League leaders need injury time winner against struggling Cadiz
Top of the table Valencia made extremely difficult work of their trip to Cadiz last night, as they needed a goal deep into stoppage time to ensure all 3 points against a side who came into the game having lost 5 of their previous 6 games. Visitors Valencia welcomed back Jasper Cillessen in goal, while Barlow also opted to rest the recently returned Gonçalo Guedes and veteran defender Antonio Valencia for the clash, Joshua Zirkzee and Thierry Correia also coming into the starting XI.
Unsurprisingly the league leaders dominated the first half, enjoying more of the ball and also creating plenty of opportunities, although they will be no doubt disappointed that only one of those was on target. The hosts, meanwhile, were clearly set up to frustrate Valencia rather than display any attacking ambition of their own, failing to muster up a single shot in the opening period, with the only incident of note seeing centre-half Cala pick up a booking for an over-exuberant challenge.
The second half started in a similar vein, Valencia dominating the ball as they tried to break down the resolute hosts. 11 minutes after the restart the league leaders were dealt a blow when they lost captain José Gayà, the full back coming off with what appeared to be an ankle injury, Toni Lato been sent on to replace him. There were also appearances from the bench for Carlos Soler and Eliaquim Mangala, as the visitors looked to freshen things up in the encounter.
With shared points looking the most likely outcome, another period of sustained Valencia pressure eventually led to a breakthrough in stoppage time. Launching wave after wave of attack, as Maxi Gómez went down heavily and failed to get up, but the referee ignoring any potential incident, the visitors continued to press forward, sending the ball wide to substitute Toni Lato. The 23 year old, making his 5th La Liga appearance from the bench, did well to beat former Liverpool man Bobby Adekanye down the left hand side before fizzing in a wonderful ball towards the far post. Quickest to react in the middle was Danish international Daniel Wass, the utility man playing in central midfield, latching onto the cross to fire home into the bottom corner beyond Jeremias Ledesma to steal all 3 points.
It was the first goal of the season for former Celta Vigo regular Wass, and came at a vital time to enable Los Che to record their 5th straight win in the competition, maintaining a 7 point advantage over current holders Real Madrid, with a valuable game in hand. After the game it was confirmed that skipper José Gayà had suffered a twisted ankle, an injury which is set to keep him sidelined for the next 3-6 weeks, a bitter blow to Valencia in the push for their first title since 2004.Share this: