Disappointing draw leaves Valencia far from Europe

Other News Materials 24 February 2008 02:14 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - A 1-1 draw Saturday at home to lowly Recreativo Huelva leaves Valencia a long way off the European places.

The disappointing draw leaves Ronald Koeman's team in ninth place in La Liga with 35 points from 25 games.

For their part, Huelva move up to seventh from bottom with 29 points.

Juan Mata shot Valencia ahead in the 39th minute on a pass from fellow youngster Ever Banega.

But the hosts lacked fluidity and continuity, and Huelva pushed them back after half-time. It came as little surprise when the lively Carlos Martins made it 1-1 in the 53rd minute, after being set up by Edu Moya.

Huelva had few problems in holding on for a point, with the Mestalla crowd characteristically losing patience with their own team.

Valencia's internal problems are causing a miserable season.

On Friday, former captain David Albelda went to court to demand compensation and the end of his contract, on the basis of having been told by Koeman in December - along with fellow veterans Santiago Canizares and Miguel Angel Angulo - that he would not be picked again.

The "valencianista" fans are divided in their attitude toward Albelda, as evidenced by the diverse banners on shown in Mestalla against Huelva.

Later Saturday, sixth-placed Sevilla are at home to a Zaragoza side who have flattered to deceive all season.