|First Division - Day 2|
Valencia 3 - Recreativo Huelva 0
Cañizares; Garrido, Ayala, Marchena, Carboni; Angulo, Albelda,
Baraja (De los Santos 89'), Vicente; Juan Sánchez (Carew 82'), Salva
(Mista 71'). 4-4-2.
Team changes: Valencia: Garrido, Ayala, Angulo, Albelda, Juan Sánchez, Salva for Curro Torres, Pellegrino, De los Santos, Rufete, Aimar, Carew / Recreativo: Yago, Merino, Camacho, Viqueira for Iker Begoña, Cubillo, José Marí, Quique Romero.
Valencia made hard work of finishing off Recreativo Huelva, and in the end it took two goals in the last four minutes by late substitute Carew to give them a more respectable scoreline. With a long cup match behind them from last Wednesday (and a long trip to China for others), and a Champions League tie against Liverpool coming up, Rafa Benítez decided to make full use of his squad. Young right back Garrido came in for his first ever start, Ayala returned from suspension and injuries to Aimar and Rufete meant that Sánchez and Salva started up front.
No Valencia striker had scored a goal in over five months, and once again it was left to the midfielders to do their work for them. With nine minutes on the clock Sánchez found Vicente with a short pass, and the young winger ran on to drill a low shot in off César's near post. After that though they could not break through a well ordered defence, despite playing most of the game in Recreativo's half of the field, until Carew made his appearance eight minutes from the end. A long header and a tap in on the far post were enough to sink the Andalucians, who with the smallest budget in the league are going to have an uphill climd to survive at this level. Valencia meanwhile are back where they left off at the top of the table.