Liga - Racing and Valencia share spoils

Sun, 29 Jan 19:03:00 2012

Racing Santander and Valencia had to settle for a point apiece after a bad-tempered 2-2 Liga draw at El Sardinero.

Racing Santander's Papakouly Diop (L) challenges Valencia's Sofiane Feghouli during their Spanish first division soccer match at Sardinero stadium in Santander, - 0

Adrian Gonzalez opened the scoring for Racing early in the first half before Aritz Aduriz struck twice in the second half to put Valencia ahead.

Valencia, who had used all three substitutions, were reduced to 10 men with five minutes remaining when Mehmet Topal was injured.

And Racing soon made their numerical advantage count, with Bernardo equalising with two minutes left on the clock, while there was still time for Pedro Munitis and Ricardo Costa to see red.

Racing went into the game in 17th despite a run of form which saw them go unbeaten in five La Liga games before the 2-1 defeat at home to Getafe.

Third-placed Valencia, who began the day 17 points adrift of leaders Real Madrid, should have started full of confidence having thrashed Levante 7-1 over two legs in the Copa del Rey.

But Racing needed just two minutes to take the lead, when Valencia failed to deal with Papakouly Diop's free-kick and Adrian drifted behind the visitors' defence to poke home.

And the hosts were unlucky not to extend their advantage when Valencia keeper Diego Alves planted his clearance into the back of a Racing player, only for the ball to loop over the crossbar and onto the roof of the net.

Valencia were nearly caught napping once again when the unmarked Domingo Cisma sent his header crashing onto the post with Alves beaten.

Manuel Arana then dragged his shot wide before Los Che registered their first chance of note, with top scorer Roberto Soldado teeing up Jonas on the edge of the box - but the Valencia forward sliced his shot over.

Brazilian Jonas was wasteful once again as half-time approached, opting to shoot and blazing his effort over when a low cross into the box would have been the better option.

But Valencia did level 20 minutes after the restart when Aduriz pounced from a corner.

Soldado then went close with a right footed shot, before Aduriz grabbed his second, heading home from the middle of the penalty area.

Topal and Diop clashed heads as the match reached its crescendo, and while Racing were able to replace their man, Valencia were forced to see out the final minutes with 10 men having already made three substitutions.

And the home side soon put Valencia to the sword, with Bernardo planting a header into the top corner from Jairo Samperio's cross.

Munitis and Costa were then both sent off after a melee in the first of seven minutes of injury time, before Racing nearly grabbed a winner, only for Gonzalo Colsa to be denied by Alves.

George Scott / Eurosport

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