First Division - Day 16

Deportivo 1 - Valencia 0

Deportivo: Molina; Scaloni, Donato, Naybet, Romero; Mauro Silva, Sergio; Makaay (José Manuel 70'), Valerón (Djorovic 82'), Fran (Amavisca 46'); Diego Tristán. 4-2-3-1.
Valencia: Cañizares; Anglomá, Ayala, Pellegrino (Carew 77'), Carboni (Djukic 50'); Marchena, De los Santos (Mista 50'); Vicente, Aimar, Fabio Aurelio; Salva. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Deportivo: Donato, Romero, Makaay for César, Capdevila, Víctor / Valencia: Anglomá, De los Santos, Fabio Aurelio for Curro Torres, Angulo, Juan Sánchez.

1-0. 58. Diego Tristán (penalty). After Ayala pushed down Valerón in area.

Deportivo La Coruña beat Valencia thanks to a Diego Tristán penalty to move up into second place, a point behind leaders Alavés. Both sides appeared to be suffering from their midweek efforts in their respective European competitions, and the match was a lifeless affair with few goal chances. Irureta made some changes from the side who lost to Bayer Leverkusen, bringing back Sergio after he had surprisingly left him at home for that game, and drafting in Diego Tristán, with Makaay switching to the right wing. Valencia were missing several key players, including Juan Sánchez who escaped virtually unhurt from a horrendous car crash the day before, and they lined up with seven natural defenders in their side. Anglomá, De los Santos and Fabio Aurelio all returned after missing several games through respective injuries.

Depor needed to recover some prestige after a run of four away defeats, but the first half was almost without incident as neither keeper had much work to do. Cañizares was called upon to save from Makaay after the restart though, and the Dutch striker shot over from a good position a little later. Then Valerón got away on the left of the area, and referee Ramírez Domínguez ruled that Ayala had barged in to him as he challenged for the ball. Diego Tristán stepped up to beat his Spanish international colleague Cañizares from the penalty spot for the only goal of the game, and he is now the league's second top scorer with eight goals, one behind Urzaiz. After that Benítez brought on Carew and Aimar hit the side netting with a free kick, but Irureta responded bringing on an extra defender Djorovic to run out the final minutes. Valencia drop to eighth, and they have not won away in the league for seven months.