Valencia underline credentials with impressive win
League leaders Valencia undoubtedly underlined their credentials for European football with a fantastic attacking display in a 4-0 away victory against Real Sociedad. The hosts were themselves also in good form coming into this one, sitting 4th in the table pre-game. Sociedad found themselves without injured winger Adnan Januzaj, currently out with an ankle ligament injury, while Willian José was only fit enough for the bench after suffering ankle problems himself. Visitors Valencia were without key midfielder Uros Racic, set to miss the next 5 weeks with a knee injury, former Arsenal youngster Yunus Musah being given the nod to start in an otherwise unchanged line-up.
In a first half of few chances, Valencia somehow found themselves taking a massive 2-0 lead into the break. The first goal came 18 minutes into the clash, Daniel Wass finding Gameiro with the throw-in before receiving the ball back to send Gonçalo Guedes in space. The winger looked up to pick out Kevin Gameiro, who had drifted into the box, where the former PSG striker was able to cut inside and find the angle to fire beyond Remiro with a superb finish for his 10th goal of the season.
A minute before the break Valencia found their lead doubled, another throw-in causing issues for the hosts, this time from the other side. Skipper José Gayà found Cheryshev with a precise throw-in, the winger then laying the ball off for midfield man Carlos Soler, whose cross into the danger area was superbly met by Kevin Gameiro with the left-foot volley to claim his second of the game and give the visitors a massive advantage to take into half-time.
Valencia started the second half in the same attacking vein, going close just 2 minutes after the break. A deep free-kick from Carlos Soler, looking for his second assist of the game, was met by Mouctar Diakhaby at the back post, but the centre-half saw his powerful header fly just over the bar with Remiro left stretching. There was little the keeper could have done minutes later when Soler himself was this time on the end of a cross from Wass, after neat wing play from Guedes. The 23 year old Spaniard made clean contact with the ball, but his shot spun just wide with Remiro rooted to the spot.
At the other end, Sociedad had their first real chance of note after Merino and Nacho Monreal caused problems down the left, the cross into the box eventually being headed over by Mikel Oyarzabal in the middle. It was a miss they would rue as they fell further behind just 3 minutes later. A poor pass from Andoni Gorosabel saw Maxi Gómez, recently linked with Dortmund, nip in ahead of Robin Le Normand before setting his strike partner free. Kevin Gameiro carried the ball forward before producing the pick of the bunch, a sublime chipped finish over the onrushing Álex Remiro to claim his hat-trick and pretty much guarantee his side the 3 points.
With Sociedad unable to find a way back, Valencia could have quite easily sat back, but they continued to press and were almost rewarded with a fourth with just 2 minutes of normal time remaining. Another deep Daniel Wass set-piece from the right was met on the half-turn by centre-half Diakhaby in the centre, Remiro getting down low well to save and hold onto the ball to deny the defender his goal. Not perturbed, 2 minutes later Mouctar Diakhaby did finally claim his second goal of the season, this time a short corner from substitute Jason being whipped in by Carlos Soler, Diakhaby glancing home at the near post to confirm an emphatic win for the league leaders.
The result at the Anoeta is bound to make other teams sit up and take real notice of this Valencia side, who currently find themselves 2 points in front at the top of the league, albeit having played a game more than second placed Barcelona, the only team to beat them this season. Another career hat-trick from Kevin Gameiro also sees the striker currently 3 goals clear as top scorer in the current La Liga season, with Messi and then Alex Isak occupying second and third respectively. The 33 year old former French international also has 4 man of the match awards this season, the same number as teammate Maxi Gómez and best in the league as Los Che continue to earn plaudits under their new manager.Share this: