First Division - Day 15

Valencia 1 - Numancia 0

Valencia: Cañizares; Curro Torres, David Navarro, Caneira, Moretti; Marchena, Baraja; Fiore (Angulo 85'), Di Vaio (Aimar 72'), Vicente (Xisco 60'); Corradi. 4-2-3-1.
Numancia: Juanma; Pignol, Otxoa, Antonio, Jaime Molina, Graff; Lee Chun Soo (Miguel Pérez 82'), Palacios, Juan Carlos Moreno; Osorio (Pineda 59'), Tevenet (Carlos Merino 67'). 5-3-2.

Team changes: Valencia: Moretti, Baraja, Vicente, Corradi for Carboni, Fabio Aurelio, Rufete, Aimar / Numancia: Pignol for Juanpa.

1-0. 20. Marchena. Headed the ball in after Juanma palmed out Fiore free kick.

Valencia beat Numancia 1-0 to make it four league victories in a row for Ranieri's side, a run which takes them up to third place in the table pending the outcome of Real Madrid's abandoned match. The Chés were looking to bounce back after being knocked out of the Champions League midweek, but the manager could count at last on Vicente, and Ayala was also fit enough to take a place on the bench, even though he didn't come on.

Numancia hadn't picked up a point away from home all season, and they were soon on the back foot as Jaime Molina had to clear off the line from Baraja with Juanma beaten. A few minutes later though the keeper could only push out an inswinging free kick from Fiore, and Marchena was there to head in the rebound and give his side the lead.

The visitors were trying to put up a battle though, and Cañizares had to be on his toes to save from Lee Chun Soo and Tevenet. Juanma did well to keep out a Corradi header at the other end soon after the restart, and referee Pino Zamorano upset the local fans by disallowing goals by Corradi (for offside) and Xisco (for a presumed foul on the keeper), and also turning down a penalty appeal by Corradi. Moreno could have saved a point for the visitors when he shot just over the bar in the dying minutes, but it was not to be and Cañizares went on to record his fifth clean sheet in a row.