Costa leaves it late
Ricardo Costa's stoppage-time header gave Valencia a thrilling 3-2 victory away to Deportivo la Coruna.
Last Updated: 26/01/13 11:20pm
Ricardo Costa's stoppage-time header decided a topsy-turvy Primera Division encounter in Valencia's favour as they ran out 3-2 winners at Deportivo La Coruna.
The rock-bottom hosts surrendered a 2-1 lead and finished the game with nine men.
The match was all-action from the outset at the Riazor, Jonas' header after just 31 seconds putting Los Che ahead before Riki's brace gave Deportivo a half-time advantage.
Silvio's needless dismissal seven minutes after the restart changed the course of the game, though, as Nelson Valdez equalised and then Costa bagged a dramatic late winner before Paulo Assuncao's red card rubbed further salt in the hosts' wounds.
Jonas handed Valencia the perfect start with the opening goal in the first minute, his looping near-post header from Pablo Piatti's corner leaving Daniel Aranzubia stranded.
Deportivo took their time settling into the game but went close to equalising in the 17th minute when Luis Pizzi cut in from the left and unleashed a low shot, which Diego Alves did well to save at his near post, and again four minutes later when Aythami's neat backheel drifted just wide.
Los Che were also still creating chances, with Aranzubia thwarting Valdez twice in quick succession - first from a left-footed shot and then a diving header.
But Depor were level just after the half-hour mark when Pizzi floated a dangerous free-kick into the six-yard box, from where Riki powered a fine header into the top-left corner.
And Riki did not take long to double his tally, cutting in from the right in first-half stoppage time and despatching a left-footed effort past a seemingly off-guard Alves.
Jonathan Viera, a half-time replacement for Jonas, tested Aranzubia in the opening minutes of the second period, the Depor keeper punching away his swerving attempt.
The hosts' hopes of holding on for a valuable victory suffered a blow seven minutes after the restart when Silvio, having been booked for a first-half foul on Piatti, was sent off for a second bookable offence against the same player.
Valencia's numerical advantage soon began to tell, Aranzubia getting a strong left hand low to his left to divert Ever Banega's blast around the post in the 58th minute.
And five minutes later the visitors were level. Substitute Juan Bernat produced the perfect cross from the left, which was neatly turned in at the near post by Valdez.
Ernesto Valverde's side should have grabbed a third soon after, Manuel Pablo throwing his body in the way to block Banega's 12-yard drive and then Aranzubia brilliantly keeping out an eight-yard volley from Valdez after he had been allowed time to control the ball on his chest.
Depor almost won it themselves two minutes from time when Alejandro Bergantinos played Pizzi in on the counter-attack, but Alves saved at his near post.
And, in stoppage time, the home team were made to pay as Costa popped up at the far post in acres of space and directed his header past Aranzubia from Andres Guardado's cross.
Assuncao compounded Deportivo's woes when he too was sent off for an apparent elbow on Valdez.