Sunday 25 September 2016

Gary Neville's Valencia have been beaten again

REAL SOCIEDAD 2 VALENCIA 0

Published 10/01/2016 | 17:55

Valencia's head coach Gary Neville gestures to his players during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Real Madrid at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Valencia's head coach Gary Neville gestures to his players during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Real Madrid at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

Gary Neville suffered his third defeat in all competitions as Valencia manager as Real Sociedad saw off Los Che 2-0 thanks to two second half strikes from Jonathas de Jesus.

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The Brazilian forward took advantage of an error from Valencia goalkeeper Jaume Domenech to knock in the first goal after 78 minutes, and four minutes later headed home the second, again making the most of a good cross from Carlos Martinez.

Although he has impressed onlookers at Valencia since taking charge, Neville's record after five league games does not make for encouraging reading, losing two, drawing three and winning none. His team have also been beaten in the Champions League since he took over, losing 2-0 to Lyon.

His side are 10th in the Primera Division, just three points better off than Real Sociedad, who moved up to 14th as a result of the victory.

Neville was boosted by the return of Shkodran Mustafi at centre-back, while Enzo Perez made his first league start in over a month.

Alvaro Negredo, who had scored a hat-trick in the 4-0 Copa del Rey win over Granada, dropped back to the bench, replaced by 20-year-old Santi Mina.

Both sides hit the woodwork in the first half, Martinez striking the post after a quarter of an hour, then Rodrigo Moreno smashing the crossbar from close range following a flick on from Mustafi.

Real Sociedad were much more dominant after the break and it took a top save from Domenech to keep the game goalless, tipping away a stinging effort from Ruben Pardo.

But the goalkeeper was at fault for the Basque side's opener, failing in his attempt to punch away Martinez's cross, and Jonathas got there first to bundle the ball in.

Just a few minutes later Martinez and Jonathas combined again, the right-back getting the better of Lucas Orban to sail in a cross towards the Brazilian, who powered a header into the far corner.

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