First Division - Day 34

Deportivo La Coruña 1 - Valencia 2

Deportivo: Juanmi; Manuel Pablo (Scaloni 69'), Donato, Naybet, Romero; Sergio (Luque 69'), Duscher; Víctor, Valerón, Fran (Amavisca 77'); Makaay. 4-2-3-1.
Valencia: Cañizares; Ayala, Pellegrino, Djukic, Carboni; Albelda (Juan Sánchez 86'), Marchena; Vicente (Kily González 80'), Aimar (Baraja 82'), Fabio Aurelio; Carew. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Deportivo: Duscher for Mauro Silva / Valencia: Pellegrino, Djukic, Carboni, Albelda, Carew for Reveillère, Baraja, Rufete, Juan Sánchez, Angulo.

0-1. 14. Fabio Aurelio. Header over Juanmi after keeper beat out shot from Vicente.
1-1. 49. Donato. Header down which Cañizares appeared to have cleared off line.
1-2. 63. Fabio Aurelio. Won ball off Manuel Pablo and ran on to shoot past Juanmi.

There was a set back for leaders Deportivo La Coruña in their race for the title after they were beaten 1-2 by Valencia. The visitors had lost the last four times they had played at the Riazor stadium, and after a string of poor results they were not expected to change the trend. Furthermore Rafa Benítez had problems putting together a side, particularly on the right flank where he had no right backs or right wingers available, and he had to play Ayala and Vicente out of position to cover. However his side took the lead with a quarter of an hour gone when Fabio Aurelio headed over Juanmi after the keeper had beaten away a fierce shot by Vicente, and Juanmi had to be attentive to keep his side going further behind from an Aimar volley later in the half.

Irureta was missing the suspended Mauro Silva, but his side had a stroke of fortune four minutes after the restart from Víctor's corner, Rubinos Pérez ruling that Donato's header had crossed the line before Cañizares had pushed it away. It certainly didn't look that way to anyone else in the stadium, but the referee waved away the protests, booking two Valencia players before things quietened down. That gave Depor wings, and Cañizares did well to tip over a shot from Makaay as the Gallicians came forward. But Fabio Aurelio put the visitors back in front soon afterwards, winning the ball off Manuel Pablo and running on to drill a shot past Juanmi. Wins for Real Sociedad and Real Madrid on Sunday meant that Depor drop to third, although they are virtually assured of Champions League football next season. Valencia move back up to fourth and end their run of two defeats in a row.