Levante 1-0 Valencia: Gary Neville haunted by Giuseppe Rossi winner
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 13/03/16 6:55pm
Gary Neville was haunted by his former Manchester United teammate Giuseppe Rossi as Valencia lost 1-0 at rock bottom Levante.
Rossi, who played just five times for United in a uninspiring spell, netted on 64 minutes in this derby clash to increase the pressure on Neville.
The hosts should have won by a more comfortable margin but missed an array of good chances as Valencia only had one shot on target in the game and looked off the pace throughout.
Levante remain bottom on 24 points but are just two points from safety now while Valencia are now just eight points away from the drop zone.
From the first whistle it was clear which side were going to prosper in the derby environment.
Levante hustled and harried Valencia in possession, but you feel the game may have had a different pattern if Sofiane Feghouli didn't waste a one-on-one opportunity for the visitors on 13 minutes.
That was to be Valencia's first and last effort on target.
Rossi, who signed for Levante in January on loan from Fiorentina, linked the play beautifully for the hosts throughout and smacked an effort against the post on 20 minutes.
Feghouli curled a good chance wide five minutes later before Deyverson epitomised Levante's work rate by chasing down a lost cause on the half-hour but couldn't finish the chance from a tight angle.
Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves denied Deyverson with a smart save on 43 minutes before the striker missed an ever better chance a minute later, heading wide from just four yards out.
Levante provided a real threat from set-pieces and it was via that method that their winning goal came on 64 minutes.
Juanfran launched a looping long throw into the box and Rossi showed greater determination to nip in front of the Valencia defenders and skilfully turn the ball into the far corner.
Dani Parejo came closest to an equaliser when he fluffed his lines from 15 yards but Levante deserved their clean sheet.
Next up for Valencia is a crucial second leg against Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League on Thursday - fail to turnaround a 1-0 deficit there and all that remains to play for this season is their La Liga status.