Valencia leapfrog Levante with win
Valencia climbed above city rivals Levante to third in La Liga thanks to a comfortable 2-0 derby success tonight.
Levante had been top of the table before suffering their first league defeat away to Osasuna last weekend, a reverse which ended a seven-game winning run that included victory over Real Madrid. As a result Juan Ignacio Martinez's side headed into the Valencia derby ahead of their city rivals for the first time since 1964 and with a record of four wins from four games at Ciutat de Valencia.
However, Valencia were determined to reassert their authority and did so thanks to an own goal from Javi Venta and Tino Costa's free-kick, which also benefited from some home side assistance.
It could have been different if Levante had taken one of their early chances, but Gomez Juanlu's shot from just six yards was blocked by the knees of goalkeeper Vicente Guaita inside the first two minutes. And Arouna Kone then worked himself into a good position in the area only to blaze his shot high and wide.
Valencia had not threatened much until a moment of magic from Costa helped break the deadlock in the 31st minute. His first-time ball split the Levante defence and sent Jordi Alba through on goal, but just as he shaped to shoot Javi Venta slid in and diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper.
Costa was also responsible for Valencia's second just four minutes into the second half, but goalkeeper Gustavo Munua will have some questions to answer. Costa's left-footed free-kick did swerve slightly, but Munua completely misjudged the flight of the ball and was going the wrong way when the ball clipped his left hand on its way into the far corner.
Levante rarely looked like getting back into the game and substitute Carlos Aranda was booked for a dive in the penalty area before partially redeeming himself with a stinging shot which was well saved by Vicente Guaita.