Gijon (Spain), Jan 9: Valencia plunged deeper into crisis with a 1-2 loss against second-division Sporting Gijon in the first leg of their Copa del Rey knockout stage tie.
The visiting La Liga side enjoyed a big edge in possession at the start here on Tuesday and probably should have taken the lead in the 1st minute on a defensive error that left Michy Batshuayi with the ball in scoring position, but the Belgian failed to beat Sporting keeper Dani Martin, reports Efe.
Instead, it was a Valencia defensive lapse that set up the first goal, allowing Andre Sousa to float the ball to a waiting Javi Noblejas, who evaded defender Mouctar Diakhaby and overcame keeper Jaume Domenech to give Sporting the lead in the 33rd minute.
Valencia managed to pull level in the final minute of the first half though officials consulted the video assistant referee before confirming Kevin Gameiro’s goal.
The hosts were by far the more ambitious team on the attack in the second half, yet Domenech dealt easily with efforts by Noblejas and Sousa.
Ultimately, Sporting’s greater determination bore fruit thanks to the work of late substitutes Alvaro Traver and Nick Blackman.
Traver’s ball found Blackman on the edge of the area and the Englishman unleashed a thunderous header to make it 2-1 for Sporting in the 78th minute.