Valverde makes winning start
Ernesto Valverde tasted victory in his first Primera Division match in charge of Valencia as they defeated Osasuna 1-0.
Last Updated: 08/12/12 11:15pm
Ernesto Valverde tasted victory in his first Primera Division match in charge of Valencia as Roberto Soldado's strike proved proved sufficient to see off Osasuna.
Soldado's second-half effort secured the points in an otherwise listless encounter, but Valverde will care little about the performance and instead be grateful that he was able to rectify Los Che's woeful away form at the first attempt.
Mauricio Pellegrino was sacked as Valencia coach last week largely as a result of the team's dire form on the road, which had delivered just two points and two goals in seven games prior to tonight.
Valverde also enjoyed a winning start on the road at Lille in the Champions League in midweek, and will now aim for a third away win on the spin when his team meets Osasuna again - this time in the Copa del Rey - on Tuesday.
Neither side created much in the way of meaningful chances in a cagey opening 45 minutes, with Soldado's drive wide of the target in the 38th minute the first shot of note.
Two minutes later Valencia looked more threatening as the ball broke to Tino Costa on the edge of the area but his shot came off the outside of his left boot and skewed away from the target.
The only goal arrived in the 56th minute, and in keeping with the rest of the match it was far from a pretty one.
Costa's charge down the left ended with a wayward cross that looped over the goalkeeper and hit the crossbar before bouncing up in the six-yard box in front of the predatory Soldado, who adjusted his body well to drill a powerful shot off the underside of the crossbar.
Osasuna continued to look toothless in attack even after going a goal down, with Roland Lamah's curling effort from 25 yards that drew a good save from Diego Alves their only chance of note.
Soldado might have made Valencia's margin of victory more convincing in stoppage time but Andres made a routine save from his tired-looking effort from the edge of the area.