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No joy for Jonas after pulling Valencia from the brink

Jiménez's side, who felt the refereeing left a lot to be desired, were 2-0 up by the half hour but were left with just a point after Jonas pulled the visitors back level.

No joy for Jonas after pulling Valencia from the brink

Real Zaragoza and Valencia shared the points at La Romareda - a result which will satisfy neither side after a topsy-turvy game which the hosts had in the bag. Manolo Jiménez's team were in front by the fourth minute, an unusual situation for a side who are more accustomed to chasing the score. Valencia responded after finding themselves 2-0 down and although they will feel grateful to have snatched a draw, they will also feel aggrieved at missing the chance to extend their run of away wins to five games and continue their assault on the Champions League berths.

Valverde's men still have time to make amends but for Zaragoza, who went into this game hovering just above the relegation zone, the situation is more critical. They looked a much improved side tonight but failed to lock down a match which they had under control. It certainly started well for the hosts who were awarded a penalty on four minutes. Apoño rifled the spot kick home to the joy and disbelief of the home fans then doubled the lead on the half hour when Helder Postiga nodded past Diego Alves from a free-kick. Valencia's defence looked disjointed and uneasy during the opening exchanges and only started to settle after Jonas had pulled a goal back on 36 minutes - a goal which he refused to celebrate.

The introduction of Éver Banega at the start of the second half rejuvenated the guests who restored parity with 20 minutes of normal time remaining when Jonas volleyed in at the near post and once again, it did little to cheer him up.

Zaragoza's misery was compounded further when Leo Franco was issued a red hard after coming charging out of his area to deter Soldado but only to handle the ball. That made for a tense final few minutes which involved more bookings, protests and time-wasting. Jiménez will be left with the sensation that there is still plenty of work to do if he is to guide his team into the privileged part of the standings.

Estadísticas AS.com