Levante leaves Mestalla as bottom again, another year without winning at their eternal rival’s home. And to know when he will return, because his permanence in First is complicated. The Granotas are not throwing in the towel because mathematics says so, although they are aware that they missed the advantage that Gayà’s controversial expulsion gave them in the 30th minute. The draw doesn’t say anything to Valencia either, because they had the opportunity to get closer to Villarreal and Duarte’s goal leaves them very far for what little there is left. But at least he showed pride not to get carried away after his captain’s red. All this in a tense derby, marked by the intervention of Gil Manzano, and that got out of hand for Figueroa Vázquez.
Valencia found three motivations in vein with which to focus on the derby and forget about La Cartuja. The first from Levante itself, which shared on its networks in the previous one a poster as provocative as it was stolid that said in green and white letters: “The finals are won.” Another came from Vitoria, where Villarreal’s defeat allowed him to cut points with seventh place. And the third was the applause of the respectable, whose ovation recognized that the distance between glory and disappointment in the final was only a penalty. In addition Bordalás took out a recognizable eleven, something that he had not done in the League for a long time, and all that in the shaker translated into an intense Valencia, with clear ideas and who struck first.
Hugo Duro does not need to give more arguments for Lim to authorize paying four million for him before May 15. If he doesn’t do it, it’s because he neither wants to nor knows. The 22-year-old striker has shown that he is a bargain price. With his stubborn header to the center of Gayà: 10 goals and 4 assists between the League and the Cup. That scenario of black and white advantage was reached thanks to another who cannot escape them either: Mamardashvili, who twice deprived Dani Gómez of the goal, one with a scoreless tie and another in the last second of the first half, which lasted until the 50th minute due to everything that was interrupted.
After Hugo Duro’s goal, the derby entered scorched earth, where the only thing that happened until the break was slaps, plates and pushes. All as a result of the expulsion of Gayà, who saw a direct red card at the request of Gil Manzano from the VOR room for airing his arms in a race without the ball with Miramón. There Levante let themselves be carried away by the tension instead of trying to benefit from their numerical superiority, allowing Bordalás to reach the locker room with an advantage, with Hugo Duro on the left side, and there put the pieces back together for the second half.
Lisci waved his scheme as the abyss came closer. Levante had to rebel against its destiny in Mestalla and hence Bardhi, Saracchi, Melero, Soldier and Pubill appeared on the scene. But apart from having the ball, an object that Valencia had left over, Granota’s offensive production was brief. His football was predictable, without passion; It was a low team, incapable of hurting Valencia, who could even sentence in a counterattack that finished Jesús Vázquez. It was not Levante from Barcelona or Villarreal or even Seville. It was Levante that usually passes through Mestalla and for this reason it may never have won there.
However, almost out of nowhere, from the edge of the box and after a short corner, Bardhi took out a powerful shot that made the crossbar rumble. There, they woke up the rest. That occasion called a granota outburst and shortly after came Duarte’s goal. There were then nine minutes left plus the addition, which was five, for Levante to cling to the First Division, because Valencia had long since forgotten about Europe, but there was no room for more goals.
Enis Bardi (45′, Radoja), Vazquez Mayor (45′, Hugo Guillamon), Marcelo Saracchi (55′, Son), Soldier (61′, Campaign), Gonzalo Melero (61′, Vezo), Foulquier (73′, Thierry Correia), Maxi Gomez (73′, Gonçalo Guedes), Marc Pubil (79′, Miramon), Bryan Gil Salvatierra (89′, Hugo Hard), yunus musah (92′, Carlos Soler)
1-0, 26′: Hugo Hard1-1, 80′: Oscar Duarte
Referee: Jorge Figueroa Vazquez
VAR Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano
Goncalo Guedes (22′, Yellow) Gayá (30′, Red) Radoja (35′, Yellow) Are (37′, Yellow) Omar Alderete (37′, Yellow) mamardashvili (69′, Yellow) Hugo Guillamon (84′, Yellow) Oscar Duarte (84′, Yellow