Valencia moved four points clear of La Liga’s relegation zone as goals from Martin Montoya and Santi Mina sealed a first league win in nine games in a 2-1 victory over Espanyol on Sunday.
The home fans once again called for Singaporean owner Peter Lim to leave the club before kick-off after a disastrous campaign that has seen two coaches and the sporting director leave the Mestalla.
However, there was finally some relief on the pitch in the first game since interim coach Voro Gonzalez was put in charge until the end of the season as Montoya rounded off a fine team move to give Valencia the perfect start after 17 minutes.
Mina sealed a first home win in La Liga since September 17 minutes from time when he forced home the rebound after Diego Lopez clawed Dani Parejo’s free-kick off the line.
David Lopez ensured a nervy finish when he pulled a goal back with five minutes to go, but Valencia clung on to gain some breathing space from the bottom three.
At the other end of the table, Real Madrid will look to extend their lead and a Spanish record 40-game unbeaten run when they travel to third-placed Sevilla later on Sunday. – Agence France-Presse