|First Division - Day 38|
Valencia 0 - Albacete 1
Cañizares; Curro Torres, Ayala (David Navarro 86'), Pellegrino,
Carboni; Angulo (Marchena 75'), Sissoko, Jorge López, Xisco; Juan
Sánchez (Oliveira 67'), Mista. 4-4-2.
Team changes: Valencia: Cañizares, Ayala, Carboni, Angulo, Xisco, Mista for Rangel, David Navarro, Garrido, Albelda, Canobbio, Oliveira / Albacete: Oscar Montiel, Buades, Peña, Parri, Alvaro Rubio, Basti for Pedro, Unai, Fernando Navarro, Viaud, David Sánchez, Pacheco.
A festive night to remember at the Mestalla stadium, where league and UEFA cup champions Valencia were paraded their two cups in front of their fans. The celebrations took their minds off the football though, and they lost 0-1 to an Albacete side who had already assured another season of top flight football a couple of weeks ago.
Rafa Benítez's side came out to be greeted by a giant mosaic which read "Collonuts", which is Valencia (and Catalán) for "We think you a jolly fine bunch of chaps". The manager had allowed Aimar and Canobbio to join their national sides early, and he gave a last run out to Juan Sánchez who will be leaving the club at the end of the season, and César Ferrando (rumoured to be on his way to Atlético) also made several changes to his line up.
The game itself though was fairly dull, and only a couple of runs by Xisco down the left wing livened up the first half. The fans though had other ways of enjoying themselves, and there were huge cheers as news came through that Real Sociedad were beating Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu.
It was more of the same after the break, and even when Aranda put the visitors ahead the singing didn't stop. Sánchez went off in tears to a standing ovation, and Angulo tested Almunia at last with a header which the keeper turned away. But the football was the least important event, and the fans stayed on to watch their side be presented with the league trophy at the end before going on to celebrate all night in the streets of Valencia.