It came out expensive. Valencia’s coin fell on the winning side. Gracia’s team, wandering around the championship safe from the relegation storm but far from the European quarter that it used to tread in the past, reached a milestone this year. They beat competitive Granada and posted their fourth straight win at the Mestalla. Since the 2017-18 season, at the hands of Marcelino, the bat’s eleven had not been able to group a poker of victories. Unable to link two successive triumphs, the two-faced Valencia piloted by Gracia, at least has rebuilt the fortress of Mestalla where, although with difficulties and stumbling, it wins.
The bat’s goal came early. Gayà, who started by tracing a furrow down the left profile, received from Guedes and crossed between the centrals and the goalkeeper Rui Silva. Wass anticipated Soldado’s mark, hit the outside of his right foot and with a tricky ankle movement to execute he crossed the ball to score his third goal of the season.
Captain Gayà, with the help of the young Álex Blanco, who throws the cover when he drives down the lane, once again became the main offensive argument of his team. The rest game due to suspension against Levante suited him well. The same happened to Carlos Soler, Racic and Maxi Gómez, who also missed the derby through punishment and arrived with more energy to the duel against the Andalusians. With the ball, Valencia was fluid and dominating, and did not grant chances to the rojiblancos tips, but the confrontation was open because their shots on goal did not add more goals and because Granada, between tired and sleepy, could wake up at any moment.
Rui Silva, the good Portuguese goalkeeper, was surprised by Wass’s rubber ankle, but later he took two shots on goal, one by Álex Blanco, and the other by Guedes. Valencia’s stop at 7 was anthological, putting his left hand very hard against a point-blank shot.
Seeing a lesser version of his team, Diego Martínez, who, suspended, was in a private box at Mestalla, made two changes after the break. He kept Kenedy, who suffered a muscle problem in the first half, until he replaced him in the 56th minute because the limping Brazilian did not appear. The hammer that the Valencian Soldier has on his head struck in that period for the first time. Cillessen saved the shot.
Granada, who suffered the wear and tear of alternating the domestic championship and the Europa League, lost at the same time Darwin Machis, who had entered the break, due to a muscle injury, and conceded the second. All in one tragic minute. Gonçalo Guedes pulled his powerful lower body to put his body and leave, without losing his balance and falling, of two Granada players and filter an excellent pass on Álex Blanco, who crossed the ball and holed with his left. The youth squad, who has just renewed, rewarded the confidence of Javi Gracia, who chose him in the eleven ahead of the talented Kang In Lee, the best footballer in recent games. The Nasrid team, melted and without its usual intensity, exhausted all five changes in the 75th minute of the game.
Víctor Díaz took a shot from Maxi Gómez off the goal line, which, staggered by a push from Germán, struck in the air as he fell to the ground. The Uruguayan, who has not scored since January 4, took a chance from Guedes and then ran into another good save from Rui Silva. Valencia did not close the game and Soldado scored to put suspense on the discount. The forward scored after a brilliant combination action between Yangel and Jorge Molina, and Granada, who did not give up, reacted in a discount that lasted until the 97th minute.