Valencia finish traumatic season on high note

Other News Materials 18 May 2008 23:48 (UTC +04:00)

Spanish giants Valencia finished their traumatic season on a high note on Sunday, with a 3-1 defeat of fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, dpa reported.

The handsome win means that Valencia finish in respectable ninth place, after struggling against relegation for the last three months.

Caretaker coach Voro signs off with the impressive record of having won four out of five matches, since taking over from the unpopular Ronald Koeman.

Another man saying goodbye, at the age of 38, was Santiago Canizares, the most successful goalkeeper in Valencia's history.

Atletico, who had already achieved their goal of finishing in the top four, put out a reserve-packed team.

Atletico defender Giourkas Seitaridis made it 1-0 after just 11 minutes, with a clumsy own goal.

Then Valencia striker David Villa, warming up for the European Championship finals - and also maybe looking for a lucrative move - took centre stage.

Villa made it 2-0 five minutes before half-time by turning in a shot from Juan Mata. And in the 55th minute Villa claimed his 18th goal of the season with a fierce cross-shot.

Argentine teenager Sergio Aguero came off the bench and scored a classy late consolation goal for Atletico.

Sunday's other early game was a tame 1-1 draw between Getafe and Betis, both of whom had moved out of relegation danger in the past few weeks.

The Mallorca-Zaragoza, Recreativo Huelva-Valladolid and Racing Santander-Osasuna relegation clashes have all been delayed for an hour because of torrential rain in Palma, just before the islanders were supposed to kick off against Zaragoza.

Star-studded Zaragoza need to beat Mallorca to avoid the drop, whilst the hosts need a win to snatch sixth place away from Santander - with a place in the UEFA Cup at stake.