First Division - Day 33

Valencia 2 - Real Sociedad 2

Valencia: Cañizares; Garrido (Juan Sánchez 67'), Ayala, Marchena, Carboni; Jorge López, Baraja, Albelda, Vicente; Angulo, Mista. 4-4-2.
Real Sociedad: Alberto; López Rekarte, Kvarme, Schürrer, Potillón; Xabi Alonso, Alkiza; Karpin, Nihat (Aramburu 83'), Gabilondo (Aranzábal 83'); De Paula. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Valencia: Garrido, Marchena, Baraja for Curro Torres, Pellegrino, Sissoko / Real: De Paula for Kovacevic.

0-1. 65. Xabi Alonso. Beat Cañizares with dipping shot from outside of area.
0-2. 69. Karpin (penalty). After Ayala ruled to have fouled De Paula in area.
1-2. 71. Vicente. Picked up Angulo cross and struck low shot across keeper.
2-2. 90. Mista. Latched on to loose ball on edge of area to fire shot in off crossbar.

Valencia came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Real Sociedad and move back to the top of the table, ahead of Real Madrid thanks to a better goal difference. Rafa Benítez's side didn't get off to the best of starts though, and were unable to penetrate a well ordered defence for a long while. Mista and Angulo did feel they should have had penalties before the break, referee Teixeira Vitienes waving away their claims, but otherwise they didn't trouble Alberto and Nihat could have put the visitors ahead when he got free only to shoot into the side netting on the stroke of half time.

The Basque side did go in front though twenty minutes after the restart, Xabi Alonso intercepting Carboni's throw-in and unleashing a spectacular strike from wide on the right which dipped over the head of Cañizares. Four minutes later Karpin made it two from the penalty spot after Teixeira ruled that Ayala had fouled De Paula, the local players unhappy at the referee as the defender had clearly played the ball.

Vicente pulled one back though three minutes later, collecting Angulo's cross to fire a shot wide of Alberto through a crowd of players, and Mista salvaged a point when he latched on to a loose ball to fire a shot in off the crossbar and over the line in the last minute. Teixeira rounded off a bad night at first awarding the goal to Sánchez, who wasn't even on the pitch at the time, and then to Baraja, who had headed the ball back in to the net from an offside position, finally correcting his report to give it to Mista. Needless to say the white handkerchiefs came out as he walked off the pitch, and Valencia president Jaime Ortí talked mysteriously once again of a conspiracy. Not a great night for the locals, but they have to forget that and rally round for their UEFA cup semi-final on Thursday.