La Liga: Paco Alcacer's goal earns Valencia all three points at Eibar
Last Updated: 20/12/14 10:02pm
Paco Alcacer scored his first league goal in nine matches as Valencia recorded a 1-0 victory at Eibar.
The Spain international walked the ball into the net with half an hour gone and the goal proved enough to see off the Basques and give Nuno Espirito Santo's side a second-straight win in the league, taking Los Che above Sevilla and up to fourth spot in the Primera Division.
Although the goal was a scrappy one, it will do a world of good to Alcacer's confidence after a problematic three months in which he has endured a goal drought, a hamstring injury and an unfortunate sending off.
For the first time this season Nuno fielded Alcacer and marquee signing Alvaro Negredo in the same starting line-up and the former was involved in almost every moment of the game.
Alcacer could have got off the mark as early as the 14th minute when a downward header from Nicolas Otamendi bounced into the path of the striker, who could not strike the loose ball cleanly or bring it under control, and it trickled wide of goal instead.
Then the hosts had their first chance. Federico Piovaccari received the ball with his back to goal and swivelled past his marker to accelerate towards the target, pulling his shot across the goal and forcing Diego Alves to dive to tip the ball around the far post.
The Italian striker caught sight of goal again around 10 minutes later, dribbling past Javi Fuego on the edge of the area, but skied his shot.
Valencia took the lead with their next attack. Pablo Piatti raced onto a long ball and towards goal, knocking the ball past Xabi Irureta and towards the far post, where Alcacer arrived to bundle the ball home in an ungainly manner.
A few minutes later Eibar captain Raul Arruabarrena squandered a great opportunity to level, controlling a cutback inside the area but then shooting straight at Alves, spurning the option to pass to team-mate Eneko Boveda.
Alcacer had a chance to score again before the break, but could not keep his header down.
The Spain international was in the thick of the action in the second half too, and came close to completing a marvellous team-move involving Antonio Barragan and Negredo, but volleyed his strike partner's flick on just over the bar.
The lively forward ambitiously remained desperate to add to his goal as the minutes ticked away and even tried his luck from a free-kick from over 30 yards out, but although his shot cleared the wall, Irureta managed to cling onto the ball.