La Liga: Mallorca defeat completes sorry week for Valencia
Despite dominating much of the game, Mauricio Pellegrino’s team lost 2-0, while Barcelona continued their perfect start to the season and the lights went out on Real Madrid.
By Halima Ali
It has been a rather depressing week for Valencia. It began with a loss in their Champions League game, it continued when their new stadium plans were abruptly put on hold due to financial problems and finally, a sorry defeat to Mallorca at the weekend leaves Los Che with just a single victory in six competitive games.
At Mallorca’s Iberostar stadium Victor Casadesús fired the hosts into the lead just seven minutes into the game when he squeezed his shot under Diego Alves. The visitors enjoyed more of the ball for the remainder of the first half and were unlucky not to level the score when Nelson Valdez’s header came crashing back off the bar.
Despite the continual pressure from Valencia, Mallorca went on to extend their lead on 55 minutes when Javier Arizmendi collected a flick-on before striking a low volley past the keeper.
Fans can, however, take heart from the performance as Valencia dominated the game despite not getting on the scoresheet and coach Mauricio Pellegrino expressed his satisfaction: “My players have left their skin on the field and playing this well, we are going to win many games.”
His frustration however, was evident: “The reality is that we have lost three games in six days. Everything can be improved, but again, we have tried everything.”
It has been a difficult start to the season at the club for the first-time manager, who not too long ago was plying his trade in defence for Los Che – he won two liga titles and the 2003/04 UEFA Cup during his spell there.
There is time for him to turn it around. But what is more worrying for fans is the problems that have once again emerged in the financing plan for the project to build a new stadium.
The club had racked up debts of more than €500 million before being bailed out by the regional government three years ago. It is these cashflow problems which forced the sale of extremely talented players David Villa, David Silva, Juan Mata and most recently, Jordi Alba, who joined Barcelona in the summer.
Construction of the Nuevo Mestalla initially came to a stop in early 2008 due to a lack of funds and while an agreement with Spanish lender Bankia was reached late last year to put the project back on track, it appears some conditions have not been met.
Valencia President Manuel Llorente urged fans to be calm and have confidence in the club following the news, explaining that he was working with Bankia to seek a solution and insisting “the latest events do not affect the foundations of this club.”
That may well be true, but the new stadium does not seem any closer to completion.
Discord at Barça?
Meanwhile, Barcelona left it late but continued their perfect start to the season when Xavi Hernández struck in the 87th minute against Granada at the Camp Nou. The Spanish international came off the bench to score, before Borja Gómez’s own goal completed a nervy 2-0 victory for Tito Vilanova’s men.
The biggest talking point of the match came however, when Lionel Messi and David Villa were seen arguing over a move that broke down in the penalty area, forcing the FIFA Balon D’or winner to state: “I have no problem with el Guaje , just the opposite. My history with him is spectacular. This dressing-room is spectacular.”
Over in the Spanish capital, Real Madrid, who were looking to cut Barça’s lead, were forced to re-schedule their matchday when the floodlights at Rayo Vallecano’s ground were sabotaged by unknown culprits who cut the power cables.
After an epic victory mid-week against Manchester City in the Champions League, which seemed to calm the waters around Los Merengues following a dismal start to the season, José Mourinho’s men were forced to wait as electricians scrabbled to fix the problem on time but eventually admitted defeat.
Fortunately, the visitors did not have far to travel and they returned to Vallecas on Monday where they secured a 2-0 victory with an early goal from Karim Benzema and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, under the glare of the floodlights.
Rayo Vallecano 0-2 Real Madrid
Deportivo 0-2 Sevilla
Real Zaragoza 3-1 Osasuna
Celta 2-1 Getafe
Betis 1-0 Espanyol
Barcelona 2-0 Granada
Mallorca 2-0 Valencia
Levante 2-1 Real Sociedad
Atlético Madrid 2-1 Valladolid
Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Málaga
Next: San Sebastián Film Festival: death and happiness
Previous: San Sebastián Film Festival: Snow White hits Andalusia
Published: Sep 25 2012
Category: Spain News, Sports
Republication: Creative Commons, non-commercial
Short URL: http://iberosphere.com/?p=6893
You can follow any responses to this entry via RSS 2.0
Tags: Barça, Liga, Los Che, Los Merengues, Messi, Mourinho, Ronaldo, spain, Spain football, spain soccer, spanish football, Spanish soccer, Valencia