In a dramatic affair at the Mendizorroza, Alavés defeated Valencia 2-1 thanks to a late Joselu penalty-kick, seeing ‘El Glorioso’ snap a club record 11-game winless streak in La Liga.
As they look to pull off another great escape from relegation, Alavés started the proceedings on the front foot. With just under twenty minutes gone, a deflected shot was parried by Giorgi Mamardashvili straight into the path of Mamadou Loum, and the Senegalese midfielder stabbed home from short range to put the hosts in front. With their own motivations as they hunt a European spot, Valencia pushed for an equaliser. But despite the best efforts of talisman Gonçalo Guedes, the Alavés rearguard stood up to the pressure and held onto their pivotal lead until the HT whistle.
The visitors were gifted a route back into the game as the referee judged an Alavés player to have handled the ball in the box in the 58th minute, forcing him to give Valencia a penalty-kick. The spot-kick was fired in off of the lower portion of the post, and ‘Los Che’ were level with 30 minutes remaining.
Alavés were given a penalty-kick of their own when Yunus Musah took down Gonzalo Escalante in the box. With the pressure mounting as the clock ticked up to only 15 minutes until FT, Joselu calmly slotted the ball home and gave the hosts a lead, sparking joyous celebrations around the Mendizorroza. While Valencia pushed to level the scoreline and rescue a point, Alavés remained stubborn and held on for a pivotal victory.
The disappointing loss to one of La Liga’s least in-form clubs will leave a sour taste in the mouth of José Bordalás and his men. To make matters worse, it extends their winless streak in league play to six games.