Osasuna rally to deny Valencia win
Valencia were left to lament a poor defensive performance tonight as Osasuna clawed back from a 3-1 deficit at the break to snatch a dramatic 3-3 draw.
Roberto Soldado and Marius Stankevicius gave the hosts a 2-0 lead before Juanfran reduced the gap. Aritz Aduriz, however, put Valencia 3-1 up before the break. Miguel Flano pulled another back and Carlos Aranda was on hand in the 87th minute to slam home an equaliser.
Osasuna had the worst away record in the Primera Division and made the trip to the Mestalla having recorded just one point and one goal from their seven away games. Valencia started the weekend in fifth spot - four points behind an Espanyol side who temporarily occupy the fourth and final UEFA Champions League place - having been defeated 2-0 by Real Madrid last time out.
"It was a game in which both teams had a half in which they were superior and in the second-half we were unable to cope with Osasuna's attacks," said Valencia coach Unai Emery.
"We worried about conceding an equaliser and that was what happened. We have to be critical of ourselves and be stronger."
Meanwhile Osasuna coach Jose Antonio Camacho praised the way his side battled back at 3-1 down. "We didn't deserve to be two goals down but in the second half it was all us."
"With ten minutes to go we were losing and that was not just but we did not give up and were able to claim something from the game," he said.
An extremely quiet opening saw Soldado have the only effort of the first 22 minutes, seeing Ricardo save his 12-yard shot in the fourth. The second effort resulted in Valencia taking the lead. Juan Mata fed a low ball into the box for Soldado to sweep home left-footed.
Their next effort was an Ever Banega shot from outside the penalty area which Ricardo parried away, but seconds later it was 2-0. Joaquin whipped in a corner from the left which Stankevicius reacted to first to fire home at the near post. Osasuna got themselves back into it with their first attempt. Shojaei Massoud sent the ball in from the left wing for Juanfran to get on the end of and blast into the roof of the net.
Two minutes later, though, Valencia's two-goal cushion was restored. Again it was from a Joaquin corner. The winger took another kick from the left for Aduriz to head into the bottom corner of the net from six yards.
A tepid start to the second half was ended when Osasuna pulled it back to 3-2, Flano sweeping home past Cesar in the home side's goal from 12 yards. Osasuna were pushing for the leveller and Dejan Lekic headed against the post in the 79th minute.
The equaliser did come less than four minutes from time, however, as Aranda fired home left-footed into the bottom left corner from 12 yards to infuriate the home support.