Valencia win again to go top

Valencia replaced Real Madrid at the top of La Liga winning 2-1 at promoted Hercules on Sunday to make it a perfect nine-point start to the season.

Valencia, league champions in 2002 and 2004, were wary of the threat posed by Hercules after they beat Barcelona 2-0 at Camp Nou last time out.

However Unai Emery's side brought the newcomers off cloud nine despite playing most of the second half with ten men.

Valencia had defender David Navarro sent off on 49 minutes for a second yellow card but the visitors survived their numerical disadvantage with goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez keeping Hercules at bay.

Hercules were applauded as heroes on the back of their stunning Camp Nou win but were brought back down to earth when Spanish international Juan Mata put Valencia ahead after two minutes.

Pablo Hernandez then made it 2-0 on 23 minutes, however Hercules got back in the game with a penalty late in the first half after Navarro handled the ball.

Veteran French striker David Trezeguet, 32, converted the 43rd minute spot-kick for his first Hercules goal following his surprise move from Juventus.

Valencia, 4-0 winners over Bursaspor in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, held on for their third league win to go top, moving two points ahead of Real Madrid.