia come close as Jonas whips a low cross into the box, but Soldado just cannot make contact and the ball drifts out for a goal kick. It has been a lively opening from both sides.

12 minEspanyol continue to retreat deeper and deeper as the home side press high up the pitch. Viera and Costa are dictating the tempo of this match at the moment. However, the score remains level at 0-0.

14 minIt's horror defending from the away side as Forlin presents the ball straight to Soldado just outside the box. However, the Spanish striker is crowded out at the vital moment and the danger is cleared. But the threat is all one-way at the moment.

16 minNot a great deal to report in terms of clear chances in the past few minutes. Valencia are certainly dominating the match, but there is that threat on the counter from the away side. It is so delicately poised.

16 minGOAL! Valencia 1-0 Espanyol (Viera)

16 minValencia take the lead and it's Viera who advances into the box before slotting under Alvarez. It had been coming. This could be a long night for Espanyol.

18 minSuddenly Espanyol burst into life as Verdu fires a low cross into the penalty area, but Longo cannot make contact. Meanwhile, Wakaso is felled in the penalty area, but the referee waves play on.

20 minIt is not hard to see why Espanyol have struggled this season. They are not shy to attack and it is leaving all sorts of holes for Valencia to exploit. The next goal could really shape this entire match.

22 minHalf-chance for Espanyol as Verdu meets a cross from Gomez, but his effort is straight at Alves and play is resumed. It is incredible how open this game is after just 22 minutes of football.

24 minGuardado is causing Espanyol all sorts of problems with his pace and trickery down the left and the away side can only stop the Mexican by fouling him. However, a couple of free kicks have been wasted by the home side in the past few moments.

26 minValencia continue to force the issue as Soldado and Jonas combine to good effect, but the danger is cleared for a corner. Albelda comes close with a header, but he clears the crossbar.

28 minCredit to Espanyol, they have attempted to respond with a flood of attacks. However, their final ball has eluded them on more than one occasion. But you have to believe that they will make chances.

30 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Jonas meets a Guardado cross, but his header is over the crossbar. We have 15 minutes of the first half remaining and Valencia lead by the single goal.

31 minThe issue of diving is called into question once more as Jonas is booked for falling over in the Espanyol half. Replays have shown that the referee made the correct decision. That's poor from the Brazilian.

31 minGOAL! Valencia 1-1 Espanyol (Longo)

31 minEspanyol level the score against the run of play as Longo turns a Gomez cross into the back of the net from close range. Game on!

33 minIt was an extremely fortunate finish as Longo's effort appeared to loop over the head of Alves. Not that he will mind! I said that this match would be full of goals. It is just so open.

35 minIt just isn't going the home sides way at the moment as Soldado is felled outside the box, but the referee waves play on. Meanwhile, another challenge on Jonas is waved away. Espanyol have their tails up.

37 minBoth sides are exchanging spells of possession at the moment as each attack with numbers. There is no sign that either team are prepared to settle for a point.

39 minLittle over five minutes of the half remaining and neither side is really in control of this match. The equaliser has unsettled Valencia and it is an even contest as we approach the latter stages of the opening period.

41 minHalf-chance for the home side as Costa whips a high cross into the penalty area, but Alvarez is on hand to punch the danger clear. Meanwhile, Rami has taken a thump for his troubles.

43 minThankfully the defender is deemed alright to continue and play is resumed. Meanwhile, Espanyol are just enjoying a spell of possession as we enter the final two minutes of the half.

45 minScrappy end to the opening half as Valencia give away a host of fouls inside the Espanyol half. Meanwhile, two added minutes will be played.

45 min+2Valencia continue to press in the additional two minutes, but Espanyol thump the danger clear and it appears that we will enter the break level.

HALF-TIMEValencia 1-1 Espanyol

5.50pmSo there we have it. Valencia and Espanyol enter the break level at 1-1 following an enthralling half of football in Valencia.

5.53pmThe home side took the lead after 16 minutes when Jonathan Viera converted from close range, but Espanyol were level just past the 30-minute mark when Samuele Longo tapped home from inside the box.

5.56pmMeanwhile, let's take a look at some statistics from the opening half of football. Valencia have just shaded possession with 51%, while they have had five shots to Espanyol's four.

5.59pmAs it stands Valencia would move into seventh spot, while Espanyol would move off the bottom of the table and into 18th place. There is much on offer in the second 45 minutes.

6.02pmMeanwhile, just a reminder that we will be covering Barcelona and Real Madrid's matches this evening. So be sure to stay with us and you will not miss a kick.

46 minHere we go then. Espanyol kick us off in the second period. No changes for either side at the interval. Let's hope the second half is as entertaining as the first.

48 minFairly open start to the second period as Longo attempts to feed Garcia for the away side, but Rami comes across to clear the danger. Espanyol are seriously up for this match.

