Getafe beats Valencia 3-0 to strengthen hold on 3rd in Spain

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Facing three defenders all alone outside Valencia’s area, it looked like Jorge Molina had nowhere to go.

But instead of waiting for his teammates’ help, Getafe’s 37-year-old forward surprised everyone and scored one of the goals of the season in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Rumbling into the box, Molina sent Gabriel Paulista sprawling to the turf. He then deftly turned to wrong-foot Geoffrey Kondogbia and Mouctar Diakhaby and placed a precise strike inside the post.

The goal sent Getafe’s fans into ecstasy and doubled the lead for the hosts. The brilliant effort came nine minutes after Molina opened the scoring by beating Valencia’s defenders to a rebound in the 58th.

Molina’s strike partner, Jaime Mata, capped the 3-0 victory with three minutes to go after Valencia’s Alessandro Florenzi was sent off for cutting down Getafe’s Marc Cucurella.

“Our strength is that we are a team. It doesn’t matter who plays,” Molina said. “The team played a well-rounded match. We were superior, and the result is well deserved.”

Also, Jorge “Koke” Resurrección played his first match in a month to help an injury-hit Atlético Madrid beat Granada 1-0.

GREAT GETAFE

Getafe strengthened its hold on third place as the modest club from southern Madrid continues to surpass expectations.

Getafe’s budget is under 60 million euros ($65 million), putting it in the middle of the financial power ranking of the 20-team league. That is compared to around 170 million euros for Valencia and more than 600 million euros for Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Coach José Bordalás has made up the difference by forging a disciplined team that plays very hard defense. With each win, his players clearly become firmer believers in Bordalás’ leadership.

“My performance is thanks to my coach,” Molina said.

Getafe’s fourth straight win lifted its league total to 42 points. Leader Real Madrid has 49 and Barcelona 46 before their respective matches on Sunday.

Getafe visits Barcelona’s Camp Nou in the next round.

VALENCIA’S COLLAPSE

Suffocated by defense, Valencia slid to sixth place. Its poor performance came after its campaign to defend its Copa del Rey title ended with a loss to Granada this week.

Paulista, one of the players whom Molina brushed off on his second goal, dedicated an expletive-filled rant against his team after the match.

“Everything went wrong,” Paulista said. “Our attitude today has to change. We have to be more like men on the pitch, fighting, while respecting our rivals and with no intention to do harm. But we have to be firmer in every facet of the game.”

KOKE RETURNS

Atlético was not able to win any of the five matches it played without Koke, its best midfield passer.

On his return, Koke set up Ángel Correa in the sixth after two Granada defenders collided while trying to intercept a throw-in to Koke.

Granada threatened to equalize late, but goalkeeper Jan Oblak saved Atlético when he got low to parry a point-blank attempt from Roberto Soldado in the 72nd.

Atlético’s first win in four rounds let it recover fourth place.

OTHER RESULTS

Levante beat Leganés 2-0 at home to leave the visitor in the relegation zone. Levante’s first victory in 2020 ended a four-game losing streak.

Villarreal drew at Valladolid 1-1.

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