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First Division - Day 17

Valencia 2 - Málaga 0

Valencia: Diego Alves; Miguel, Rami, Víctor Ruíz, Mathieu; Albelda, Banega (Dani Parejo 82'); Feghouli (Pablo Hernández 78'), Jonas (Piatti 88'), Jordi Alba; Soldado. 4-2-3-1.
Málaga: Willy Caballero; Jesús Gámez, Demichelis, Mathijsen, Monreal; Joaquín, Toulalan, Cazorla, Isco (Duda 75'); Rondón (Seba Fernández 75'), Juanmi (Van Nistelrooy 65'). 4-4-2.

1-0. 36. Soldado. Ran on to Jonas pass and rounded Caballero to score.
2-0. 62. Soldado Struck first time volley on far post from Jordi Alba cross.

Yellow cards: Banega 30', Albelda 36', Mathijsen 42', Miguel 58', Demichelis 71', Pablo Hernández 86'.

Valencia go in to the winter break in third spot after a 2-0 win over Málaga on Sunday evening. Soldado scored a goal in each half to send another message to Del Bosque that he is the man to step in for the injured David Villa in the Spanish squad, the first after Jonas put him through, and the second with an impressive volley from Jordi Alba's cross. The game had been fairly even before the first goal, with Rondón and Banega firing shots over the top, and later on Isco and substitute Van Nistelrooy both put Diego Alves to the test. Soldado made the difference though, and the striker could have completed his hat-trick had he not lobbed a shot wide when free in front of Caballero near the end. A good win though to open the gap on city rivals Levante to four points, and Málaga drop out of the European spots having only taken one point from their last three games.