First Division - Day 22

Las Palmas 0 - Valencia 1

Las Palmas: Nacho González; Angel, Sarasúa (Carmelo 83'), Schurrer, Paqui; Josico (Sequeiros 73'), Samways; Edu Alonso, Jorge, Pablo Lago; Rubén (Orlando 83'). 4-2-3-1.
Valencia: Cañizares; Curro Torres, Ayala, Djukic, Carboni; Baraja (Marchena 83'), De los Santos; Angulo (Fabio Aurelio 65'), Aimar (Juan Sánchez 74'), Kily González; Mista. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Las Palmas: Sarasúa, Samways for Olías, Jayo / Valencia: Curro Torres, Djukic, De los Santos, Aimar, Kily González for Pellegrino, Rufete, Albelda, Vicente, Ilie.

0-1. 07. Mista. Beat Nacho González with shot across goal.

Valencia moved up to fourth in the table after a narrow victory against Las Palmas on Saturday night. Rafa Benítez surprised everyone leaving Salva and Juan Sánchez on the bench and playing Aimar and Mista up front, flanked by Angulo and Kily González who were in for the injured Rufete and Vicente. Curro Torres returned at right back after a one match ban, and Djukic and De los Santos replaced the indisposed Pellegrino and Albelda. The manager's decision to include Mista validated early in the game when the young forward latched on to a deep pass from Kily to beat Nacho González with a curling shot in off the far post. Valencia could then have added to their lead later in the half when Schurrer cleared Aimar's chipped shot off the line and González saved from a Baraja free kick.

The second half though belonged to the home side, with Samways returning from a one match ban to spur on his team. Only a superb performance by Valencia's Cañizares kept them from scoring, the Spanish international keeper saving from a Rubén header, and then stopping efforts from Sarasúa, Pablo Lago and Orlando. And when Cañizares was beaten, Kily came back to clear a Schurrer header away from in front of the posts. With all but Celta around them failing to win, Valencia move back into the reckoning for a Champions League place. Las Palmas falter a little after suffering their second defeat in a row, but their previous good form keeps them in eleventh place, heading a group of five teams on 27 points.