Valencia 2-2 Rayo Vallecano: Paco Alcacer spares Gary Neville's blushes
Last Updated: 18/01/16 12:11am
Paco Alcacer scored a late equaliser to earn Gary Neville's Valencia a 2-2 draw with relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.
Jozabed gave Rayo a 15th-minute lead, only for Alvaro Negredo to score a stunning goal from 45 yards after the break to give Valencia an equaliser they barely deserved.
Diego Llorente restored Rayo's advantage on 69 minutes, but Alcacer, who also had a seemingly legitimate goal ruled out for offside, rescued a point.
The result means Neville is still searching for his first league win as Valencia boss and the home supporters greeted both the half-time and full-time whistles with more whistling of their own.
Neville's side sit 10th in the Primera Division table after 20 games, 16 points behind the final Champions League spot, and have not won a league match since November 7 when they thrashed Celta 5-1.
Rayo's last victory came that same day, against Granada, and the Vallecas club are in the midst of their worst run since 2003, when they were relegated, and they remain in the drop zone.
Midfielder Jozabed put Rayo ahead in the 15th minute at the Mestalla with a superb first-time strike that flew past goalkeeper Mathew Ryan into the net.
Neville takes positives
Gary Neville took the positives from the draw but called the first half unacceptable
Negredo conjured a moment of genius to level 10 minutes into the second half when the former Spain striker won the ball near the halfway line and sent a snap shot arrowing over Rayo keeper Juan Carlos Martin.
The goal lifted the home side but they were rocked back again when poor defending at a 69th-minute corner allowed Rayo defender Llorente to hook the ball high past Ryan.
A fluffed clearance by Rayo defender Ze Castro let substitute Paco Alcacer in to bundle the ball home and rescue a point two minutes from time.