Valencia, Spain, Jan 17 (EFE).- Seven minutes from time, Valencia finally broke loose from being repeatedly tied by Almeria when Spain international Alvaro Negredo drove a header into the net and the home team never gave up the lead again.
The match began with Valencia looming large and scoring first with a swift drive by Antonio Barragan and a cross to Dani Parejo who put it away to take the lead 1-0 at minute 11.
Not so fast. Just two minutes later Almeria striker Tomer Hemed, who was to be Valencia's nemesis for most of the encounter, tied it up 1-1 by tapping a cross from Wellington Silva into the net.
However, the locals seemed to be on the offensive from then on, though hindered by a lack of precision until the Hispanic Brazilian Rodrigo Moreno faced a momentarily undefended net and booted a goal at minute 28 to take the lead 2-1.
Again, not so fast - just five minutes later Hemed did it again, converting a corner kick with an unstoppable header and tying the score once more at minute 33.
And so it remained until the end of the first period. In the second, Valencia again dominated play and when coach Nuno Espirito Santo turned to Spain striker Alvaro Negredo, the team went on to win.
From the time he took the field, Negredo tested Almeria's stand-in goalkeeper Julian Cuesta several times without success, then banged a header into the net to go ahead once more, 3-2, at minute 83.
Still time for Hemed to make more mischief, so Valencia worked on ball control and coach Nuno said "now we need to work on correcting what we did wrong on their goals."
It worked and the home team kept their 3-2 win to remain in the hunt for a Champions League spot. EFE