50 minEnd-to-end stuff at the moment as both sides exchange spells of possession. But we have not seen anything from Soldado since the opening 20 minutes. What are the odds on him popping up to score the winner?

52 minHalf-chance for Espanyol as Longo fires a searching cross into the penalty area, but Alves palms the danger to safety. Meanwhile, Jonas is dispossessed down the other end by Forlin.

54 minCHANCE! The opportunities are just starting to come for the away side as Garcia collects possession inside the box before firing towards goal, but his effort is pushed away. Valencia are yet to test Alvarez in the second half.

56 minPenalty shout for the away side as Verdu is felled in the area by Rami, but the referee waves play on. Make no mistake about it, Espanyol are providing the threat at the moment.

58 minAnother half-chance falls to Espanyol as Wakaso pounces on a loose ball inside the box, but his effort is cleared for another corner. Based on this performance, how are the away side in the relegation zone?

60 minCHANCE! Best opportunity of the second period for Valencia as Costa strikes an effort from outside the box, but Alvarez makes a fine save. Little under 30 minutes of football remaining at the Mestalla.

62 minHalf-chance for Espanyol once more as Verdu gains a free kick out wide. However, the midfielder's effort is poor and straight into the side netting. You just get the feeling that there are more goals in this one.

64 minValencia have just started to take control of the possession in the past few minutes. However, we are yet to really see anything from Jonas or Soldado. But that could change at any moment.

66 minHandbags at dawn at the moment as Soldado and Alvarez clash following a challenge on the goalkeeper. There was not a great deal in it to be honest. The referee is not interested in issuing cards and play is resumed.

68 minDouble change for the home side as Ever Banega and Bernat replace Viera and Albelda. Meanwhile, Valencia are in control of this match as we approach the final 20 minutes.

70 minThe challenges continue to fly in as Forlin chops down Costa and gains a yellow card for his troubles. Meanwhile, change for the away side as Gomez is replaced by Tejera.

72 minEspanyol continue to threaten as Verdu whips a corner into the Valencia box. The home side break on the counter, but once more it breaks down at the vital moment.

74 minSomeone has just put the fast forward button on as Espanyol flood forward with numbers before Valencia return the favour. It is we attack, you attack at the moment. But still we remain level.

76 minRight, we have little under 15 minutes of normal time remaining and both sides still want to win this match. It really could go either way. But Espanyol have enjoyed the better of the second period thus far.

78 minThe home supporters are in good voice at the moment as they attempt to suck the ball into the Espanyol net. However, the away side are defending deep and there is no space in behind.

80 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Valencia as Jonas picks up possession outside the box, but his strike is straight at Alvarez. It just had to be better from the Brazilian.

82 minChange for Valencia as Jonas is replaced by Nelson Valdez. The striker has been a goal machine in recent weeks and will attempt to win the match for his side once more. Meanwhile, Longo is denied by a challenge from Rami down the other end.

82 minEspanyol also make a change as Longo is replaced by Alfonso. Little under 10 minutes of football remaining at the Mestalla.

84 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for the home side to win it as Valdez picks out Soldado in the box, but his header is just wide of the target. That was the chance.

86 minValencia are the team that are threatening in the final five minutes of this match. But Espanyol remain a threat on the counter attack.

86 minPENALTY TO VALENCIA

87 minThe home side are awarded a penalty as Moreno handles in the area. It looked extremely harsh. The Espanyol players are not happy and make their feelings known.

88 minRed card: Garcia has been sent off for Espanyol for something he said following the incident. It has all gone terribly wrong for the away side.

89 minGOAL! Valencia 2-1 Espanyol (Soldado)

90 minSoldado does indeed convert from the spot. It just had to be the Spanish striker. Oh it's cruel on Espanyol.

90 minThe fourth official indicates that we will play an additional four minutes of time. Can Espanyol yet rescue something from this match?

90 min+2Espanyol continue to flood forward in the latter stages of this match but Valencia are absorbing the danger. Surely this one is over.

90 min+4You just had the feeling that there was going to be a winner in this match, but it has come in the cruellest of ways. Little under 30 seconds of added time remaining.

FULL-TIMEValencia 2-1 Espanyol

6.53pmSo there we have it. A late Soldado penalty secures all three points for the home side. Thanks for joining Sports Mole and stay with us for action from the Nou Camp.

Roberto Soldado
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona55001721515
2Atletico MadridAtletico6420124814
3Sevilla641173413
4Valencia52309369
5Levante52308449
6Real Sociedad5302111019
7Real Betis530267-19
8Real Madrid52219548
9Villarreal52126517
10Athletic Bilbao52124317
11Leganes52123307
12Las PalmasLas Palmas520358-36
13EibarEibar5203310-76
14Getafe512245-15
15GironaGirona512235-25
16Espanyol512238-55
17Celta Vigo511368-24
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo5113611-54
19AlavesAlaves500508-80
20Malaga5005111-100
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