Valencia beat Zaragoza this afternoon in an encounter in which the home side, with the Argentinean Fernando Gago at the fore, contolled the match for most of the 90 minutes, despite being a man down for the last half hour after Feghouli was sent off.
Zaragoza did come a little more into the match at the end of the first half, and saw more of the ball when their hosts were a man down, but they never gave the impression they could get something from the game, in which Valencia scored in each half, and had a number of chances to increase the margin of their win. This was the first time this season that Valencia finished a game without conceding. The most positive news for the home team was the performance of Gago who gave the team the balance they have been missing in recent games.
Valencia's improvement, together with Feghouli's 12 minute goal had Zaragoza in all sorts of trouble in the first half hour, and they struggled to put moves together. The visitors only managed to get near Valencia's goal from dead ball situations, and never looked like scoring, until the last few minutes, when long range efforts from Montañes and Postiga troubled keeper Guaita, though without altering the scoreboard.
Zaragoza's best chance came at the start of the second half, with a shot from Víctor coming off the cross bar. Moments later Pereira had to come off injured. Valencia's Jonas then also saw an effort hit the woodwork in the 55th minute. The game opened up at this point and 1-1 looked almost as likely as 2-0, though it was the hosts who got the next goal.
Soldado broke through and Barragán then laid it on for Viera to score. Moments after the restart however Feghouli was sent off, meaning Valencia couldn't rest on their laurels. They moved to a 4-4-1, and tried to suffocate the life out of the game, while Zaragoza tries to hold the ball and get back into the game with a goal. Their coach, Manolo Jiménez, brought on Movilla and Edu Oriol.
Zaragoza did make some chances but Valencia also had opportunities on the break during the last half hour. In the end the local defence was up to everything Zaragoza could throw at it and the three points stayed, fairly comfortably, in Valencia.